I stumbled across this week’s bar of choice, the excellently websited Malý/Velký, completely by chance. I’d run out of change for the bus and, already familiar with Czechia’s punitive public transport authorities, was trying to make it from Náměstí Míru, in the east of the city, back to the centre on foot.
Unfortunately for me, my path was obstructed by squadrons of men in high-viz jackets tearing up the road with diggers. They seemed to be building a new tram line – but, thinking back on it now, they could have just been taking a practical joke well too far.
Stymied, I ducked down a side street and, using my very poor internal compass, headed in what I reckoned was the right direction. It’ll probably surprise no one that, when I checked my map later, I’d chosen the wrong turning at every crossroads.
Anyway, I was lost, grumpy, and not at all drunk. I wanted to be found, cheerful, and tipsy – this was not an ideal situation.
As I wandered down a nondescript Prague alleyway, I happened to glance up and notice this sign:
“Falcon Independent Brewery,” I read aloud. “Decent.”
I went through the door: a long corridor that made me think of hotels led through to a courtyard. It was partly covered, and in place of regular bar furniture it had low, bright-coloured armchairs in a style I consider typically Czech. The beer garden was empty except for two women.
“Are you open?” I asked in my bad Czech.
“Yes,” replied one of the women. There was an awkward pause. “The bar is downstairs,” she prompted.
I went downstairs; after the eclectic ambience of the beer garden, I was surprised by how minimalist everything was here. The woman I’d spoken to had followed me down. “What’ll you have?” she asked.
The selection of beer on draught was great: they had eight taps and had chosen a range of unusual brews – at the bartender’s recommendation, I went for an 11% ABV wheat beer.
I drank the beer in a comfortable armchair upstairs in the garden, covertly trying to eavesdrop on the women’s conversation – my poor grasp of Czech protected their privacy.
Overall, I was chuffed by the whole experience: although it was pretty dead (in fairness, this was a Tuesday afternoon), the atmosphere was decent, and it was the best beer I’ve had in Prague so far.
I will award Malý/Velký six pint glasses and a crisp coaster. A very respectable score – I’ll be back.