A must-visit address for craft beer lovers in Prague is the HANGÁR. More precisely, the “HANGÁR Pub and Beer Shop” in Prague’s Letná district.
HANGÁR is the house pub of the brewery of the same name, a so-called “flying” brewery, or to use the more familiar American expression, a gypsy brewery. In other words, a brewery that doesn’t have its own brewhouse and “cooks” – as the Czechs say – its beer in other breweries.
There are at least two beers from the house brewery on tap. But it can also happen that more than two house beers flow from the five taps. In any case, it’s always craft beer from small but respected Czech craft breweries that flows here.
The flagship of the brewery is the Knipl, a word that will sound familiar to Germans. Logically, it is the Czech version of the word stick, in this case it means the control yoke of an airplane. All the names of the brewery’s beers have something to do with aviation.
Their own brewery was supposed to be located near a smaller Prague airport – hence the name HANGÁR. But COVID ultimately put a spanner in the works. For the time being, therefore, only the names of the beers are dedicated to aviation.
Knipl is an IPL, i.e. an India Pale Lager, a lager brewed with lots of exotic hops.
Another beer is the Pilot, a classic IPA. Very popular is the relatively light lager “Tleskač” with 3.7 % alcohol and 9° Plato. Regulars love it because it combines strong taste with relatively little alcohol.
At HANGÁR, with the exception of Vienna sausages, there is nothing hot to eat. Instead, there are classic Czech pub specialities, such as white Pressack (German style head cheese) or “Utopenec” (literally “the drowned one”), which is a marinated smoked pork and beef sausage.
For vegetarians there is the “Hermoš”, a camembert pickled in oil. Another speciality are pâtés from the Melememaso company, whose creations win prizes at foreign food competitions.
The majority of visitors are regulars from the area, Czechs and expats. But lovers of HANGÁR beers and fans of craft beer also come from near and far.
There’s no TV-set, not even when World Cup or Champions League matches take place. People come here for the beer and the people. Or for the “HANGÁR Games”: you can play steel darts, carrom, cards or dice. Sometimes guests bring their own board games.
At the HANGÁR you can taste delicious Czech craft beers in a cosy atmosphere. But here, too, the exception proves the rule – at Oktoberfest time, there’s Munich Wies’n beer on tap. And that’s not the only thing that connects the place with Germany.
The attentive visitor may notice a few little things at second glance. There’s a Free State of Bavaria enamel sign, beer mugs from Augustiner, Schneider Weisse wheat beer in the fridge, or toilet doors with motifs from picture postcards from Bavaria from the first half of the 20th century.
This is no coincidence, of course, because the shop’s operators, David and Christian, have close ties to Munich. David is Czech and spent formative years of his life in the Bavarian capital. And Christian was born and raised there.
They met at the Luitpold Gymnasium secondary school in Munich. David returned to his home country in 1992, Christian married a Czech woman thirteen years ago and has lived in Prague ever since.
Actually, neither of them wanted to be a pub owner, they both have regular jobs. But it came as it had to: one of their popular pubs around the corner closed down and they had the crazy idea of taking it over. That was four years ago now.
If you like craft beer and nice company, you can’t miss the HANGÁR in Prague!