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It’s one thing to exclaim, “this is the best beer in the world!” when you finish a particularly pleasing brew. But top beermakers take this claim seriously and always try to outdo each other for the “best” title.
Certain ingredients play a factor in earning these accolades: sources of water, types of soil, and varieties of grains can all make a difference in a batch’s overall quality. Some brewers always try new methods for better beer, while others simply stick with tried-and-true processes and practices that have been in place for decades, even centuries.
Czech beer is definitely in the latter category. When you’re sipping an excellent cold beer in Prague, be assured that the method to craft it hasn’t changed substantially for hundreds of years.
The best breweries here are conscious of how they make their product, which is why their beer has remained famous worldwide for centuries. After all, if the production process still works well and preserves the Czech beer legacy, why change a thing?
Continue reading to learn what’s special about Czech craft beers in Prague, along with the best stops for future Czech beer adventures, from beer tours to beer gardens!
- Why Czech Beer is Celebrated
- Best Places to Drink Beer in Prague
- 1. Lokal Dlouhááá
- 2. U Kunstatu
- 3. U Pivrnce
- 4. U Medvidku
- 5. Piovar U Fleku
- 6. Strahov Monastery Brewery
- 7. Beer and Baroque
- 8. Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden
- 9. Staropramen Brewery
- 10. Letná Beer Garden
- 11. Bad Flash Bar
- How can I book a Prague brewery tour?
- Is visiting breweries in Prague expensive?
- What is the history of beer brewing in Prague?
Why Czech Beer is Celebrated
As any beer geek knows, the roots of Czechia’s beer culture run deep. This country is the literal home of Budweiser. The Czech capital is no different, home to breweries, beer gardens, and pubs that have been operating for hundreds of years.
The official Czech beer brewing site suggests that beer should be the official drink of Prague and the Czech Republic; much like how Russia celebrates vodka, France loves wine, and the U.S. is obsessed with weak coffee.
The region’s natural resources and crops — hops, malt, brewer’s yeast, and water — combined with traditional brewing methods, ancestral recipes, and standardized equipment all create a consistently amazing brew – and have done so for centuries.
There are about 500 major breweries in the Czech Republic, including 35 in Prague. Prague also offers about 4,700 restaurants that serve beer. Drinking at pubs, checking out breweries, or spending time in a beer garden are great parts of any Prague itinerary.
While beer is king here, be aware that there are about 1,000 spots in Prague where alcohol possession and public drinking are prohibited, including Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Exemptions apply for community festivals and special events.
But enough about where you can’t drink beer, let’s see where you can enjoy the best beers Prague has to offer!
Best Places to Drink Beer in Prague
1. Lokal Dlouhááá
Address: Dlouhá 33, 110 00 Prague 1
Lokal prides itself on offering fast and convenient delicious beer and food, including taking a glass from a brewing tank to your table. There are seven Lokal pubs around Prague with the mission statement, “We care about good beer and honest cuisine,” and you’ll find both from them in spades.
Ambiente owns the Lokal brand. It started with one restaurant in 1995 and emphasizes local suppliers for all its products. For beer in Prague, Lokal always uses a stainless-steel tap plus regularly sanitizes pipes to ensure a clean, smooth pour.
Along with providing fine food in its craft beer bars, the company actively recruits employees who enjoy craft beer. It also offers a Maximum beer training course for the community that teaches the brewing process.
Ambiente holds the “Golden Pipe” competition annually to encourage excellence among its beermaking employees, including their pouring skills. The winner receives cash plus a golden beer tap to be used at their restaurant for the next year.
With seven Lokal locations in Prague, there are also Lokals in the cities of Brno and Plzen.
2. U Kunstatu
Address: Řetězová 3, Prague 1, 110 0
U Kunstatu includes a variety of pubs where guests can enjoy lunch or dinner and local beer. The beer menu changes regularly to make sure there are new seasonal brews on tap as well as making sure it’s consistently fresh. Guests can drink craft beer inside or outside in the large beer garden.
While some pubs focus on mass-produced beer brands, the owners of this craft beer bar chain provide opportunities for smaller local craft breweries to get their products in front of diners, much like Wetherspoons in the UK.
The Old Town location is in the cellar of a former Romanesque palace dating back to the 12th century. It has had a variety of uses, including a shelter during World War II. In 2007, it was bought by U Kunstatu and transformed into a craft beer bar and café.
I love this place for the quintessentially Czech decor. Consider buying a bottle at a time or ordering a beer tasting board or flight with pub food to sample during a tasting.
The location is near two popular attractions: Charles Bridge, part of many popular city walking tours, and the Astronomical Clock, which can be examined on its own or as part of the Underground Prague tour. Old Town has plenty of hotels nearby, including MOOD Charles Bridge and the Josephine.
3. U Pivrnce
Address: 3 Maiselova 60, Stare Mesto, 1100 00 Prague 1
Another popular Prague location that offers a wide selection of traditional Czech beers is U Pivrnce. There are several locations considered the best beer bars, but the Old Town Square location is easily included in walking tours or as a stop for those with a Prague Visitor Pass.
The classic pub in a historic cellar has been open for nearly 30 years and has a good following among locals and tourists. Along with the craft beers, it’s known for its classic Czech menu, which includes goulash, pork shoulder, apple-based dishes, and strudel.
Visitors have commented on the unique décor in the funky tap room, like fun, silly original paintings. It also offers an extensive selection of local house beer, from lighter varieties to dark beers.
Another interesting treat for your taste buds is beer ice cream, a unique way to blend a favorite dessert and a favorite beverage. The preferred base beer is a dark lager, which contrasts the sweeter ice cream nicely.
4. U Medvidku
Address: Na Perštýně 345 /7, 110 00 Staré Město
A perfect example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is U Medvidku, a restaurant/bar/brewery/hotel in Old Town Prague. It has a near-unrivalled reputation for quality classic Czech Republic cuisine and excellent beer, which it claims to have been making since the mid-1460s.
It’s now considered the region’s largest restaurant and beer hall and includes an outdoor beer garden and a venue for concerts and cabarets. The menu at the award-winning restaurant includes pork dishes, including knuckles and elbows.
Hotel visitors and beer lovers can have a good base of operations to visit the city center, along with being able to stop in for local craft beers anytime. It offers a spa where a beer lover can experience services like a hydrating soak in a tub of hops oil, brewer’s yeast, and beer extract.
There are plenty of ways to sample local beer in Prague crafted on-site, especially its own X-Beer 33, called the world’s strongest beer. How it reaches this amount, about 12% ABV, is proprietary information, but it is said to take place during the malting process.
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5. Piovar U Fleku
Address: Křemencova 11, 110 00 Nové Město
U Fleku, a brewery/restaurant/event venue, proudly claims that it’s the only place in the world that has continuously been making its beer since at least 1499, under Brtnk family ownership. (It did pause under Communist rule after World War II but resumed the beer-making process in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall).
The restaurant serves traditional Bohemian fare like sausage, cheese, beer, and wine. It’s some of the best authentic Czech food in town.
Unique features at this classic Czech pub include elegant stained-glass windows, a beer garden, and eight beer halls. It’s also considered a pilgrimage site for beer fans due to its beer-making history and legacy.
With about 1,200 seats, U Fleku has been the site of community gatherings, holidays, cabarets, and special events involving drinking beer for hundreds of years.
Brewery tours are available, and visitors can also access a museum and shop that includes steins and craft beer memorabilia.
6. Strahov Monastery Brewery
Address: Strahovské nádvoří 301, 118 00 Prague 1-Hradčany
The Strahov Monastic Brewery opened in 2000 as a craft brewery in the former monastery founded in 1142. The location is perfect for acknowledging the past while providing a nice beer selection for today’s craft beer connoisseurs.
Along with an active Prague beer production area, there’s a central courtyard and a restaurant known for tasty snacks and local delicacies such as pork knee joint and potato salad.
Brewery tours and beer tastings are available for those interested in the evolution of beermaking, along with details about Bohemian monastic life. Since it’s on the outskirts of Prague and at a higher elevation, there are great opportunities for views.
There are also tours available by bus or Segway that take visitors to the monastery and Prague Castle, another popular attraction. Or if you’re staying at the Castle, it’s also easy to hit these areas.
About 25 Czech craft beers are made at any time, including seasonal varieties. Three unfiltered and unpasteurized house beers are always being made: a dark lager, an IPA, and an amber lager. Popular seasonal beers include a chocolate stout and an American pale ale.
Each batch of Prague beer uses Czech malts, fresh yeast, and local hops when possible. Delicious traditional Czech fine beers can be purchased at the restaurant or the store.
See Related: Vienna vs Prague: What’s the Difference?
7. Beer and Baroque
Because beer has been such a big part of the culture of the Czech Republic for so long, many attractions and travel packages feature a beer component.
For instance, Beer and Baroque: A Private Highbrow Tour includes walking tours of the breweries and libraries of two monasteries. Visitors can visit the Brevnov Monastery of St. Adalbert and the Strahov monastery (see No. 6), which were historically known for their beer and books. Both locations continue to make beer and preserve knowledge.
The Brevnov monastery is also active religiously and includes an order of nuns, plus a hotel and a publishing division. Historical records show that the Brevnov monastery was the first to start brewing beer and still uses original recipes.
A local guide with a history background will share details of the monastic orders, the early beermaking process, and why these locations were so significant to the community. Tour guests can also visit normally-restricted areas.
Visitors can customize their tour to see the breweries, on-site churches, libraries, or all of the above. The brewery tours also come with two samples of Prague beer apiece.
The Strahov Library has about 200,000 volumes. The Brevnov Library is also well-stocked and known for impressive wall frescoes.
8. Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden
Address: Riegrovy Sady 28, 120 00 Vinohrady
There’s so much to love about this local landmark.
Let’s start with the beer, which includes several memorable pale lagers. Then there’s the food, which some say offers the meatiest sandwiches around. To seal the deal, visitors can enjoy all this and more at the impressive food and drink establishment in this scenic park.
The open-air beer garden sits atop one of the city’s hills, and even refers to itself as “The Green Heart of Prague.” It’s open all year since there’s covered seating and enclosed meeting areas, but fall is an especially recommended time to visit since it’s often when new beers are introduced to the pleasure of up to 1,500 enthusiastic guests.
Riegrovy Sady also includes a performance stage that puts on a variety of events, and not just live music either. You may even see a program about local history and culture.
It’s also one of the stops on this private Beer and Tapas tour, where participants can build their knowledge of Czech beer by tasting IPAs, stouts, lagers, and more. The guided tour is enhanced with a special menu of beer-flavored food, including a special version of goulash, where the community’s favorite beverage is cooked into this classic meat and dumpling dish.
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9. Staropramen Brewery
Address: Nádražní 43/84, 150 00 Prague 5-Smíchov
The largest brewery in Prague and the second-largest in the Czech Republic contains plenty of great beer history along with the chance to sample authentic pilsner beers.
Staropramen is in the Smichov district and was once the home of brewmaster Josef Paspa, credited with developing the pilsner malting method. It’s normally not open to visitors or public tours but occasionally allows private tours.
The self-guided tour lets guests learn all about beermaking and includes a stop to have one full beer or up to four smaller samples, all served in authentic Czech-made glasses, another factor that many say makes the region’s local beers taste better.
Tour participants can stop in the restaurant for Czech Republic food or visit the gift shop for beer memorabilia. The tour also includes many historical details and photo areas, including a historic loading dock.
10. Letná Beer Garden
Address: Letenské sady 341, 170 00 Prague 7-Letná
Letná Park is one of the more popular public parks in Prague. Part of the reason is that it includes a spacious beer garden with hundreds of benches and tables, with shade provided by massive chestnut trees. There’s also a restaurant and several beer stands on site, so visitors can spend all day eating, drinking, and enjoying the outdoor experience.
The on-site restaurant has been in place for more than 150 years. The park attracts people, including workers on their meal breaks, tourists, couples, and families.
It’s a wedding and event venue as well. Visitors also like to stroll through the manicured gardens, exercise on the trails, or take in amazing views of Old Town.
The gardens typically open in early spring and close in late fall, giving plenty of time to visit. Many of the area breweries have stands here, including well-known names Pilsner Urquell, Master, Kozel, Gambrinus, and Staropramen.
See Related: Things to Do in Prague with Kids
11. Bad Flash Bar
Address: 2, Krymská 126, 101 00 Prague 10
If you prefer to do your beer drinking in a newer brewpub instead of an old-fashioned beer garden, you’re in luck! Bad Flash is everything you expect in a pub, starting with a whole spectrum of beer on tap with prominence given to local favorite craft beers.
The Krymska Street location, which opened in 2015, has at least 12 draft beers plus more than 450 bottled varieties, both foreign and domestic. There’s a food menu, of course, but the emphasis is unquestionably on the beverages. There’s also a Bad Flash pub in the Karlin area.
Bad Flash came together when Ball Lightning, a favorite brewery, and Bad Times, a favorite pub, decided to pool their resources to the appreciation of locals and tourists alike.
Beer is made at a Bad Flash Brewery and taken to both locations. Along with several staples, including several types of IPAs, there are always seasonal selections to enjoy. You can also buy beer directly at the warehouse, but if you want the full social experience, the pub should be your destination.
The owners continue to make sure Bad Flash is as informal as possible, including never taking reservations. The busier, the better, right? Every so often, there are impromptu presentations by some of the world’s experts in beer who happen to drop by or private tastings.
How can I book a Prague brewery tour?
One of the easiest ways is to contact the venue directly since each has its own policies, scheduling processes, amenities, and prices. For instance, U Medvidku offers interactive brewery tours and brewing workshops upon request.
These cost about $21 USD per person and include a personalized bottle of lager, a pretzel, beer samples, a welcome drink of beer brandy, and a discount at the beer spa. U Fleku’s tour includes walks through the different areas, a history video, samples, and a souvenir. It costs about $14 USD per person.
Is visiting breweries in Prague expensive?
Prices may vary based on where you consume, what you consume, and how much you consume, but beer prices are generally low.
My experience when passing through Prague several years ago was that Prague beer was more affordable than water at some restaurants or craft beer pubs in some places. Another view backs this up: a half-liter bottle of beer can often cost less than the equivalent of $1 USD. Brewery trips also might include other costs if there’s a gift shop attached.
What is the history of beer brewing in Prague?
Historians believe the first brewery in the Kingdom of Bohemia began in the late 900s. Monks began brewing fermented grains in the region soon after, an activity which they continue to take pride in.
A significant milestone in Czech beer history took place in 1842 when beermaker Josef Groll came up with a better fermentation approach. Soon, other breweries began using what was called the Pilsner Urquell method.
Under Communist rule, commercial brewing in the Czech Republic was curbed, but the industry resumed in the 1990s with a push toward craft beers.
Today, “Czech beer” and “Pilsner” are protected terms under the European Union. It requires that all brewers making and selling authentic Czech beer must follow certain processes and use certain ingredients.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.