Showing posts with label 1842 Pilsener. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1842 Pilsener. Show all posts

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Session - The Name of the Ring...

"What follows was translated from the original German. Found on top of a pile of papers, only rediscovered in the days of Restitution in 1990 when the government restored property confiscated in the heady days of 1948 and the Communist takeover, in a cobwebbed attic, littered with the remnants of a life hastily packed, a diary lay open...

“November 11th 1842

A few dozen people were gathered at the fair for the feast of Saint Martin, finally the moment had arrived for our new beer to be tasted. Would it be worth the wait? The money? The hassle with the brewer? The success of the last four years depended on the skill of the Bavarian who has spent recent months annoying all of us on the board of directors with his complaining, rough manner and drunkenness.

How bad was our beer in the days before we spent all that money on the English malting equipment? Sometimes it was reasonable, but most of the time it was just too smoky and heavy to drink more than a few mouthfuls of. How we wished we had smashed open barrels of it on the steps of the town hall, but Herr Schmitzer insisted we didn't.

The cask was sat on a bar, Herr Groll looking smart and sober for a change fidgeted, clearly eager to show us the outcome of his labour. Groll turned the tap and out gushed a torrent of golden liquid and bright white foam into the waiting jug.

Around the cask, the directors gasped as the beer, topped with a cap of foam, was poured from the jug into our crystal goblets. How was it possible for beer to be so light in colour, sparkling like the finest French champagne?

We felt as though the very future of our town rested on how the beer tasted...the bitterness of the hops was so much more than any of us had ever known. There was a sweetness there, which Groll said was the product of the English malting methods he used and his special way of mashing the grains. It was without doubt the finest, most refreshing beer we had ever tasted.

To think that we had everything to make such a pure beer right here in Pilsen! Most assuredly Saint Martin has left behind the grape in favour of the grain!”

Forgive the most likely abysmal rip off of Umberto Eco's style for The Name of the Rose, but the truth remains, I would love to have been at the Martinmas Fair in Plzeň, a week before my birthday, to taste Josef Groll's original Pilsner Urquell. To my mind the beers of the Czech Republic inspired by Groll's Pilsner are the finest on earth, end of story...

This month's edition of The Session is being hosted by Drink Drank, the stated topic is "One Beer to Rule Them All"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fuggled Review of the Year - Pale

For the 2011 iteration of my Fuggled Review, I have decided to stick with the nice, simple approach that I adopted last year. Rather than trawling through the various categories accepted by the Brewers Association for the Great American Beer Festival, I will have 3 beer awards, one each for pale, amber and dark, as well as a blog of the year selection. I will choose a "best of" from Virginia, the rest of the US and then the rest of the world for each category. So without further ado, let's see the nominations for the Fuggled Pale Beer of the Year:
The St George IPA is that most rare of beasts, an American made, British style IPA. It is hopped exclusively with Fuggles and boasting a solid malty backbone, the combination of which reminds me a Seville orange marmalade. Unfortunately there are some who think Fuggles is a "boring" hop, personally I think they have just jumped on the grapefruit/pine resin bandwagon and fail to appreciate the flavours Fuggles brings to the table. Of the various pale beers from Virginia I have drunk this year, the St George IPA has been the most consistently enjoyable, and really what else is important?

Unless you have been cowering under a cyber rock at some dim and distant IP address, you will know that I love pilsner and will go out of my way to try beers availing themselves of that appellation. When a friend of Mrs V and I came to visit us from South Carolina, I asked her to bring me some beers that we couldn't get in Virginia, including the Bohemian Brewery 1842 Pilsener. Simply put, I was in heaven as I drank it. It very definitely hit the spot and ticked all the right boxes for a Czech style lager, decoction mash, Saaz hops, 5 weeks of lagering and easy drinking. Please, please, please would someone distribute them in Virginia!

Each summer, Mrs V and I buy season tickets to either Busch Gardens or Water Country USA in Williamsburg. This year we chose Busch Gardens, and when we went down for the day we stumbled across Sünner K?lsch in their Bavarian part of the park. We sat on a bench with a bratwurst wrapped in pretzel dough and shared the cold, clean, crisp beer between us - it was perfection.

I can choose but one of these three fine libations, and so the Fuggled Pale Beer of the Year is:
  • Bohemian Brewery 1842 Pilsener
So, for the second year in a row a Czech style pilsner beer take the award, still unburdened by financial value though with a modicum of history I guess! As I said in the title of my post about the beer, Americans CAN make good pilsners, it is just a damned shame so few of them bother to do it properly.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...