The newly opened multi-tap beer pub, Černá Svině, is located near the border of Žižkov and Vinohrady. And considering the long list of options offered by two of Prague’s most celebrated neighborhoods for food and drink, Černá Svině has some pretty tough competition.
Yet in this saturated climate competing to fill your glass, Černá Svině brings something unique to your coaster.
Černá Svině translates to “black swine”. And perhaps this name suggests something about the spirit of the pub, which seems to pride itself on the unconventional.
To starts, there’s the space itself.
It evokes a sleek, industrial, almost whimsical aesthetic. There’s a hint of steam punk in the look of Černá Svině—though considerably less theatrical. Ornamentally rugged light fixtures, bronze pipes, and metallic diamond plates along with taxidermy wild boar heads are found throughout the pub.
But despite the playful and unconventional theme, Černá Svině’s seating arrangements are quite practical.
Černá Svině consists of two smaller rooms and a main room. Furnished with high tables and chairs, the main room is large, open and nicely lit. Černá Svině has the ample and varied space for a large get together as well as something more intimate.
The unconventional streak running through the bar can be found in the beer options as well.
The twelve taps at Černá Svině offer an ever-changing variety of pivo, always displayed up across the bar. Černá Svině highlights some of the lesser-known Czech breweries like Beskydský pivovárek based near Ostrava—as well a more established breweries like Matuška. The beer list to be found at Černá Svině is always very well-curated.
The night we visited, they were offering everything from traditional Czech style lagers to IPAs and APAs, Saison and Bavarian wheat ale styles and a New Zealand Amber ale.
A staple on the beer list shares the pub’s namesake: the Černá svině from Šnajdr (located in Kostelec nad Černými lesy). It’s a dark lager specially served in a chilled, ceramic glass bearing the pub’s logo. It has a deep, roasted caramel and coffee aroma. Medium bodied, the beer has caramel, toffee and dark chocolate notes all enveloped in a balanced smokiness. Yet it finishes quite dry. It’s a very well balanced and approachable example of the dark lager style.
Another constant on the beer list is the Albrecht 10° from Zámecký pivovar Frýdlant (located near Liberec). It’s a solid lager with a notable hoppy presence for a 10° that’s well-balanced with a slight malty sweetness. Moderate in carbonation, it’s not an assertive beer and has a pleasant, buttery quality that makes it suitable for a session or with food.
The New Zealand Amber IPA by Beskydský pivovárek was an intriguing offering. It had a strikingly rich, dark copper color. As expected it was strong on hops but it was balanced with smokiness and sweet, vanilla notes—making it a complex experience. Moderate in carbonation, the beer had a soft, velvety mouthfeel. Considering the dynamic range of flavors going on the beer was very drinkable and a pleasantly surprising departure from more traditional IPAs.
Another unique feature at Černá Svině is their extensive list of distilled spirits, particularly rum. They carry a wide variety of bottles by lesser-known distilleries from all over the Carribean.
The service at Černá Svině was swift and adept—there was a sense of pride amongst the staff. Although English seemed to be a hurdle at times, they were friendly, patient and very accommodating.
Černá Svině also serves food. Mostly (slightly) modernized Czech pub faire. Though on the pricey side, the portions are fairly big. We had one of the many pâtés on offer. Although it was very good, but we had to order more bread. The pâté to bread ratio was way off.
Another note on food is at the time of writing this review they don’t offer an English menu. This is a bit counter-intuitive since the bar is located in one of the most expat-heavy areas in Prague.
With these minor hiccups aside, Černá Svině is a unique addition to the Zizkov/Vinohrady lineup of pubs. Considering the distinct ambience, the unconventional and diverse drink offers along with the warm service, Černá Svině holds it’s own and then some.
|Matuška California Ale||12°||Matuška||Ale|
|Šnajdr Černá Svině||13°||Černokostelecký Pivovár||Lager|
|Permon pšeničné||11°||Permon||Wheat Beer|