Czech Republic is a country of beer! Definitely having strong beer culture, long tradition of beer making, plenty of breweries and variety of beer kinds. Hopefully, you have already read Czech beer essential guide and now, when you know all what you should finally, ready to try it! In the same time I want to admit that this article is based only on my personal experience and non of the breweries paid me or asked for promotion. I spent one year in Prague so believe me, I had a lot of time to discover, taste and at last share my experience and advice.
Don’t waste your money on pub crawl offers which are so touristic and expensive. Read and choose option for yourself, in the center, out of the center, touristic, local. Make your own tour and try the best beers in Prague!
Where to go for a beer in Prague?
Czech Republic has plenty of breweries sometimes even small restaurant brew their own beer and you can’t get this beer anywhere else! Oh, how I love it! So unique! The best advice I can give is to download mobile application Breweries where you can see map of all breweries and microbreweries in the country! Every spot has rate in starts and opinions from the visitors (unfortunately, mostly in Czech language). However, app will let you know if there is any place close by, where you can try great beer, so I assume it’s worth having.
The great thing about Czech beer culture is that you eat along with having beer! All places which serve beer they must also sell food. You don’t have to search for separate place to eat then, breweries I recommend surely will offer you traditional Czech food as well.
Prague has over 20 breweries (in Czech called Pivovary). Please note that all of those located in the city center are very touristic, some of them extremely expensive (as for Czech Republic of course). Still, most of them worth tasting and hardly recommended for visitors. That is all for introduction. Finally, let’s get started!
Breweries in the center of Prague
Great beer serves brewery in the Strahov Monastery – just few steps from the Prague castle. Monastery has long tradition of beer making (13th century) and really good quality. Microbrewery serves few variations of St. Norbert beer, the not filtered and not fermented brews include a bitter Amber blend that is similar to a German Märzen, or a German Lager beer, and a dark Vienna brew from Dunkel. If you will be there try IPA, which has unique taste!
Exploring farther I can recommend Pivovar Narodni next to National Theater which has great beer, service, prices and location. It is quite new though, becoming more and more commercial. I hardly recommend trying not filtered beer here! Brewery/restaurant has a huge garden as well which is a yard of the old monastery and National Theater on the other side. Beautiful architecture and quite place for a beer in the center of the city. It used to be my favorite when they were just starting their business.
Now my favorite brewery (hope not only because it is new, wish they keep the quality) is Pivovar Lod’ which is located on the SHIP! We asked, they really make all the crafts on this ship and you can see all the containers and equipment. Boat is located on Vltava river in the center but approximately 15 min walk from the main square towards Letna Park. Although it is a ship, the location seems to be permanent. I fell in love in Republica beer they serve. It’s a lager but not bitter at all. They make few beers and I can say all of them have great quality and taste, just chose one to match your preferences and you will simply love this place. Lower platform is a pub, upper is more like a restaurant. I don’t have to mention the great view on the river while drinking beer…
Novoměstský pivovar, close to Vaclavske Namesti which also has range of different tastes of beer and traditional food and design. You can experience typical Czech feast, heavy traditional food and music. You will feel like in the village festival!
I can also mention Pivovarski dum which means brewery house there apart from ordinary kinds you find all that special flavors like coffee, chocolate, nettle or banana beer.
4 microbreweries in the heart of Prague
Want to have a small pub crawl? There are 4 very famous microbreweries in the heart of Prague very close to each other. Brewery U Medvidku, quite popular one, with a range of local beers. Brewery with tradition going back to 15th century. Nowadays experimenting with the strongest beer in the world called X- Beer. Moreover, they offer another touristic attraction – brewing your own beer in their cellars.
Just next to it is Pivovar U Tří růží with a high quality beer. They offer traditional lager beer, dark lager and great semi-dark red beer (Vienna malt). I tired also their Pale Ale with a citrus aroma and I can recommend it as well. Brewery offers discovering the cellar as well to learn about brewing process.
On the opposite side of the street Pivovar u Zlatego Tigra where you can see typical Czech feast: every evening is full of people, specially old Czechs, drinking tons of beer. Worth to have a look and see what means Czech “hospoda” (place to drink beer).
Another touristic brewery but with good beer is U Fleku located little farther from the rest. You can see there typical Czech feast, try traditional food with great beer and… lose a lot of money. However, seeing the breweries cellars is a worthy experience.
Breweries which you should avoid
The biggest one in Prague – Staropramen – seam to be the worst one and I recommend skipping! If you decide to visit it be sure it is very touristic and commercial, there are much better smaller local breweries to go. I was always trying to steer clear of the pubs where Staropramen was mentioned as a draft beer. Of course, it is not so bad if you compare with any ordinary beer from other countries but for God’s sake, you are in Czech Republic! It’s the motherland of beer, so you can choose something much better than Staropramen!
Just few streets from the Charles Bridge you will find Brewery Most u Valsu which is often full of tourist organized groups and I would advise to avoid it as well. I mention it because it may be recommended in some guide books or websites. In my opinion beer is very low quality and once me and my friend got stomach poisoning after visit there.
Apart from the breweries there are many pubs serving amazing beer selection. Those places don’t brew their beer but serve high quality beer or are famous for offering hundreds of choices.
In center, you can go to Ferdinanda, amazing beer from Ferdinand brewery. As for a place just next to Vaclavske Namesti (main walking street) very cheap prices but be sure you won’t have a polite service there. As I already mentioned in another article service in Czech Republic is traditionally rude, especially if you are not in touristic restaurant. Ferdinanda has great traditional food as well in not touristic prices. Ferdinand is a brewery located in Benešov, but many Prague’s pubs serve this beer and it’s one of the best lagers I have tried.
Next to the bus station in Florance you can find Pivny Dum translated to house of beer. They have few great draft beers which are still changing and hundreds of bottled beers from various countries. Coming there you will get a menu which is literally a book of beers. I experienced headache when it came to choosing the one to order…
Next to Namesti Republiky you must visit T-Anker! It is a restaurant on the roof top, accessible by elevator under Fotva shopping mall. Apart from great beers you can just go there to enjoy the romantic view on the Prague’s old town. It is always hard to find free place on the terrace, and nearly impossible to find one for the sunset, so be aware to come earlier or make reservation.
Over 40 different fresh draft beers on 3 floors hospoda you will find in Zlý Časy. Traditional Czech Pub atmosphere will allow you to enjoy variety of beers to the fullest. Besides, you will never have enough because the beer choice is all the time changing… Real paradise of beer!
Another place where you can try variety of beer is Beer Museum the one on Dlouha street. It is not the real museum just a pub with 20 different draft beers. The great thing about this pub is that you can take a tasting set – beers in a small “shot” glasses. Perfect idea to have a glimpse of what they have before you choose the big one for yourself. Moreover, they have some amazing kinds there like for example Matuska! This brand is very rare but incredible a must-try for all! It is not popular to serve because of it’s high price, but surely worth it! One of the best beers ever made!
Out of the center for a non-touristic experience
Talking about Matuska beer you can get in also in brewery Kulovy Blesk close to Namesti Miru along with other high quality draft beers and traditional food. You will never feel bored with this place because they change menu of the beers frequently.
If you will happen to be in Hradcanska area, 10 min walk from the castle I can recommend small, local hospoda named Karkonoska Hospodka. Apart from the beer from Karkonose mountains you can always try there some good beer from Czech microbreweries. This place is small and cozy, not known for tourists. They usually serve 4 types of beer, 2 are their permanent offer and other two are constantly changing. All in all, they always serve beer from microbreweries so be sure to try something particular. However, I noticed that hospoda tent to be close for weekends and during the week I could never find an empty table there. The best thing to do is to call them before and make reservation so that you won’t make all the way for nothing. Yeah, Czechs are crazy about reservations. Better keep that in mind.
Another great place is in area Jeriho z Podebrad. It’s a beer shop/pub called Beer Geek. You can find there many international brands as well as Czech crafts from unknown breweries. I mention this place also because you can get there bottles since it’s a shop. If you like good beer to take away or bring some souvenirs home, most of the breweries I have just mentioned will not have bottles to sell.
Vinohradsky pivovar has the most perfect wheat beer I tried in Prague! Apparently not so far from the center and again with typical Czech ambiance.
If you stay in Prague for longer and want to discover breweries which are totally far from the center I have few options for you. Basta on Zizkov district or U Bulovky close to Palmovka are far but worth to travel. Last one I want to mention is Pivovar Hostival, almost in the end of Prague, but with perfect beer and food and feeling of village picnic.