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:
- Kout na Šumavě
Simply the best lager in the Czech Republic.