I haven't drunk Staropramen in a very long time. Well OK then, not since I had a bottle of their dark lager with Evan Rail in U Rotundy (a pub beloved of Ron Pattinson) back in 2009, just before leaving the Czech Republic. In October of the same year, the former owners, InBev, decided to sell off their Central European operations to raise some cash in the wake of buying Anheuser-Busch, included in this package was Staropramen.
I remember when Staropramen, at the turn of the millennium brought out the beer which eventually became known as Granát, though originally it was Staropramen Millenium, and revived the old Bohemian style of "polotmavé". Polotmavé is another of those Bohemian beer styles which, while similar to Vienna lager, is actually not the same as Vienna lager. The defining ingredient of the latter being Vienna malt, whereas the former usually has the same malts as a tmavé, just less of the dark ones, hence being a "half-dark".
Anyway, today as a result of a tweet from a friend, I decided to have a look at the Staropramen website, and I have to admit to being impressed by their use of video content, which I can't quite work out how to embed here, but pop along to their site and have a look for yourself. Interestingly, Staropramen apparently do a double decoction mash, and there is no mention of the corn syrup which allegedly made up about a third of the fermentables in the InBev days.
Given that Budvar, Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen are all available over here, I am tempted to do a blind tasting of commercial Czech lagers and see which one I prefer these days.
* strangely enough I don't have any pictures of Staropramen (gasp, shock, horror!), hence the sepia pic of St Vitus Cathedral that I took one early morning while wandering round the city.