Friday, September 4, 2009

The Session: Summer Beers

Once again this blog is happy to join this month's edition of The Session. This time The Session is hosted by BetterBeerBlog, and the topic is "Summer beers". In my opinion this is a great topic, and I would like to quote from the announcement: "With the summer coming to a close, what was your favorite beer of the summer? It doesn’t even have to be from this summer. Is it a lager or maybe a light bodied wheat ale? Maybe you’re drinking anti-seasonally and are having a barleywine or Russian Imperial Stout. Why is this beer your favorite? Is there a particular memory associated with this beer? How about a city? Maybe there was a particular dish that made this beer memorable? Spare no detail."

Well, this summer has really been a beer summer for me. I tried some new beers, and many of them were drunk under hot temperatures in France. France is in my opinion not the typical beer country, and I had many great afternoons and evenings trying the local wines. I was not impressed by the French beers, as they were generally sweet eurolagers and are not among my favourite beers.

Lots of lagers in a French supermarket.

Instead I would like to go back in time to the last few years and my summer visits to the Czech Republic. As the readers of this blog already know, I am very fond of the Czech Republic and the beers brewed there. I have spent several weeks the last few years visiting Prague and enjoying the local beers. In lagerland lager is of course king, and in summertime I usually prefer lagers to other beers. A nice, cold lager is perfect in hot Summer temperatures, and the Czech ones are of very high quality.

Pilsner Urquell, here as served at U Sadu in Prague.

I have brought home some of my Czech likings. Pilsner Urquell is one of my favourite lager beers, and as it is widely available here in Norway it has been a regular summer beer for me also this year. Of course, Pilsner Urquell is best from tap in the tankova restaurants and hospodas in the Czech Republic, but it tastes very good from can here in Norway when you compare it to the local efforts of Norwegian macro breweries like Ringnes, Grans or Hansa.

Erdinger weissbier

The last few years wheat beers have also been a favourite for me. Here in Norway it is easy to get hold of several German weissbeers at Vinmonopolet. While I more or less only drank lager beer before, wheat beers are now a common sight in our fridge.

Primator Weizen served at Prvni Pivni Tramway in Prague.

Here in Norway Erdinger and Paulaner weizen is easy to find, and in my opinion Paulaner is a real gem and the best of the two. I tasted Primator weizen in Prague and I liked it a lot, and it might even be better than the Paulaner effort.

A Norwegian weizen from Aass brewery. It is
unfortunately inferior to the German weissbiers.

In France I also drank some Hoegaarden witbiers. That was a great wheat beer with lots of citrus notes in it. It was one of my summer favourites this year, and it was a great thirst quencher in 30+ Centigrades heat. When I came home to Bergen, I ordered it at the local Henrik bar. The waitress asked me why I liked it, as it was not one of her favourites. I told her that it was great in summertime. She said that a lot of the bar's costumers told her the same, but she would not agree.

Hoegaarden at Henrik in Bergen.

In the meantime Autumn is here, and soon there will be a new Summer!

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