I love being in old places such as castles, palaces, cathedrals, churches, and old towns in general that have a rich history and I also really love a good pub. So whenever I travel and have the opportunity to visit a first-class pub that also happens to be old I get to feeling like a kid on Christmas morning.
If you’re thinking that I’m going to write about some old pubs that I’ve been fortunate enough to have dropped in on you’d be right. I’m happy to say that I’ve drank some very good pints in the oldest brew pub in Australia and in the oldest pub in Ireland in addition to partaking in some good pints in many other old pubs, and some not so old, in these and other countries.
While in Australia during a great month long trip with my wife, Susan, my brother and his wife, we stayed in Sydney for several days and were lucky enough to stumble onto the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. In actuality I knew about this place long before beginning our trip but I didn’t mention it to Susan at that time. The bar is on the first floor of the building which is located on a corner lot and the hotel is located on the second and third floors. The hotel is the oldest continually licensed hotel in Australia and is home to Australia’s oldest brew pub. As a group we sat at a table near one of the two large windows in this charming pub but I couldn’t help myself from walking up to the bar and standing there while I drank a beer. I could have lingered in this pub for many hours but there were sights to be seen and other pubs to be visited.
The U Kostela is the first place that I ever drank a draft Budvar. The bar is not remarkable except that it has some age on it. The oldest part of building was built during the 13th century when a section of the building formed part of the fortifications of the town. It has been owned by a monastery, then in 1436 it became the town hall and over the centuries it has been destroyed more than once and during the 1800s it became an inn and then a restaurant.
Budvar is an excellent Czech lager but due to trademark disputes (the bottle label is quite similar to the Budweiser label) it cannot be sold in the US as Budvar. Here it is sold as Czechvar and I don’t think you can get it as draft. I drank a couple of bottles of Budvar a year earlier that a friend gave me and I really enjoyed the beer but upon drinking my first draft Budvar in the U Kostela it joined the ranks of my top ten beers.
I could go on writing about great pubs but if I do it will have to be in a future article as Susan is telling me this one is already too long.