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To me a theme bar is when a pub’s theme is another counties food and beverage culture. This can of course be done in many different ways. It can be very authentic or just an authentic food and beverage menu or just the interior that reminds you about the country. I prefer it to be as authentic as possible. It requires that the pub manager have a great knowledge about the country’s culture and that the staff is educated on that culture. He or she has to put some effort in to make the place feel 

Soldier Svejk illustrated by Josef Lada

 

authentic. In Stockholm there is a bar and restaurant called Krogen Soldat Svejk, Good Soldier Svejk Restaurant. This is one of the three pub I often visited when I lived in Stockholm (Akkurat and OT are the other two). Svejk serve Tjeck food and beer in a very professional and authentic way. I have never been to the Tjeck Republic but I assume that this is the way it looks, feels and taste. It helps with the authenticity that the owner is from Tjeck Republic. So who is this soldier? The Good Soldier Svejk is the main character in the satiric unfinished novel by Jaroslav Hasêk. Hasêk died in tuberculosis in 1923 before he was able to finish the book. The full title of the novel is The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War, and it’s the first, not the second World War. Jaroslave participated in the conflict and wrote about it in the novel. In the novel the author writes satirically about the multi ethnic Austria-Hungary, the meaningless first World War, the Austro-Hungarian Army, the Habsburg king and the hypocrisy and corruption in the Catholic Church. You will get some good laughts when you read the book. 

A perfectly poured Tjeck pils

 

The restaurant Soldier Svejk in Stockholm is a fantastic place to go to, both for food and for beer. The interior is rustic with chairs and tables made out of un-finnished wood with little decoration. It’s only a few years ago since they stopped using an old cash-register and went digital. This creates an atmosphere that reminds me of when I was in former DDR, plain, simple and functional. The food is rustic as well, a lot of potatoes, pork, cabbage, carrots cooked in pork broth. This is not food for a vegetarian. This is food for hard working men doing physical labor 6 days a week. They have beers from Svijansky, Pivovar Bohemia Regent, Bretznak and Rohozec Skalak. Most often I have Raggmunkar to eat when I go there. It’s like potato pancakes with lingon berries and bacon, and it’s not the American kind of bacon. It’s thick peaces of bacon with plenty of the fat still left with the meat. This kind of food 

Tjeck beer taps made of ceramic

 

goes great with a Tjeck pilsner, served the correct way. A Tjeck pilsner takes time to pour, no less than 5 minutes. When done correctly it leaves a thick head, almost like whipped cream. There is only little carbonation left after pouring the beer and it hits the tongue with a frenzy of flavors, hops, sweetness and sometimes a slight hint of butterscotch, which is not unusual in Tjeck beer. All of it in perfect balance. The food, the beer and the atmosphere at Svejk always make it peak beer moment.

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