Monday, December 15, 2008

The Fuggled Review of the Year - Pale Lagers

Yes there are still a couple of weeks of drinking time left this year, but as I will be in France and the UK in the coming weeks I am not sure how much posting I will get to do after this week.

As you would expect, living in the country where lager is king, I drink quite a lot of it. Once upon a time I drank, and enjoyed, the mega-brands - Gambrinus, Staropramen and Kozel. Those days have been consigned to history for various abominations; diluting the beer after fermentation, using corn syrup as an adjunct, just generally trashing one of my favourite beers.

This year though I have discovered a wealth of pale lagers, of varying strengths, which I enjoy and which restored my once flagging faith in pale lager. My top three though are:

The Kout is so well made, and for a 10º lager it is bursting with flavour, and the only pub in Prague with it on tap is a ten minute jaunt from my flat, and it costs an insane 20kč for a half litre (that's $1/€0.80/£0.70 at current exchange rates).

Purkmistr is worth the trip to Plzeň alone, and I am probably being controversial here but it is the only light lager from that hallowed city which is actually worth drinking (cue comments about the unfiltered and unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell available at the brewery - that doesn't count as it is not commercially available as far as I am aware).

Yes I have a soft spot for Primátor, and their 12º is a very nice and drinkable lager, and again very cheap in the Billa near my office.

It is difficult to pick just one to be the Fuggled Pale Lager of the Year - a prize unburdened with history and monetary value - but the award goes to:

  1. Kout na Šumavě

Simply the best lager in the Czech Republic.


  1. 100% agree with you on Kout. Simply fantastic. Had (quite) a few today with lunch and loved every single drop of it. Pity they didn't have the kvasnicové (or nefiltrované as the waitress said) today.
    Don't quite agree on the rest, though. As much as I liked Purkmistr's, I liked Sřibro Argent a lot more, not to mention the good old Pivovarský Dům Světlý Ležák (at Štěpanská) or Richter Ležák, when it is in good shape.
    And, though I'm a big fan of Primátor, I would list several other pale lagers before them, but that's, together with the above, is my taste...

  2. Exactly, personal taste is the driving force here (being a good post-modern, I am wary of claims to objectivity).

  3. How does the Primator 16 stack up? I'll drink it soon, I promise.

  4. Hi Al, Lasse from Norway here. Just wondering: Where do you find Kout na Šumavě kvasnicové on tap in Prague? Good luck with the match on Sunday, by the way. :)

  5. Hey Lasse! The only place in Prague which sells Kout na Šumavě beers is U Slovanske Lipy - just opposite Planeta, on Tachovske Namesti. They have the 10, 12, a 14 dark and an 18 dark.

  6. Thom,

    The Primator 16 is a nice strong lager, one that I like from time to time. Not something I would want to knock back 10 bottles of in an afternoon mind! ;)

  7. Defintely agree about the Kout. Luckily I also live just 10 minutes walk from Lipa - albeit via the tunnel from Karlin.
    Got to agree about Plzen as well. Although I would go further and say that the unfiltered Plzen isn't that great either - I only had it once, but it just tasted like a sicklier version of the normal stuff. If I want a worthwhile drinking experience in Plzen town centre, I go to Lotr...

  8. Kout right up there, my favourite was probably the Bzenec i had at zly casy or the always amazing beers from Chyne.


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