As I pondered on the places to take Mark, I decided that I would write a pub guide to Prague, although the original working title was Prague Pubs - A User's Guide. Given that Mark is a talented photographer, I asked if he would be interested in making it a collaborative work, which thankfully he agreed to. The upshot of all this was that for the last couple of months in Prague, we spent many hours in various pubs, drinking, taking photos and taking notes.
In the process of actually creating the final document there were technical issues, mainly to do with creating a PDF file from OpenOffice, changes in the names of one of the pubs in the guide and various other little things that needed addressing. Finally everything worked out last week when I created the Pocket Pub Guide - Prague, an e-book which is available from Lulu.com.
A quick overview then of the book, information and pictures of 40 pubs in Prague and 10 guided pub tours of the city. Simple really. However, nothing is ever really all that simple. How do you choose the 40 pubs to go into the guide? The name of the book itself helps, the guide is about pubs rather than beer - I am a firm believer that a good beer selection does not necessarily make a good pub, and vice versa, some of my favourite pubs in Prague have shocking beer. Hence there are some well known and historic pubs which are not in the book, simply because I don't like them as pubs - perhaps the service was awful, perhaps the atmosphere was crap. Whatever the reason, I didn't like them so they didn't make the cut.
I am sure some will look at the pubs that are in the guide and wonder why I am advertising places that sell Staropramen or Kozel? Firstly let me assure you that the only money that passed hands during the creation of the guide was from my pocket to the pubs in the guide, I haven't taken a penny from anyone to make this. The answer then is simple, sure Staropramen is not a beer I would choose to drink on a regular basis, but Potrefena Husa pubs are nice places to drink, and they often have Leffe Bruin on tap, which while not great is a decent beer.
If I remember rightly Evan commented in his seminal Good Beer Guide to Prague and the Czech Republic that "capricious whimsy" played a major part in the pub section. So it is with the Pocket Pub Guide - Prague.
So, if you are planning a trip to Prague, the e-book is just $4.99 from Lulu.com - either click here, or on the blue icon in the sidebar under Pocket Pub Guide - Prague. If you are looking for gifts for your beer drinking buddies, then have a look at the 2011 Fuggled Calendar, again featuring the photography of Mark Stewart.
That's the guides and calendars part of the title dealt with, now for the giveaway. I am in the process of creating a range of Fuggled merchandise, beyond the calendars and guide, which I plan to launch in the new year. However, I have decided to give away a Fuggled t-shirt like the one shown below.
To win this shameless advertising for my blog, and in the process stroke my ego, simply email the answer to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line as "competition answer":
- which was the first pub in Prague to serve Pilsner Urquell?
The winner will be chosen from a hat by the ever glamorous Mrs Velkyal on December 5th.