Breznak

Pragmatism

in Food & Drink by

A series of misfortunate events resulted in my not being to get my weekly case before the weekend, and I ran out of beer. Can you believe that? It really happened, I ran out of beer! Well, not quite, there were still some bottles in my “cellar”, but they all seemed to be of the Imperial persuasion and I knew none of them would the sort of stuff I would want to drink after I had finished the job I had to do. Awful job, I tell you, transcribe audio recordings that were nothing but baskets full of bollocks. No, I take that back, they were maritime containers full of bollocks! I knew I would need to have a beer, a simple, down to earth, uncomplicated beer after finishing for the day.

If I lived in Prague that wouldn’t be a problem. It would all be a matter of going to the nearest pub and knocking down a couple. Problem is that I don’t live in Prague, I live in what the Czechs call a satelitní město. You know, one of those places where real estate developers buy a piece of farmland and then cram in there as many houses as the local authorities will allow, and then some, with hardly any consideration to the things that make places a community, a place to live and not just a place to eat and sleep after coming back from work. (the impact this demographic shift has had in beer consumption is something that has not been fully explored yet and, therefore, it is still very underrated)

The plan approved by the Alderman (or woman, o person? Fuck political correctness!) included a Kindergarten (fulfilled, but insufficient nonetheless) and some commercial area. The cunning bastards that designed the estate allocated for that commercial area a piece of land that they still didn’t own (and, I believe, they knew they wouldn’t be likely to own) and you can imagine how things would have turned out if the the Alderman hadn’t put her foot down and hadn’t forced the developers to build something that could be use as a shop. It remained empty for about two years, I think, until some Vietnamese took over it and opened a večerka that wouldn’t look out of place in any of Prague’s residential neighbourhoods.

We really love these people! And I’m speaking for my neighbours and every one I know that lives in this sateliťák. You can’t imagine how great it feels to know that if you happen to run out of, or suddenly need, toilet paper, flour, sugar, rohlíky, rice, eggs or potatoes on a Saturday afternoon you will not need to drive 10km to the nearest Lidl or hope that the neighbours are home and will lend you some. They have all that, and a lot more (with a small child, it’s a blessing to have somewhere to go to buy ice-cream, for example) and everything at basically the same prices you can find in Dejvice.

The thing is that beer-wise they are, well, like every other vietnamská večerka, which means that you will not find anything very exciting (or good, for that matter). But I’m a pragmatic pisshead, so during a short break at around noon on Saturday I went to the shop to buy something to drink after work, content that I would at least find some Pilsner Urquell.

In a way, it was better than that, they had 2l PET bottles of Březňák 10° (a pretty, pretty fine desítka) and on top of it, Krušovice Černý in 0.5l glass bottles. I went back home, more than content, carrying two bottles of each.

Let me tell you this, after six hours of having to listen very carefully, and more than once, to each and every word of the sort of rubbish that makes you want to punch someone in the face, that Březňák 10° tasted gorgeous, I didn’t even mind the slight oxidation, it was great to swig it from my korbel while playing with my daughter, it was great to swig it from my korbel, feet up on the desk, while listening to some good music. That is what I call “value”! (the bottles of Krušovice would be duly taken care of at dinner)

But wouldn’t it have nicer better to have some Únětické, Bernard, Poutník or Svijany? One of you might wonder. Most bloody certainly so! Even Březňák 10° in bottles would have tasted better! But you know what? As I’ve already said elsewhere, I don’t drink hypotheses, subjunctives or dreams, I drink beer and the beer you can drink is always best.

Na Zdraví!

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