With snowstorms blowing up and down the eastern seaboard and icy winds whipping our faces, it’s a dreary time for those of us living in the north. In fact, as winter drags on, it can get pretty depressing. But if you’re seeking a cure for depression, not to worry: I found one a couple of years ago, and in an unlikely spot.
While visiting Prague in 2015, I decided to spend an afternoon exploring Petrín Hill, which towers over the city’s business district. It’s an interesting trip, starting with a ride up the hill in a funicular to some lovely gardens. A little farther on, you come to one of Prague’s few modern attractions, a smaller-scale model of the Eiffel Tower — you can even climb it if you like.
But the end of the trip is the Strahov Monastery, a working religious community with a great collection of vintage books and ancient oddities. But for many people, the real draw is the monastery’s brewery, where the monks brew St. Norbert’s beer, as they have for centuries. They even have a beer hall where you can sample it. And for those feeling blue, they have a suggested cure for depression: St. Norbert’s autumn dark ale. In truth, their beer didn’t send me out the gate singing — but the memory of their van still brings a smile to my face.