AT THE STRAHOV MONASTIC BREWERY YOU CAN ENJOY FRESHLY BREWED CZECH BEER:
Just around the back of the Hotel Savoy where we stayed, and only a few minutes walk from Prague Castle, is the old Strahov Monastery, founded by King Vladislav II in 1142. Within the grounds of the Monastery is the Strahov Monastery Brewery (Klášterní pivovar Strahov), where we were pleasantly surprised by our delicious beer tasting experience.
An Impressive Beer-Tasting
The beer tasting at the Strahov Monastic Brewery was very much undersold by our tour director who said that it was just a little beer-tasting and she didn’t make a point of recommending it. From the entrance, we walked through the small Brewery courtyard to arrive at the modest-sized beer hall, filled with tables and benches. On the tables were large platters of cheese and cold meats, bowls of dips and a bowl of marinated cheese. In addition to the bread they provided a plate of fried bread with a bowl of fresh garlic. Initially I thought that the food was not intended for us as I’ve never been to a beer tasting where so much nice food was provided.
The beers were a bit slow in arriving and so we all tucked into the food. Tony the Brave (or Foolhardy) had a go at the garlic and it was so spicy that it took him by surprise. I think you’re meant to rub the garlic onto the fried bread rather than eating it raw?
When it finally came, we were given two beers to taste, one amber and the other a dark larger. Tony likes Czech beers and he thought that the St Norbert beers were very nice.
While enjoying the beer and snack, small groups of ten were taken on tours of the brewery. Jacob was a very enthusiastic guide and he explained the beer-making process at Strahov.
They produce about 150,000 litres of beer each year and Jacob proudly mentioned that their beers had been highly rated by Beer Advocate. I asked him about beer festivals in the Czech Republic and unfortunately the Czech beer industry is a bit behind and they have not got together to organize beer festivals.
About the Monastic Brewery
Although the first mention of a monastic brewery dates back to the 1400s, the present brewery was a reconstruction that was completed in 2001. The St. Norbert Restaurant was opened at the same time. Customers can choose to dine in the brewery, St. Norbert Restaurant or the Brewery Courtyard – there’s seating for 350 customers in total. Although we didn’t have a full meal here, the snacks that we had at the beer tasting was very nice and the restaurant menu looked interesting.
Great Beer and Nice Atmosphere
We liked the Strahov Monastic Brewery for its nice atmosphere and the beer was great. Jacob, our brewery guide, was very friendly in spite of Tony making stirring comments about no one being able to beat Guinness for the best dark beer.
We were so full after this beer tasting that we didn’t have any dinner that night. If you are in the vicinity of Prague Castle, it’s worthwhile stopping here for freshly brewed beer and traditional Czech food.
Klášterní pivovar Strahov
Strahovské nádvoří 301
118 00 Prague 1