Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where Everybody Knows My Name

There are two seemingly equal and opposite things that I simply do not believe in; fate and coincidence. Things happen, and it is up to us to make the best of whatever comes our way, to believe in either is to resign the ability to take credit or blame for anything. Pivovarský klub is the pub in Prague where some of the best events in my life so far have taken place, and as such will always hold a special place in my world.

My first ever visit to PK was in October of 2005, when at the time I was living in a town about 50km from Prague, called Mladá Boleslav – home of Škoda Auto. I was in Prague because a friend had invited me to join him and and his colleagues at a company booze up. Being a Friday, I had been paid, finally had enough cash to replace my glasses broken while celebrating Liverpool’s unlikely Champions League victory, and had a fresh haircut – all in all, I was feeling pretty damned good, especially as I could see properly again, and we went to the wrong pub.

At this time I only knew about Pivovarský dům, so we naturally went there, to find no reservation and no recognizable faces. A phone call and taxi ride later and we were in Pivovarský klub, drinking Štěpán, their very good 12° lager and chatting with the rest of my friend’s colleagues, mostly American language teachers, banging on about what schools they went to and that they graduated “cum laude”, the American system of grading honours being rather sexier than saying I got a 2:1 and missed a first by a fraction – but studying was never something I bothered to do much of.

At some point, the Korean American bloke sat next to me tottered off to the loo. While he was away, a latecomer came down the stairs, and not wanting to listen to this guy driveling on about how German girls really “digged him”, I insisted that she sit next to me and we hit it off immediately. Thus it was that I met Mrs Velkyal, and many Friday nights for the first 6 months of our relationship started out at Pivovarský klub. The fact that it was the place we met was the deciding factor when we organized having our wedding reception there last year, and they did a magnificent job with the food and of course the beers were fabulous.

PK has a great selection of beers, though I fear that I have drunk pretty much every available Czech lager they offer. Again the staff are a key element of what makes PK a pub I love to visit, they let me know what is new, whether they think something is worth trying and of course they all know my name – and importantly, they spell it correctly when I make a reservation. When Mrs Velkyal turns up, they know what she drinks and have it ready by the time her coat is off. I also love the décor, if you can call it that, wood and bare brick, with a brass tap arrangement, simple yet elegant.

Pivovarský klub is my Cheers.

The last couple of pictures on this post were taken at our wedding reception by our photographer on the day, Mark Stewart. I recommend you take a look at his Flickr site and if you need excellent, unobstrusive, photography then contact this guy and work something out.


  1. I really like the idea of the pumps being numbered. From a fun and discovery point of view, you can try each one, then refer to the number when (re)ordering. A proper blind tasting!

  2. The names of the beers on tap are posted on the wall behgind the pumps, but it is quite good fun to go through all six, although their own lager, and Primator's weizen are practically permanent fixtures at numbers 5 and 6.

  3. Always a favourite of mine, and practically my local, until recently, when I 1) had some cashflow issues, and 2) discovered the delights of Zly casy, and various establishments in Zizkov. Funnily enough, I've lived 5 minutes' walk away since October 2005, but only discovered PK in the spring of 2006...

  4. I. Love. Pivovarsky Klub.

    One of the best things you've ever done for me is introducing me to it. I will be eternally grateful.


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