Although it may appear to have gone all quiet on the Klobása front over the last month, as is often the case the truth is far more intriguing. Indeed, while the Czech football season has been lying dormant throughout the winter hibernation period, and normally quite sensible people are senselessly glued to various ways of falling over on ice at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Klobása have been out on a new adventure – in the search for the perfect pint. Yes, we’ve temporarily traded in football stadiums for drinking holes, and this, friends of the Klobasa, is the story thus far…
In some ways it began where it should have perhaps ended – with a trip to Polička. Now, it must be said that a pint of Polička is the Klobása’s standard tipple. Our local serves up possibly the best pint of Polička this side of, well Polička and as our love for it runs deep we decided to visit the source of the magical drink. After a winding bus journey through the remote Czech countryside we arrived for a quick pit-stop in the beautiful UNESCO town of Litomyšl, birthplace of composer Bedřich Smetana. The renaissance and baroque facades hunched over us as we walked through the echoing arcades that surround the huge and lonely central square of the town. We checked in for a quick grog and a fortifying soup before briefly visiting the extraordinary (and closed) castle that stands proudly on the hill, but in no time at all we were back on the bus and heading onward to our final destination – Polička.
Litomyšl town square
It turns out that Polička itself is also a pretty nice town, surrounded by its old town walls, but in January it’s also bloody freezing, so we ran in to the first Polička sign-posted pub we saw (ignoring all the outrageously priced Pilsner bars along the way). We ordered our beers in and as we sat there in that smoky boozer we eyed the menu to see that one pint of this stuff was 17kc! That’s like, 50p! Of course, we must have misread it or something because that price is just crazy. One Klobása said to the others, ‘If he says the price for three beers is 51kc, try not to smile too much’ – well you can pretty much well guess what happened when he did indeed say 51kc…
So with smiles beaming from ear to ear we left the pub to make our way to the brewery. Along the way we took a wander around the cemetery of St Michal’s Church, the snow glistening in the bright sunlight, but did not stay long as we I think we all wanted to get back to the beer. The brewery was not really open to tours but we bagged a load of gear and legged it back to the very same pub for a crackin’ meal and another couple of Poličkas.
It couldn’t get much better than that really… could it? Well, on our way to the train we saw another Polička pub, and as we had 15 minutes until the train arrived we thought we’d try it. How much for a pint of this wonderful beer you ask? Only bloody 15kc! That is roughly 50% cheaper than a pint in Brno. Had we found the perfect pint? Probably, but that wasn’t going to stop us from continuing onwards to other great brewery towns of the Czech Republic in order to find out!