Sunday 24 September 2023

National Museum (part two)

Once I’ve pulled myself back together, we wend our way to the hotel. Where we cool ourselves down in the aircon. And I warm myself up again with some of my hotel slivovic.

“What do you want to do this evening?” Dolores asks. “Hopefully not just sit in the room drinking slivovic.”

Damn. Dolores has sussed out my plan. Thinking quickly, I say:

“We could go to the beer places down towards the river. It’s not too far.”


That was easy. Maybe too easy. Paranoid me can’t help thinking Dolores must have a secret plan. Just like me.

We set off before six, while there’s still daylight. It’s not too long of a walk to the Docker brewpub. As with many of these places, it’s located in an old industrial building. As the name implies, in the dock complex on the bank of the Danube.

The main road leading to the brewpub is, er, eclectic. Older, wedding cake blocks are interspersed with dour communist and overconfident modern interlopers. Topped off by the cherry of a massive derelict factory. The perfect location for the climatic chase in an episode of the Sweeney.

We take seats in the expansive beer garden. Which is the main reason I chose this destination. Then peruse the chalkboard beer menu.

That’s a nice touch. Behind the outside bar, hops are creeping up their wires. Forming vibrant green vertical stripes. It’s a proper beer garden Like they have in Germany. Not one of the beer car parks they have in the UK.

They have 19 of their own beers on draught. Not a bad range for a brewpub. Though it's very sour and IPA heavy. Here's how it breaks down.

5 Sour
3 Gose
3 Lager
1 Double IPA
1 American Pale Ale
1 Pale Ale
1 Hefeweizen

The only dark beer is a Stout from another brewery. I’ve seen worse lists on recent visits to the USA.

I get a Joker IPA, Dolores a Docker Lager. Both are perfectly acceptable. It’s an old-school West Coast IPA, thankfully. None of that sludge rubbish. Thankfully, the sludge beers are clearly marked as such.

It’s very calming as the sun slowly sets over Dolores’s shoulder. And the air begins to cool to more bearable levels.

So much so, Dolores asks: “What about some food?”

“That sounds like a good idea.” The heat earlier put me right off eating.

The menu is pretty much like an American brewpub. Burgers, chicken wings and the like. Nothing very local. You could also say that about the beer.

I don’t fancy anything too heavy. Nor does Dolores. We order onion rings and sweet potato chips. That should do. All healthy vegetables. I’ll just ignore the deep frying.

We get another round of drinks. I’m sticking to the IPA. While Dolores switches to Hefeweiaen.

As the sun sinks down and the lights come up, more customers pile in. Mostly of the young type. How I hate all these youngie people.

“I hate all these youngie people.”

I know what Alexei’s response would be: “It’s because you’re an old man. A boring, old man.”

Dolores is more tactful. And just makes that noise of hers. A bucketload of contempt with a few thimbles of pity (probably mostly for herself) and a good jug of loathing. That’s how it sounds. Can’t make that cocktail, myself.

To avoid further discomfort, I pop inside to have a look at the brewery. It’s in a long hall, filled with bench seating, with a bar at the opposite end. The kit is the usual shiny stuff. A decent size for a brewpub. Do they sell beer onto the trade? I’ve no idea.

It’s properly dark when we leave and climb back up the hill. One which, fortunately, has a gentle gradient. Not enough to make even me gasp for air.

We spot the Brotherhood Beer House on our way back, but don’t go in. It looks very crafty.

It’s lovely and cool in our room. Where we chill a little in the chill.

I finish the last of my slivovic while watching TV. A serene end to a hot day.

Docker Brewery & Beer Garden
Žorža Klemansoa 27b,
Beograd 11000.

Brotherhood Beer House
Žorža Klemansoa 18a,
Beograd 11000.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Have you read Patrick Leigh Fermor's books about his walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople in the early thirties? Much of his route was along the banks of the Rhine and Danube, with beery stops in Düsseldorf, Munich, Vienna and Prague (a side trip by overnight train). I'll have to dig out my copy and see what he says about inter-war Belgrade, there are probably still a few traces of it left if you know where to look.