Zephyr Bar - First ever Gambrinus 11° Excelent bar!

Zephyr Excelent Urban Pub is the first ever Gambrinus 11° Excelent bar to open

Zephyr Excelent Urban Pub, near the Old Town square in Prague, is the first ever Gambrinus 11° Excelent bar to open. The 11° lager it serves is made with a greater proportion of caramel malt than other beers and uses the unique method of triple-hopping, whereby a third dose of hops are added near the end of the cooking process. This provides a more bitter flavour and greater aroma, along with a higher alcohol percentage than Gambrinus 10°, at 4.7% ABV. Gambrinus 11° Excelent will celebrate its fifth birthday in November and in another five years time it is hoped there will be more Excelent bars around for its tenth anniversary.

“This is the first bar in the Czech Republic with tanked Gambrinus 11° Excelent,” says owner Jan Kadoun. “In three to five years time we hope to have between 20 and 30 bars across the whole of the country. The focus is on the restaurant during the day and the club in the evening and we hope to bring in a gallery for young urban artists to show their work, like tattoo or graffiti artists.”

Opening on the 16th of May this year and taking over from The Laughing Hare, the place underwent a complete overhaul based on an entirely new concept. Targeted at young people between 20 and 30, Gambrinus 11° Excelent is at its heart as a growing trend of drinking 11° beer continues in the Czech Republic.

“It’s cool to drink 11° beer now because dad drinks 12° so it’s not copying your father and younger people haven’t got kids or other ties to their cash flow. SAB Miller (which owns Gambrinus) is focusing on making the 11° lager the flagship beer. They are looking for a new market in the Czech scene which should be the young people between 20-30 years of age. We want to bring back the youth to the Czech culture of beer.”

One way they intend to attract a younger market is through the artwork in Zephyr, with every table design different and all created by a group of young artists called Lazy Bastards. They also hold events in the nightclub downstairs, which was built around the 15th century (but probably not intended for all night raves back then). Its original stone walls are still intact with a private room mainly for stag parties, featuring a spinning round table, a highlight.

“Everything is urban themed,” Jan continues. “All the events are designed to be an urban style and every Saturday we have a different programme. By the end of the month we are hoping to have events on every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The club is free unless a well known DJ or band are playing, and opens at 10pm every Saturday at the moment.”

They have had some well known musicians too as they were used for some of the United Islands after parties earlier in the year. Despite having four tanks of Gambrinus 11° Excelent on site, each holding 500 litres and approximately 1,000 pints that gets refilled once or twice a week, beer isn’t the only focus. They have a large kitchen with six chefs, a baker and a dedication to making top quality food as well as beer.

“It is multifunctional. During the day it is just a restaurant and from Wednesday to Friday we do after work parties between 6 to 10pm. There is always a different drink and food of the day available at a reduced price and have a wide range of cocktails as well as beer. We also have a lunch menu which is cheaper and aimed more for people who work in the area with five main courses and a free piece of cake.”

If that’s not enough they also do a brunch buffet for 290 CZK per person and in the summer had someone grilling meat outside with customers going back until they could eat no more.

All the meat used comes from the South of Bohemia with the bread rolls for their burgers prepared and baked in the kitchen. There is an à la carte menu and a specials board too that is more of a seasonal thing (the top one was Young Bull). With such a large kitchen it’s no surprise to find they too will be entering Burgerfest.

“Because this is an urban pub we are focused on food that belongs to urban culture and burgers are our speciality. We decided to take part in Burgerfest to prove our burgers are the best. We will be entering our Night Rider burger and maybe some others but you will have to come and try one to find out!”

“Everything is made here and all six chefs add something different to the burgers. All the food is sourced from local Czech places so it is essentially making American burgers using Czech ingredients,” laughs Jan.

Check out their website: http://www.excelenturbanpub.cz/

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