Chris Lohring from Notch Brewing warned me: “It opens at 3pm, and there’s no place to sit by 3:10pm.” Sure enough, as I stroll up to U Zlatého Tygra (the self-described “traditional Pilsner beer hall with a unique atmosphere in the heart of old Prague”) just before its doors crack, there’s a line already forming.
The crowd’s a mix of locals, stag parties, and tourists. We pass the “bar” as we file in, a staff of two gentlemen watching with slight annoyance. One is wearing a white collared shirt advertising Pilsner Urquell, which just so happens to be the only beer available here. The other sports a black tee with a massive tiger on the back (an intimidating growl) and front (a profile view, licking its chops). The bartender begins pouring, while the staff delivers to quickly filling tables. No menus are needed, because, again, just one beer.
I find a cozy spot near the tap, out of the way of the larger groups. Tiger Shirt walks over to me holding a mug. He kindly raises his eyebrows and motions with his head to the coasters. I place one in front of me, he puts the beer down, I smile in gratitude.
For the next hour, I sit and watch the two men calmly stroll back and forth from the bar to the tables. I never see anyone order a beer. It’s just smiles and nods all the way down.