Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Session: Eastern beers

It is time again for another edition of The Session. This time it is hosted by Girl Likes Beer, and our topic is "Eastern beers". As I am in Prague right now, this is an excellent topic for me. Let's quote from the announcement: "I would like you to pick your favorite beer made east form your hometown but east enough that it is already in a different country. It can be from the closest country or from the furthest. Explain why do you like this beer. What is the coolest stereotype associated with the country the beer comes from (of course according to you)? And one more thing. If you do a video or picture of the beer (not obligatory of course) try to include the flag of the country."

The Czech Republic has been somewhat of a beer mecca for me the last few years. I have tried and appriciated several Czech beers, and time and time again I travel back to the country to try some more. The Czech Republic, of course, is lagerland. The original pilsner beer, Pilsner Urquell, hails from the Czech Republic, and many of the great lagers we know worldwide are attempts to try making a local version of the Pilsner Urquell.

In The Czech Republic lagers can be found in several variants, and the last few days I have been trying kvasnicove beers. These are lagers with yeast in them, so that the fermention continues. The beers taste different to the ordinary lager variants, and I feel they are interesting to try out.

The first one I tried was the Svijany kvasnicove. I had it at the U Prince Miroslava pub in the Smichov area of Prague. It was an enjoyable beer with little carbonation. The head was extremely thick, and you could almost chew it. Tastewise it was sweet with a very yeasty feeling. It was a nice beer, but at 6% alcohol it was strong without the alcohol presence hitting you.

At the hospoda Hrom do Police in Vinohrady they sell beers from the Policka brewery. The lagers are available both in a normal version and as a kvasnicove. I tried the 12° lager beer and was introduced to a cloudy beer with a big and lasting head. Tastewise it was an interesting beer with yeast notes and hops very pronounced. The aftertaste had a lot of melon in it, and I felt this was a more interesting beer than the Svijany kvasnicove.

The third kvasnicove I have tried so far is from Budvar. It was tried out at the Budvarka restaurant in the Dejvice area of Prague. This was a clear, golden lager with a big head that was nowhere as filling as the Svijany one. Tastewise it loses to both Policka and Svijany. Budvar's offer is an ordinary lager beer with nice bitterness, a great hoppy bite and some sweetness. In all, it is a nice beer, but it is not the best kvasnicove I have tried. But then again; I have only tried three of them!

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