There’s a pub in Prague called The Pub. A less than imaginative name, but an interesting place nonetheless. In fact, it’s part of a chain of pubs scattered throughout the Czech Republic. The big draw? You get to play bartender and pour your own beers.
You sit at a table with four taps in a circle. You can rinse your empty glass and pour a fresh one as soon as you want. Hell, if it suits you, you never have to have an empty glass – just keep topping up your half-filled brew. The on-board computer will track the volume anyhow.
Not only that, but you’re encouraged to compete against the other tables in the same pub, as well as other tables across the country. The consumption of each table is tallied on a large screen on one wall of the bar. It’s something to be in the top 3 at the pub you’re in, but it’s really something to be in the top 5 nationally.
I’m still not sure where I stand on this place. On one hand, it’s a unique experience. On the other, it’s almost a slap in the face to everything Czech pub culture stands for. That said, I’m hoping that by illustrating some of the pros and cons of the place, any visitors to Prague can take it upon themselves to consider whether or not The Pub is a worthwhile option?
Pro: How cool is this, we get to play bartender and pour our own beer!
Con: Why are we tipping her, again? We’re doing all the work here.
Pro: You never have to wait for a beer! What service!
Con: You never have to wait for a beer. Which means that you miss out on that waiting period in between pints that keeps you from getting too loaded too fast. A crucial thing we often take for granted. You will get too pissed, too quick.
Pro: A thousand litre tank distributes your beer.
Con: Should you be in that unfortunate position where you need to change the tank, a 1000 L tank takes about twenty times longer than a standard keg to stop pouring only foam.
Pro: You get to compete against those around you for beer drinking supremacy.
Con: No Czechs … so … is it really that impressive when you win?
Pro: It feels really cool when you reach the 50 beer mark and the big-screen tally gives you a giant 50 token to commemorate the occasion.
Con: You’re still in fourth place.
Pro: The taps at the middle of the table let you order food and choose the music that will be played in the bar.
Con: That’s probably the last thing you’ll remember:
………..– Who ordered these curly fries? Anyone? Anyone remember? Was it Steve? Where’s Steve? What’s that? Passed out in the bathroom? Can someone go see if Steve wants these still?
………..– I don’t care how drunk you are, nobody wants to hear your interpretation of Intergalactic. Nobody.
Pro: You get to show everyone how legit you are at pouring a perfect pint.
Con: Your balls will be busted like they’ve never been busted before when you come up with a half-head glass. Friendships will be broken.
Pro: You can easily drink so much that you forget to keep track of your beers.
Con: Good luck remembering how much you drank by the time the bill comes. Come to think of it, that actually tends to happen in the Czech Republic regardless of where you go. So, scratch this one.
Pro: Hey, there are a lot of other North Americans here.
Con: Damn, there are a lot of North Americans here.
So there it is. Take all of these things into account before making your decision. The good news is, if The Pub isn’t for you, there is no shortage of proper Czech pubs within walking distance of … well … everywhere in the city. Na zdraví!