Monday, July 4, 2011

Americans CAN Make Pilsner (can't spell it mind)!

Today is a very special day, it is now 3 years since the then Soon To Be Mrs Velkyal became Mrs Velkyal in a wonderful Czech civil ceremony in the New Town Hall in Prague. Of course "new" in Prague is an entirely relative term as it dates from 1419 and was the site of the first of the three defenestrations for which Prague is famed (minor political aside - the sooner the Czechs defenestrate Vaclav Klaus, the better). Tomorrow is then Mrs V's birthday - no chance of ever forgetting either event really - and so her best friend came up for the weekend from Greenville and being a top human being all round, she agreed to bring me a selection of brews which as far as I know are not available in Virginia, or at least not in Charlottesville.

The eagle eyed among you will see a can in that selection. The can is a Czech Pilsener from the Bohemian Brewery in Utah.

I was very much looking forward to continuing my search for the perfect American made Bohemian style pilsner, especially when I read through the information on their website. The website says that they do a double decoction mash, lager their beers for 5 weeks and don't pasteurise their beers. The details on the Pilsener (sorry, using their nomenclature) were also encouraging, just 4% abv, so I am assuming desítka territory, using only Saaz hops and fermented with the same yeast as the old Braník beers.

So how was it?
  • Sight - golden, topped with the firm white head, looks the part
  • Smell - floral, orange blossom, touch of hay
  • Taste - lightly grainy, biscuity and with a good dose of bitterness, tastes the part
  • Sweet - 3/5
  • Bitter - 4/5
The body was medium, perhaps being ever so slightly thin in the finish, otherwise I really, really enjoyed this. That is pretty much my only issue with the beer, but given my experience of American pilsners, I really want to try this on tap as opposed to in the can.

Unfortunately it isn't available in Virginia yet, so when Mrs V and I head down to South Carolina, I will be buying more to put in the fridge, and when we go to Florida in a couple of weeks, taking plenty of cans for the beach. An excellent beer, and I will now have to try the rest of their range!


  1. Which brewery is the Welsh ESB from?

  2. Apparently it is brewed by Felinfoel in Wales - one of the first breweries to use cans, back in the 1920s.

  3. Oooh a Hook Norton stout. I quite enjoyed it, even if there was nothing to stand it out from the crowd, it was an excellent beer.

  4. What's the comment about can't spell? Is it because of the Pilsener spelling v. the Pilsner commonly used? The German, Czech, Austrian lands always had German names to them. In this case Pilzn had the German name of Pilsen. So, Pilsener is describing accurately that the beer is from Pilsen. Do you remember Ich bin ein Berliner?

  5. Of course plenty of Bohemian towns had German names as they were Sudeten German towns.

  6. I did not have a chance to sample their "Pilsener", but I have had Bohemian's Cherny Bock on draft at the brewery in Salt Lake City. EXCELLENT beer!

    I also rather enjoyed the Thames Welsh ESB...

  7. I just tried that COAST kolsch. Freaking awesome.


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