Brewery of the month – June

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Lanius Brewery – Mierové námestie 20, 911 01 Trenčín, Slovakia

A couple of months ago, I was on a jaunt around Slovakia and decided to make my journey to Senec (to watch Wales U19s!!) a little bit easier, I took a 4hr train from Kosice to Trencin. Now, it’s a town I know well – I’ve been to the Pohoda music festival a few times, it’s got the greatest football floodlights in the country, Klub Luc is where it’s at for evening entertainment and the castle, built on top of a steep rock is one of the finest in Europe… To add to that, it now has a brewery and Lanius is June’s pivovar of the month.

They brew their various kinds of beer at house number 20 on the main square, naming the brewery after the first owner of the house, a certain Thomas Lanius, who lived there in 1649…I am not sure if it’s any coincidence, but Lanius is Latin for Butcher.. and old Tom was indeed a butcher… What are the chances…

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To provide more background to breweries in the town, there was a time in 17th century when Trencin had 40 breweries, many of them private. Now for a size of the city, that seems a few too many and with the onset of the industrial revolution of the 19th century, these were replaced by large-scale production in the modern breweries close by. By the end of the century, the last brewer had brewed his last beer in Trencin…until Lanuis produced their first beer in 2014.

After taking in the AS Trencin v Zilina game, I made my way straight to bar for some beer and nosh and I was not disappointed. Lanius usually have a selection of beers on tap and an excellent choice of food on the menu. Conservatively, I went for the 12 degree Bohemian Lager, but in hindsight I should have gone for the tasting tray as previously in the day someone had recommended their Mandarina IPA…there is always a next time.

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As with all Microbreries the prices are a little bit more than the euro you could pay for a Corgon or Saris, but there’s a lot of love that goes into making craft ales and Lanius have added that to their various beers. So, if you are in Trencin and looking for a nice place to spend the evening, we highly recommend a visit to the brewery and grab some food if you feeling a bit peckish. You won’t be disappointed.

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Brewery of the Month – May

Moritz – Nešverova 2, Olomouc

Olomouc is one of the most striking, and most historic, cities in Moravia. Famous for its baroque and Gothic architecture, it has more fountains than you can shake a stick at and boasts its very own astronomical clock to rival Prague – a clock which, in one last act of spite, was all but destroyed by the retreating German force at the end of the Second World War. Interestingly, the clock was reconstructed in the 1950s in the Socialist Realist style and features proletarians rather than saints. Now there is some debate about whether to maintain this style or revert it to its original form.

This fine student city is also home to a number of quality breweries, and after working up a thirst touring the town’s monuments it is worth taking a stop. As with every visit to Olomouc we made a quick visit to Svatováclavský pivovar on the way in to the town centre. You can’t really go wrong with this place – friendly service, great beer and it’s the place to come if you fancy a beer spa. However, on this trip we had a different brewery in mind.

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Klobasas Michal and Wingy demonstrating the beer spa at Svatováclavský pivovar

We made one more stop before our final destination – the minipivovar Riegrovka Steakhouse. Certainly not a bad choice of beers but the polished interior and awful music meant it was not our kind of boozer. The steaks do look pretty good though…

After some detours we finally made it to our goal – the Moritz minipivovar. This is certainly a favoured option if you are looking for some traditional Czech food, especially involving some of the locally made tvarůžky cheese. An acquired taste for some, but when you do acquire a preference for this smelly, sticky number there is no going back. The basement pub certainly has a rich, traditional atmosphere, and it’s a nice place to sit and have a drink by the brewing tanks. Our soups were a little slow arriving but that did mean we had time to try full pints of both the 11 and 12 degree lagers. The 11 was a particularly good choice. Moritz doesn’t have a huge range of beer options but the quality is worth stopping for, and moreover so is the food. It’s definitely on our list of places to return to next time we’re in Olomouc.

Our Top 10 Pubs in Brno for 2018

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It’s that time of year again where we provide an insight in to our favourite pubs in Brno right now. Every year we try to an include as many fresh entries as possible based on a mix of atmosphere, beer, snacks and service. And while we have many new additions to our list here, three ever-presents remain as they are our favourites, our locals, our second homes. And as you will see, not many are in the city centre – we like to get out.

So, before you sit down with a beer to enjoy the following, remember that these are only our suggestions for this 2018. There are many more excellent pubs in this wonderful city, so use your noggin and go and find them…
U Čolka
(Tábor 879/3, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky)

U Čolka used to be a regular watering hole at the back end of the 90s before heading over to the Mersey Club. It’s now just an excellent choice for an evening beer. A great selection of both local and national beers, we highly recommend the Sobesice 12, if it’s on tap. As with all great pubs, they serve up wonderful snacks to go with your ale – all freshly made with the perfect service. The summer garden’s a great place to enjoy a cold one in the sun.

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Google Map of Tábor 879/3, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky

U Alberta

(Pellicova 10, 602 00 Brno-střed)

Tucked away just off Pellicova, this justifiably popular pub sits conveniently out of earshot of the Brno bustle. The owners keep things interesting with a progressive attitude towards their beer choice. There’s always an ale and they brew their own stuff too. In the summer it’s a great place to enjoy a cold one and watch the world go by.

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Google Map of Pellicova 10, 602 00 Brno-střed

Kabinet Múz

(Sukova 49/4, Brno-město, 602 00 Brno)

Kabinet Múz is one of the few pubs in the very centre that we go to. One of the reasons is that it is one of the best gig venues in the city. On top of that the bar serves up a couple of good lagers and it’s also a place where you can buy a good selection of interesting vinyl. Also, if you fancy a bit of vegan food this is the place to be, with a decent set of options from a vegan-only menu. The only thing wrong with the place is that Craggy hasn’t been offered a gig there yet.

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Google Map of Sukova 49/4, Brno-město, 602 00 Brno

Music Lab

(Opletalova 1, 602 00 Brno-střed)

For another city centre pub, we have included Music Lab in the list. Offering three variations of beer from our favourite middle-sized brewery, Polička, it might have got in here on that alone! However, the pub also offers a good venue for smaller gigs, and musicians offer gather here in the atmospheric interior. If you fancy the regular cheesy beer snacks, those are also on offer.

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Google Map of Opletalova 1, 602 00 Brno-střed

Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven

(Jiráskova 251/51, 602 00 Brno-střed-Veveří)

And for one more musical addition to the list this year we have Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven. Although the name might suggest a ‘Chicago Rock’ type of affair, it is nothing of the sort. Yes, it has some posters of rock icons but the real deal is in the beer, snacks and music that fills the basement pub. With the occasional acoustic show taking place, and an interesting list of beverages, it’s a great place to spend a weekend evening.

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Google Map of Jiráskova 251/51, 602 00 Brno-střed-Veveří

Traubka

(Traubova 1547/8, 602 00 Brno-sever)

Located on a quiet residential street, it would be quite easy to miss Traubka. Somebody once described it to us as “the best underground pub in Brno” and “a cozy den”. We can’t really argue with that much. They have a couple of beers on tap and are always happy to rustle something up in the kitchen should you feel a bit peckish.

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Google Map of Traubova 1547/8, 602 00 Brno-sever

Pivnice Na Šrébráku

(Jugoslávská 599/34, 613 00 Brno-sever)

Back in the day, there were two pubs with a reputation for serving the perfect beer, so Brno beer lovers used to switch between Blahovka and U Zmije. Pivnice Na Šrébráku moved into the building where the original U Zmije used to be and offers the same high quality sherbet with three or four of the Czech Republic’s finest on tap. A pub full of life, it’s quite often standing room only if you get there late in the evening.

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Google Map of Jugoslávská 599/34, 613 00 Brno-sever

Zastávka

(Úvoz 78, 602 00 Brno-střed)

Here is the first of what we could call our three ‘locals’, and definitely three of the best pubs in the city. Zastavka is the point of contact for the Blansko Klobasa as it is placed somewhere between two of your dedicated writers. This bar serves one of the best pints in Brno, with an ever-changing list of beers. The accompanying beer snacks include the infamous karboš, which are a kind of freshly made open beef burger which get offered around as some mystical point in the evening. All beers and snacks are offered up by some of the best service in the city.

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Google Map of Úvoz 78, 602 00 Brno-střed

U Míče

(Staňkova 15, 602 00 Brno-Královo Pole)

U Míče is where the Blansko Klobasa talks shop – it’s opposite our office and it serves Polička. It’s a popular place with the Brnaci and it’s not difficult to see why. Definitely a pub with an atmosphere, it is best if you can get a seat at the bar and get your hands on the beer snacks before they’re gone.

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Google Map of Staňkova 15, 602 00 Brno-Královo Pole

U Dvou přátel

(Tábor 25, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky)
The newly opened sister pub can be found at Dominikánská 23

We love U Dvou přátel (At the Two Friends), and it is an ever-favourite destination of the Blansko Klobasa when we head north of Uvoz. The pub is a welcoming and lively place, and the scene of some great music and excellent beer – they have even ventured into the brewing scene themselves with Brewniverse. Last year saw the opening of a second pub right in the centre (Dominikánská 23), still serving the great snacks but this time with a bigger basement venue for gig nights.

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Google Map of Tábor 25, 616 00 Brno-Žabovřesky

As always, we have a few Honourable mentions. We are aware that we have only covered a tiny area of the Brno pub scene, but some of these have made in to previous lists, or make one in the future. If you want something new and from a small brewery out of town, try Doubravnik not far from the centre. Pomaly Bar is an old favourite of ours and is worth it for the atmosphere alone. If you want something right in the centre go for Zelena Kocka. It attracts the tourists and prices are rising, but the quality and choice is always guaranteed. Further out of town is Paradox, a decent pub with its own small theatre. Lucky Bastard is favoured by some, and it certainly has a great choice of its own beer. Blahovka is a Brno standard – every Brnaci knows this pub. U Sajmona is also a favourite, with a great fresh pint of beer and some of the best pub food you can find.

Brewery of the month – January

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Pivovar Svatý Florian, Loket – T. G. Masaryka 136, 357 33 Loket

Introducing for 2018, our new regular feature – Brewery of the month. As we regularly travel to all corners of the Czech Republic (and further afield), we have decided to focus on one brewery every month of the year for 2018.

First up for this is year the Pivovar Svatý Florian in the magical town of Loket, nestled in an elbow of the Ohře River flowing through the Karlovy Vary region of the Czech Republic. This area previously belonged to the Sudetenland and is as historically significant as it is breathtaking.

The brewery sits atop a bridge which reaches over the river below. Housed in a striking historical building a stones throw from the castle (like everything else in Loket, actually) the brewery is popular with German tour groups but still makes a nice stop for solo travellers or small groups. Decent 11 degree lager and generous portions of food make it a worthwhile stop, especially in a grey and cold January. Tell them we sent you.

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