Monday, 1 May 2017

Prague Moments #6 - Břevnov Monastery May Day Beer Festival

The May Day bank holiday in Prague marks the date for the first Beer Festival in the city - První Pivní Máj (literally First Beer May). It is currently held at the Břevnov Monastery in Prague 6 and last year I arranged to meet there with my Polish friends, Slawomir and Renata.

It was a lovely spring day and rather than take the tram, I decided to walk from my flat on Smetanovo nábřeží, across the Charles Bridge, up to the castle and onto Pohořelec, before heading down Bělohorská and finally arriving at the monastery grounds for the opening at around 10:30. It was a two and three-quarter mile walk but not uneventful. On the steep climb up Nerudova towards the castle, there was quite a commotion caused by a young and very pretty lady quite happily striding along the street without a care in the world and without a stitch of clothing (sorry, no photos, you'll have to take my word for it!). Most of the noise seemed to be from the tut-tuts of the older, disapproving shopkeepers and the wives and girlfriends of the male tourists busy taking photos and getting in the way of the 'official' photographer.

I also found this rather eerie place near Diskařská which I decided must be where old trams go to die.

By the time Slavo and Renata arrived about half an hour later, the party was in full swing. I've been to a lot of beer festivals over the years, and some in strange places like a covered over swimming pool and an old converted railway roundhouse, but a monastery was a first, and it was also the first truly outdoor festival I'd been to.
Beer Festival in the shadow of Brevnov Monastery
The festival is fairly small in terms of the number of breweries, usually about 20 microbreweries, but with each of them having three or four different beers, there's no shortage of different tipples catering for most tastes. Along with the beers, there are a few Moriavian wines, ciders and a selection of typcial Czech sauages and other nibbly bits to choose from.

Having spent a good few hours sampling the delights and trying very hard not to get roped into the drinking contests (one of which involved drinking a litre of beer through a very long straw) we made our way back into town before winding down with a few cocktails at the bar underneath my flat.

Beer festivals are a Czech family affair!
The first of many beer festivals had been a great day out. Perfect weather, wonderful Czech hospitality, and truly wonderful friends. You'll hear more about them I'm sure!

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