I am now one week into my annual month off the booze, although that doesn't stretch to month away from pubs - how would I watch Liverpool overwise? Mind you the beer in Zlata is so comically bad at times that I know I could take a lifetime vow of abstinence and go there everyday without fear of temptation (for those interested, they sell Gambrinus and Pilsner Urquell - some of my mates have switched to Urquell as a result of the Gambrinus).
I have been told several times that I should just drink non-alcoholic beer for the month, but that feels like cheating to me. So I sit in the pub with a coffee and a mineral water, while I tell friends what beers to drink - and feel sickly jealous inside, despite being beatifically serene on the outside. This was especially true on Monday as a friend was getting stuck into her second Hukvaldy 14° polotmávé. Even more so last night when in U Slovanské Lípy introducing a friend to the delights of Kout na Šumavě.
Things seem to be going well for the guys at U Slovanské Lípy, the place was doing a very brisk trade - I would say the place was about 75% full. Seeing as though it is only about a 15 minute walk home, I decided to brave the cold (it was about -15º Celsius I believe) and conduct a little experiment. I had a quick gander through the window of evey pub I went by. Every other pub on the way home through Žižkov, Prague's pub central, was practically deserted - barely a soul out "enjoying" Gambrinus, Staropramen, Braník or Stella.
Could there be a correlation here? Excellent beer at good prices makes a pub a place people want to visit regardless of the time of year. I still marvel at times that the magnficent 10º pale lager costs 20kč ($1, £0.70, €0.76) for a half litre of loveliness.