Thursday, October 30, 2008


Liverpool played Portsmouth last night, so I was in Zlata Hvezda to watch the match - although by half-time I had the beginnings of a headache so I went home. I have been watching Liverpool matches, and the 6 Nations, at Zlata practically since I first came to Prague in 1999. In that time I have no doubt drunk vast quantities of beer in the place, starting with Velkopopovický Kozel back in the good old days when they made a good lager, to the modern era where the ubiquitous Gambrinus is the beer of choice along the regulars, visitors who just ask for a beer get a 0.4l of Pilsner Urquell for almost twice the price.

Zlata is something of an institution for my circle of friends, most of us met there, and we see each other most when there a game is on - which given the owner's canny acceptance that Liverpool fans will be at every game he can find, duly finds almost every game. Zlata is also my favourite pub when I am on a beer fast, because I really have to sink low these days to be tempted by Gambrinus, let alone the Gambrinus at Zlata - universially regarded as somewhere between passable and rank. Thank god for Mattoni in bottles.

I have been finding it odd lately though the fact that more people aren't refusing to drink the beer. Some of the lads I drink with enjoy excellent beers when they go home to the UK, often texting me to tell me what pints they are drinking and in what historic pub over looking some natural wonder, so why drink Gambrinus in Zlata (well, why drink Gambrinus at all really)?

I guess some people just don't care what they drink, as long as it gets them drunk as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. Recently when I was reading Pete Brown's Three Sheets to the Wind, I started to wonder if there really is something uniquely British about getting wankered on crap.


  1. Nothing English about it at all. The Irish have been doing it worse and for longer.

  2. Who said anything about the English? ;)

  3. Pardon me, British.

    Y'know the in-line comments thing makes gaffes like that so much less likely.

  4. No, definitely worse. Unless you take pleasure in my carelessness, you sick man.

    While I'm at it, captchas: pointless and annoying

  5. No, no, no, it's not uniquely British. Many nations around the world love getting wankered on crap. It is easy to prove. As we discussed once, if you look at the best selling beers of every country I can think of, they are all crap, in relation to the average quality of the said country, many are even crap on a global scale.

  6. The question here should be why this expats place sells Gambrinus (maybe you should be grateful they don't sell something even worse).
    I don't know where they buy their beer, if it is from a wholesaler or directly from the brewery (which I somehow doubt), and I don't know how much they pay for it, but for the sake of the argument, let's assume they buy it at a wholesaler:
    here you have the price list of one of them. You will see that a 50l keg of Gambáč costs 1230CZK, if you scroll down you will see that, say, a 50l keg of Rohozec 11°, believe me, a MUCH better lager, costs 920CZK. So you have a beer that not only is cheaper, but better, meaning that you could probably sell it at a slightly higher price, which will result in higher profits.
    Now, why this kind of places still sell Gambrinus? Answer is simple, the onwers don't know f all about beer, and they care even less in many cases.

  7. I like to think we Americans do our part, at home and abroad, when it comes to making crap beer and getting blotto. That's our cultural stereotype and we embrace it proudly.

    And by the way, the boys in red are top of the table!

  8. Should have buried Spurs on Saturday, but never mind - as long as we are in May then I'll be happy - and somewhat merry as well.


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