Friday, September 19, 2008


Whereas last week I offered up a brown ale as my selection for Booze of the Week, I thought this week I'd change things up a bit. Yes it's still a beer, but it's still great beer drinking weather outside, and great beer drinking entertainment inside (football). Instead, I thought I'd just offer up a different style, and it is for that reason that Czechvar is this week's selection for Booze Of The Week.
A lot of people are down on pilsners, for the obvious reason that most of your generic mass produced American beers are done in a pilsner style. But there are a lot of great pilsner beers out there, with the best known probably being Pilsner Urquell, and the pilsner style doesn't mean generic and tasteless. Pilsner beers were originally developed in the 1840s in Plzeň, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) as an alternative to the Bohemian ales that had been produced up to that point which were dreadfully inconsistent and often downright terrible. So the citizens of Plzeň formed their own brewery now known as Plzeňský Prazdroj where they expounded on the German experimentation with lagers (lagers are bottom fermenting beers, as opposed to ales which are top fermenting) to create their own style of lager, now know worldwide as Pilsner lager.
Czechvar, as it's known in the United States (it's known as Budvar in the Czech Republic, but despite pre-dating Budweiser couldn't use that name here for obvious copyright reasons), is one of my favorite pilsners. It's a very light lager beer, with a clean palate and a crisp but not overpowering taste of hops and little to no malt. I can attest to the Czech Budvar being a fair bit better than the Czechvar by the time it gets here (much like Heineken is a little better in Holland), but it's still a fantastic beer, and a great example of a good pilsner, of what a pilsner should taste like. So grab yourself a bottle, raise a glass, and think about the tiny town of Plzeň.

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