In the small Czech town of Krasna Lipa there’s a pension above the region’s best brewery. You can drink and then sleep at Pivovar Falkenstejn.
Usually when you ask people what word comes to mind when they hear “Czech Republic,” that word is beer. The Czechs drink more of the stuff per capita than any other nation, and it’s not the weak yellow fizz the mass breweries around the world are so fond of making. So it seems appropriate that you can stay in a building occupied by a brewery near the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
I was on a trip with the company Northern Hikes in this gorgeous wooded area just an hour and a half north of Prague. It’s a region where much of the Chronicles of Narnia movie was filmed, with dramatic rock towers and Europe’s largest sandstone bridge. I recognized specific scenes from the film, even though I saw it a decade ago. The locations are definitely memorable.
Krasna Lipa is not a big town, but it’s designated as the gateway to the national park and has a large tourist office in town where you can get maps, brochures, souvenirs, and even beer! A stroll along the main square brings you to the hub of local activity: Falkenstejn Brewery. With tables outside and in, plus glass walls where you can see the brewing equipment, it’s in a prime location for letting the day slide lazily by. Here’s the view from a table:
It’s probably best to do your drinking in the daytime here anyway in the summer because soon after the sun goes down, the pub closes up shop (at 10:30 sharp) and won’t even sell take-out beer as they’re cleaning up. The sidewalks roll up early in Czech towns and nothing here is open after that except a 24-hour honor system bar on the edge of town: Luční Bar.
The beer comes in three main varieties and a seasonal or two. I worked my way through all of them and even though I’m spoiled for choice in the USA, I would gladly order any of them at home. The food keeps up as well, with hearty Czech meat specialties joined by a few Italian options and two salads. The pork dishes and goulash are reliably good and our waitress spoke good English—never a given in the villages.
Rooms here are Euro-utilitarian and modern, ranging in size from 11 square meters (118 square feet) to small apartments with kitchen that are closer to 400 square feet. All are shower-only, with tile floors, small towels, and limited toiletries. WiFi is functional most of the time, but only the two apartments have a table to work at. Room are not air-conditioned, which is trouble when the thermometer hits the 90s Fahrenheit and there’s no fan. They are heated for the more common winter weather.
The included breakfast buffet may cheer you up in the morning though, in a sunny second-floor room with a history of the town (filled with Germans until after WW2) on the wall. There’s a good selection of cheeses, meats, hot egg dishes, fruit, and yogurt, though the coffee is instant only.
Consider this more of a European bed and breakfast, or a pension, than a proper hotel as there are no services or amenities outside the brewery restaurant and breakfast. Rates are reasonable though, generally ranging from $70 to $125 double with breakfast and taxes. For now the official website is in Czech only, so you’ll have to translate, but you can also find it by doing a search at Booking.com.
Editor Tim Leffel was a guest of Pivovar Falkenstejn pension while on a multi-day tour of the region with Northern Hikes and Czech Tourism. As always, all opinions are his own, even after being plied with good beer.