Another beer festival washed up on the shores of Bohemia this weekend. This time it was an updated and upgraded version of the ‘Czech Beer Festival’ that had previously lived next to me in Holesovice for a week in May of ’08. Last year’s event being decidedly underwhelming, I set forth without my usual enthusiasm for this sort of thing and even managed to wait until the second day to make my appearance.
And I had a damn good time, even if the festival was held at the edge of the civilized world (or Letnany, as I like to call it). Part of that can be explained by the spectacular weather and excellent company. But the organizers appeared to have come to their senses and actually improved a few things:
1) The stupid entrance fee of 120 crowns (appx 6 dollars) was removed. I am not a cash machine – I should be spending every spare dime at a beer festival on, well, beer…
2) Primator Pale ale was on tap. That in itself made the trip worthwhile
3) Staropramen, who are a disgrace to all humanity, took a hint and hid at home this weekend. I still laugh as I remember their giant, empty tent at last year’s event. I would be sad about the fact these people have just purchased Bud Light, but part of being an American patriot is recognizing when our national beer tastes like the hump of a week-old camel carcass.
Last year’s fest was limply attended and disappointing simply because Prague should have a spectacular beer event. I think many people reading this post will be shocked to find that nothing rivalling 1/15th of Munich’s Oktoberfest has ever been attempted in the Golden City. The Czech Beer Festival, although it has a boring name and was held in the vicinity of northern Beijing, succeeded in having good music, good beer, and genuine buzz or atmosphere or something that occurs after six beers that makes everyone happy. And that’s enough for me.