I arrived on an overnight train from Germany and took a room at a local hotel around the corner from a couple of notable watering holes. I dropped my things, had a cup of coffee and set out for he Brno town square. A short walk through town opened up into Freedom Square, modestly decorated for the Holidays. The differences between German and Czech Christmas markets is striking. The Czechs are not a sort of people to act cheerful in public.
Brno is the third-largest city in the Czech Republic and the largest in Moravia, home to some 400,000 residents and five breweries, three of which are reachable in the city: 1) Pivovar Magistr, 2 km north of old town at Hrncirska 23, 2) Pivovarská Pivnice, west of old town 1.5 km, and 3) Hotel Pegas, located at Jakubska 4 two streets north of Freedom Square (Náměstí Svobody) in the heart of Brno.
The other two breweries in the city-region are Lísensky Pivovar is 7 km east of Old Town in Brno-Líšeň, and U Richarda is located 20 km to the west in Brno-Žebětín. Obviously if you wish to visit both Lísensky and Richarda on the same day, a vehicle rental is in order. I keep a list of my experiences with rentals in my Rental Cars and Beer Travel guide.
Beer in Brno
At Pivni Bar U Rytire I sat in a brick-walled basement dungeon room with a small bar serving Svijany Kvasnicove 12.5° and Krakonoš Světlý Ležák 12°. The Svijany was in fine shape. U Richarda was serving a Tmavý 12° and a Kvasnicove Svĕtlé 12°
After grabbing sausage and bread on a plate for a snack, I stepped into Pivnice U Poutníka late in the night for a last drink of Kvasnicový Světlý 12° and ended up staying well past 4 in the morning drinking at the bar, alone with the owner, listening to music, both of us carrying our drunkeness through poorly-interpreted simple English. Sex, Drogy a Rokenrol.
The bathrooms at Vegas Klub have rests for your weary head while peeing, a very handy wall accessory that is rarely seen.
I stand around this mead booth for a good 10 minutes, waiting long enough to get a couple of clear photographs of the booth with no people in the way. I do this in Germany and nobody blinks an eye. In Budapest it’s easy to do but feels invasive given the small quarters of market peddlers there. In Brno I received piercing glances and scowls and breathy sighs when I asked to buy a sample of mead after standing around waiting for a shot.
I ate some cured pork in a shape resembling a pig’s tail. Pig heads are also available here. If you want the face separately you have to go to Budapest.
At Zelný trh there were food vendors, makers of garments, bath salts, wood work and art. I took in the market, music and food of the open market square before setting out for a beer walk through town that night.