LESTER - Cerveza Artesanal -Paraná -Entre Ríos


Aprovechando el fin de semana largo, me fui con mi esposa al campo para visitar a mi gran amigo Galápagos, que como todos saben esta convaleciente por un grave accidente.

Nos quedamos allá dos días, la pasamos bárbaro, charlamos de mil cosas, jugamos al TEG, miramos la Formula 1, paseamos por los alrededores.... y por supuesto no falto la buena comida y bebida.

Ceci, la señora de Galápagos, es una gran cocinera, el viernes hizo unas empanadas buenísimas que acompañamos con Warsteiner y un torrontés excelente, y el sábado preparó un matambrito tiernizado con salsa roquerfort que era una delicia, acompañado con papas y con un chucrut casero increíble... para acompañar este manjar, Gala seleccionó de su bodega una cerveza belga de guarda.

Se trataba de una Kwak, famosa cerveza belga elaborada por Brasserie Bosteels, los mismos que hacen la Tripel Karmeliet. A mi me sonaba mucho el nombre, pero cuando vi el escudito en la etiqueta la ubique inmediatamente, ese vaso tan característico fue inventado por Pauwel Kwak cervecero que tenia un bar en los tiempos de Napoleón, y con este vaso servia a los cocheros que no podían bajar de sus carruajes, y como tenia esa forma lo podían enganchar a un costado del carro. (En la pagina oficial hay un didactico video explicatorio)

Destapar una botella de cerveza con corcho ya me predispone positivamente, como no teníamos el vaso "oficial", la servimos en una media pinta, de color miel o ámbar un toque turbia, formo una buena espuma de burbujas bien finas. Su aroma era dulzón, entre floral y cítrico de los lúpulos. De sabor bien maltosa y frutada, se le sienten bastante las especias, los 8,4% de alcohol están muy presentes, es muy licorosa. Excelente cerveza, que maridaba perfecto con la riquísima comida.


Mi agradecimiento a Ceci y Diego por hacernos sentir tan a gusto en su casa! :)

Peter Dark
Logia Cervecera

Comentario: Lamentablemente no se consigue en el país, pero si tienen algún conocido que viaje a Chile, pídanle que les traiga una botellita.


We are between the seasons at the moment: a bit cold, a bit sunny, you could be tricked into having a beer outdoors only to have to scurry in blue-handed after two sips. So I'm thumbing my nose to seasonal drinking for this post and having a winter beer and a summer beer in one sitting. I think there's a definite touch of SAD in the way the Odell brewery has named them.

There's not a whole lot of winter comfort in the moniker Isolation, for instance. And, frankly, there's not a whole lot in the beer either. It looks the part: a rich chestnut amber, and 6.1% ABV is plenty for any amount of cockle-warming, but bizarrely it's all hop. There's a little bit of caramel in there I'll grant you, and some lovely gunpowder spice, but the dominant flavour is soft and succulent fruit. Overall you get a pleasant, easy-drinking and tasty ale that's hard to criticise for anything other than a lack of the oomph suggested by its winter stylings. Definitely a cheerier beer than the label implies.

If Isolation is the moody one, there's a slightly psychotic touch of the giggles about Levity. I'm sure the character depicted on the label is supposed to be leaping upward, but the illustration suggests a gentle swaying motion to me. Anyway... the visuals are a bit poor here: a murky and uneven haze with little more than a skim of froth passing as head. It's billed as an "amber ale" yet lacks the reddish tones normally found in these. On tasting, a blast of rough bitterness kicks things off, skewed by a touch of stale oxidation. After a second the malt arrives on the scene to calm things down and the end result is a smooth and full-bodied beer with a long aftertaste. Once again, and I'm beginning to think of this as an Odell signature now, the hop flavours are peaches and nectarines, sweet and juicy with barely a hint of tartness.

All that written and I've just looked back on my review of Odell St Lupulin from last year. A lot of the observations I had there I'm finding again here: nicely sweet and fruity but ultimately a bit boring for beers of this strength. I'll persist with the range and hopefully there's something to match the excellent IPA in there.




Anheuser-Busch to Buy Goose Island

In a bit of breaking beer news, Anheuser-Busch will buy-out Goose Island Beer from Craft Brewers Alliance. More on this soon ... in the meantime, here's the full press release. 

Chicago Small Brewer, Craft Brewers Alliance to Sell Stakes in Goose Island;
Expansion of Chicago Brewery Planned
CHICAGO (March 28, 2011) – Chicago-based Goose Island, one of the nation’s most‑respected and fastest-growing small brewers with sales concentrated throughout the Midwest, today announced it had agreed to be acquired by Anheuser‑Busch, its current distribution partner, in a move that will bring additional capital into Goose Island’s operations to meet growing consumer demand for its brands and deepen its Chicago and Midwest distribution.
Goose Island’s legal name is Fulton Street Brewery LLC (FSB).  Anheuser-Busch reached an agreement to purchase the majority (58 percent) equity stake in FSB from its founders and investors, held in Goose Holdings Inc. (GHI), for $22.5 million.  Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. (CBA), an independent, publicly traded brewer based in Portland, Ore., that operates Widmer Brothers, Redhook and Kona breweries, owns the remaining 42 percent of FSB and reached an agreement in principle to sell its stake in FSB to Anheuser-Busch for $16.3 million in cash.  Anheuser‑Busch holds a minority stake (32.25 percent) in CBA.
Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Matilda and other brands in 2010.  To help meet immediate demand, an additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase Goose Island’s Chicago Fulton Street brewery’s production as early as this summer.
“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers,” said Goose Island founder and president John Hall, who will continue as Goose Island chief executive officer.  “This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles.  This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”
Hall will continue to be responsible for Goose Island beer production and the expansion of Goose Island’s Chicago brewery, where production will continue and its business will still be based.
“The new structure will preserve the qualities that make Goose Island’s beers unique, strictly maintain our recipes and brewing processes,” Hall said.  “We had several options, but we decided to go with Anheuser‑Busch because it was the best.  The transaction is good for our stakeholders, employees and customers.”
Anheuser-Busch has distributed Goose Island brands since 2006 as part of an agreement with Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. of Portland, Ore., a co-founder of CBA, that provides Goose Island access to the network of independent wholesalers that distribute Anheuser-Busch beers.  Anheuser‑Busch also provides logistical support to all Anheuser‑Busch wholesalers distributing Goose Island and CBA beers as part of that agreement. 
Wholesalers currently servicing retailers with Goose Island beers will continue to do so with no disruption in service.
“These critically acclaimed beers are the hometown pride of Chicagoans,” said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch, Inc.  “We are very committed to expanding in the high‑end beer segment, and this deal expands our portfolio of brands with high-quality, regional beers.  As we share ideas and bring our different strengths and experiences together, we can accelerate the growth of these brands.” 
Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of FSB is subject to customary closing conditions, including obtaining required regulatory approvals.  The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.
The two Goose Island brew pubs are not part of the deal, but will continue in operation, offering consumers an opportunity to sample Goose Island’s award-winning specialty beers and food selections.
As part of CBA’s agreement to sell its 42 percent block in FSB to Anheuser-Busch, in addition to cash, Anheuser-Busch will provide enhanced retail selling support for CBA brands, will reduce distribution fees payable by CBA to Anheuser‑Busch and will provide CBA additional flexibility with respect to future acquisitions and divestitures.
Founded by John Hall in 1988, Goose Island Beer Company is one of the Midwest’s first small breweries.  Located at 1800 W. Fulton St., Chicago, 312-226-1119, www.gooseisland.com, Goose Island is acclaimed for creating world-class ales, including 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honkers Ale, India Pale Ale, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Sofie and a wide variety of seasonal draft only and barrel-aged releases, including Bourbon County Stout, the original bourbon barrel-aged beer. 
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.3 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers.  The company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light.  Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer.  Anheuser-Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years.  The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo.  For more information, visit www.anheuser‑busch.com.
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Cerveza Duff Primera Edición

Antes de pasar a la nota, quiero aprovechar la ocasión para agradecer enormemente a mis amigos y a todos ustedes por los deseos de recuperación!!! MUCHAS MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!

Me pareció ideal volver a escribir trayendoles justo esta cerveza, ya que quien no conoce lo que es una Duff?  Y vean el efecto que provocó sobre mi al haberla probado:

Jajaja! Eso fue antes del lamentable accidente(?). Ahora me parezco más a Steve Austin o más conocido como "El hombre nuclear" tras la operación de hombro; pero por suerte va todo bien y aquí me tienen hablándoles de cerveza que es una de las cosas que más me gusta hacer y que me saca toda la mufa.

Para alguno que no conozca la historia, la cerveza Duff es mítica porque es la cerveza preferida de Homero Simpsons. Su auge fue tal que un mexicano hábil para los negocios consiguió registrar la marca y la empezó a comercializar como una cerveza real. Así los derechos fueron adquiridos en Argentina por una cervecería de Santa Fe y la comenzó a elaborar pero con el concepto de cerveza premium, lo que es una gran contradicción porque la Duff es justamente una parodia de las grandes cervezas industriales.

Al parecer sacaron varios estilos de Duff. La que yo tomé es la que catalogan como "Primera Edición", aunque también hay una Gold y una de frutilla.

Yendo a la nota de cata, al servirla se la ve de un color dorado pálido, bastante turbia y forma una espuma blanca que perdura un largo rato. El aroma es una mezcla del dulzón otorgado por las maltas y el cítrico dado por el lúpulo. Al probarla es dulzona al principio y cítrica, apareciendo luego un amargor leve en el retrogusto.
Es una cerveza refrescante y con un sabor suave pero rico. No se que opinaría el verdadero Homero de esta Duff pero a mi particularmente me gustó.

Duff Primera Edición: 

Me despido parafraseando al gran Homero: "Cervezaaaaa... la causa y la solución a todos nuestros problemas!"


Logia Cervecera

Calificación lectores:

New tack

It's Porterhouse Independent Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival time once again. And, also once again, they've re-jigged the way they're doing it. Instead of splitting the line-up across several bars, they've asked each one of Ireland's micros to supply just one beer and all of the 14 submissions are available across the estate including (apparently) London and New York. I called in to the Temple Bar branch on Wednesday last for the results of their annual, blind-tasted, competition of the festival exhibits. Just one overall gong this year, plus two runners up. And all worthy recipients too: first prize to Mel Camire for the fabulous Messrs Maguire Brown Ale, second to Franciscan Well's excellent Purgatory, and bronze medal for the newest arrival Metalman -- one hell of an achievement given the seasoned competitors they were up against. Metalman Pale Ale is now officially superior to O'Hara's Stout, Galway Hooker and Wrasslers XXXX. Tremble in your wellies, established brewers.

The Porterhouse's ever-generous hospitality gave us Beoir members the chance to do some comparisons of our own from among the festival listings. There was just the one new beer to me: White Island Wheaten Ale from yet another newcomer to Irish brewing: Fermanagh's Inishmacsaint. I already tried their lager (here) and was impressed, though perhaps more by the technical prowess than the taste of the beer. I reckoned the wheat beer would be more interesting. And it is, no doubt, just perhaps not in the way I'd anticipated.

As it happened I was surrounded by brewers when I brought the bottle back from the bar and offered it round. Every one of them recoiled in horror at the smell and screwed up their faces at the taste. I'm pretty sure this is wheat beer as no-one but the Good Lord intended it. It pours clear and starts with some fairly serious vinegar on the nose. The texture is highly attenuated, thinned out and barely discernible as a wheat beer at all while the taste is both sharp and sour with a major lactic sour-milk tang on the finish. I'm no Quincy, but I would guess that something in the lactobacillus line got in here and had its wicked way with the fermentables.

And yet, perhaps because I'm not a proper brewer, I thought it still had something going for it. Other non-brewers in the company thought so too. The thinness and sharpness is at least clean, with an interesting bite. Could it be that what we have here is a new lambic appellation? No, probably not. I would guess that if Gordon gets the right sort of feedback he'll have this cleaned up and tasting properly Bavarian in no time.

More's the pity, perhaps. It wasn't that long ago that brown or hoppy ales wouldn't have stood a chance in an Irish beer competition. Why not give the sour side a fair crack of the whip?

The Porterhouse Independent Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival runs until Sunday 3rd April.

Jester King on The New Brewer

Jester King brewers and owners Jeffrey Stuffings, Michael Stuffings and Ron Extract appear on the cover of the March/April issue of The New Brewer magazine, the official journal of the Brewers Association.

They also recieve a brief mention inside in the cover story by Horst Dornbusch.

Classy little black number

And so we come to the final beer from the mixed (in more ways than one) stash Dave and Laura brought me back from France last summer. BAS Noire is from Brasserie Artisanale de Sabaudia in Chambéry and features a lovely bit of art nouveau styling on the label.

The beer itself is a mere 4% ABV, but I'm quite impressed with what it does with this. Light, and a little bit overly fizzed, it gives off some lovely café crème aromas from the substantial head. The flavour is sweet, full of milk chocolate, but again the lightness means it skips daintily past any notion of being cloying or sickly. Where sometimes these dark fizzy beers tail off into metal and carbon dioxide, this finishes mellow with marzipan and a wisp of smoke. Part schwarzbier, part milk stout, it takes positive elements from both.

It's actually quite a refreshing beer and I can see it going down well as both a digestif in lieu of coffee, or as a warm-day restorative in an open-air café. Finding it as a local beer in the wilds of the French Alps would be a very pleasant surprise.

2da. Fiesta de la Cerveza Artesanal en Quilmes

Durante el fin de semana pasado se llevo a cabo la 2da. Fiesta de la Cerveza Artesanal en el partido bonaerense de Quilmes y obviamente era una visita obligada para la Logia Cervecera.

Llegue alrededor de las 16 hs y me puse a pasear y a reconocer a algunos cerveceros que estaban con sus diferentes stands mientras en el gran escenario frente al rio estaban probando el audio y pasaban el disco Dangerous de Michael Jackson, lo cual para mi que me gusta mucho Miguelito hacia que la tarde fuera casi perfecta.

Empece a recorrer y era cuestión de parar un rato a charlar con cada cervecero y obviamente siempre se hace notar la camaradería de la gente donde todos tienen buena onda con todos y demuestran empujar el carro cervecero para el mismo lado y en conjunto.

Entre las cervecerías estaban Coleman, Tutenbier, Santa Coloma, Orion, Chulebier, Neffer, Cortesana, Barba Roja, La Reserva, Centurion y un stand de cerveza Duff. No probe todas obviamente porque no iba a poder volver manejando, pero en lo que tome encontré muy buenas cervezas de las cuales ya haremos las notas correspondientes...

El público era muy variado, parejas, familias con sus hijos, grupos de amigos, colgados como yo que siempre encuentran a alguien para pasar el rato, etc, y se vivía un clima de tranquilidad tremendo para disfrutar de la tarde con el rio de fondo. El control de venta de alcohol era estricto a mayores que debian llevar puesto un precinto en la muñeca que los habilitaba a poder comprar. Sin precinto no hay cerveza, me decian los productores jajaja.

Termine mi recorrida quedandome con mi amiga Valu que estaba viendo a Navras, una de las bandas que tocó durante la tarde y la verdad que me gustó mucho también como sonaban los chicos asi que mis felicitaciones para ellos.

Realmente es para destacar el evento, se noto mas organización que en la 1ra Fiesta y creo que van por buen camino en el municipio de Quilmes. Será que en un futuro podamos contar en esta ciudad con el evento anual de Somos Cerveceros? Ojo eh! igual la idea no es mia pero me cedieron los derechos jajaja.

Saludos y hasta otra cerveza.

Sonero cervecero
Logia Cervecera

Cena de Maridaje en Buena Birra Social Club

El próximo Jueves 24 a las 21hs en Buena Birra Social Club habrá una cena de maridaje estilo ingles con la presentación de la nueva Strong Bitter. Un evento de calidad súper recomendable para sacar a pasear a la patrona este fin de semana largo. :)

Por el momento solo aceptan efectivo. Los socios de Somos Cerveceros tienen un descuento del 10%

The neighbours will talk

Sometimes it feels like being on the edge of a really interesting conversation without being able to join in. I'm an avid follower of the UK's beercentric Twitterbuzz and so have a fairly good idea of what the cool kids think is worth drinking at any given time. It's useful to know what to look out for when I visit Britain, and occasionally we get beers over here from the breweries that are being mentioned in dispatches. A tip of the hat goes to DrinkStore here for doing an excellent job in sourcing the good stuff, and I'm chuffed that some of the much-lauded Thornbridge beer has finally made an appearance.

One beer I've heard mentioned a lot in recent weeks has been Jarl from Argyll's Fyne Ales. But there's none of that to be had at this distance from the conversation so instead I'm giving their Avalanche a spin.

Don't be fooled by the rather wan colouring, nor the meagre 4.5% ABV: the aromas make it clear that your tastebuds are in for a workout long before the liquid hits the glass. "Bitter" doesn't do it justice. It's all kinds of bitter. Mostly it's intensely citric, like biting grapefruit skin, and there's also a rather gastric acid burn going on as well, and a more pleasant lemony tang. And yet, oddly, it's not unbalanced. It's all been set on a soft wheat base that doesn't interfere with the full-on hop experience, but smooths out the flavours making the whole thing easier to handle.

Proof, if proof be needed, that you don't need to reach into the upper echelons of alcoholic strength to get big hop impact.

Austin Beer Guide

AUSTIN - A new periodical has been published for the growing Austin-area brewing scene, the Austin Beer Guide.

Issues are available around the Austin area for free, as well as an electronic version online.

A festejar San Patricio!

La tradición de festejar San Patricio en Buenos Aires (fuera de la comunidad irlandesa) comenzó hace unos 12 años en los bares del Bajo, específicamente en The Kilkenny. Allá por 1999 trabajábamos con Galápagos en el centro y se nos ocurrió ir a tomar algo a los bares de la calle Reconquista, que por aquellos tiempos no eran tantos. The Kilkenny había contratado un gaitero y la gente se empezó a congregar en la calle, cada vez más y más, hasta que espontáneamente cortamos la calle (Reconquista todavia no era peatonal). Tengo un muy buen recuerdo de esas primeras fiestas, la Logia recién se estaba gestando y era una de nuestras fechas sagradas después de la peregrinación al Oktoberfest en Villa Gral. Belgrano.

Con el paso de los años la fiesta se volvió cada vez mas popular y descontrolada, que sumado a los precios elevados de los bares oportunistas, nos obligo a buscar nuevas alternativas, que actualmente son muchas y variadas.

Para este año se me ocurrió armar una lista de "recomendados" para los amantes de la buena cerveza que todavía no sepan a donde ir a festejar.

. Buena Birra Social Club:  No solo porque Toti (el maestro cervecero) es un amigo de la casa, sino porque también hace unas cervezas excelentes, las picadas y las pizzas son buenisimas, y el bar es muy comodo y ameno. Promoción: 2 pintas y bruschetas por $30.  (Es un bar privado, reservas al 15-6428-3457 o por email: buenabirra@gmail.com)

. Breoghan Brew Bar: Hace 2 años festejamos San Patricio ahí y la pasamos muy bien, hubo gaiteros, sombreros alegoricos y pintura en la cara. Suelen tener una buena variedad de cervezas industriales pero recomiendo la cerveza de la casa, es muy buena. Promociones: Happy hour de 18 a 22hs. 2 pintas por $25 (Pje. San Lorenzo 389, San Telmo. Reservas: 4362-4750)

Cossab: Hace mucho que no vamos y es una muy buena alternativa, tienen una buena variedad de cervezas propias y una carta de cervezas nacionales e importadas super amplia. Hacen un festejo de San Patricio extendido hasta el domingo 20. (Carlos Calvo 4199, Boedo. Reservas: 4925-2505)

. Taberna: El Tío esta en todos los detalles, si estas por el sur Taberna es una cita obligada. Habrá show con una excelente banda de covers de los 80s.  Promociones: 2x1 hasta las 21hs, remera alegorica $45 (Lavalle Esq. 25 de mayo, Quilmes. Reservas: 4257-6100, mail: tomamos@tabernabier.com)

. Antares (en todos los locales del país): Uno de nuestros clasicos, para esta fecha suelen tener alguna banda de folk o gaiteros y algun plato típico, espero que este año vuelvan a hacer "dublin coddle", un guiso irlandes super potente y muy rico. Promociones: varian de acuerdo al local.
El 19 de marzo en Mar del Plata harán el ya clásico festejo en Plaza del Agua, desde las 18hs con entrada libre y gratuita, habrá bandas en vivo, danzas, comidas típicas y por supuesto cerveza!.

. Almacen de cervezas: Para los que tenga la suerte de estar por Rosario, el Almacén es una muy buena opción, harán un gran festejo con música celta en vivo, muchas promos y sorteos. Entrada $29, socios gratis. Promociones: 2x1 en cervezas de alta gama cada media hora. Con la entrada, media pinta de cerveza del Almacén y una pizza en cono de regalo.Y muchas mas, les dejo el link. (Av. Pellegrini 388, Rosario. Reservas (0341) 4472034 / 15 5009062)

Y si ninguna de estas opciones les convence, en nuestra lista de bares cerveceros podrán encontrar unos cuantos lugares interesantes, casi todos muy recomendables y con buenas cervezas. :)

Feliz San Patricio!

La Logia y amigos en festejando San Patricio 2010 en Buller

Peter Dark
Logia Cervecera

About the New Town

Novoměstský Pivovar is on a bustling street not far from Wenceslas Square in Prague. The entrance is down a long passageway leading to the back of the building where it opens out into a large beerhall that was bustling with diners even at 11am on a weekday morning. In staunchly traditional fashion they brew two beers here, one pale and one dark. Novoměstský Pivovar Světlý is another unfiltered, cloudy orange lager with a nice pithy kick and a gentler banana fruit flavour too. The Tmavý is also a little bitterer than a typical dark lager, offering liquorice as the follow-up to a caramel aroma. Neither are especially exciting beers, but solid examples of traditional Czech brewing.

Something similar is going on at Pivovarský Dům with their Štěpán range. Štěpán Světlý is a light and breezy affair, a bit grainy but balanced by some mild citric notes and a sort of canned fruit sweetness. Very drinkable, like a house beer should be. On the dark side, Štěpán Tmavý is mostly about the sweet caramel but adds in some lovely dry and smoky elements as well. Not content with such traditional fare, Pivovarský Dům also offer flavoured versions of their beers: just the house beers with an extra dash of syrup, I assume. We had the coffee-flavoured Kávove which had a lovely coffee aroma to it and, while the sweet mocha and chocolate flavours were tasty, it just didn't resemble proper beer enough to be enjoyable. I did quite like the Kopřivové, however: the nettle essence giving it a lurid green colour with some nice herb and pepper flavours. Still not very beery, though.

The people behind Pivovarský Dům also run a specialist beer bar near Florenc called Pivovarský Klub. Just six draught taps, but a vast range of bottled Czech beers, and more from Belgium, Germany, Scotland and elsewhere (though, oddly, hardly any US beer and nothing at all from England). This was our last port of call before heading to the airport.

I went straight for the weird beer option and Velke Brezno Pepřovy. The spice isn't laid on too thick with this one and the subtle piquancy leaves lots of room for the grassy hops and grainy lager malt. Everything else we tried was dark. Chodovar Černé is from a brewery probably better known for its baths than its beer and is a super-sweet dark lager absolutely loaded with brown sugar flavours, as is Primátor Premium Dark: ruby-brown and going all-out to be as tooth-rottingly sweet as possible. I also took the opportunity to try Primátor Stout and really enjoyed it, despite its almost total lack of carbonation. At the centre of the flavour there's sweet toffee and milk chocolate, then this is tempered by some dry roasted coffee and and a little bit of acrid bitterness right on the finish. Complex and very satisfying. A great beer to go out on.

And go out we did. It was a fairly epic couple of days and I learned a lot about the city's current beer scene, and that of the nation in general, as well as indulging in a little nostalgia from my previous visits. My one regret is that I didn't get to try any of the more mainstream beers. But now that the exploratory groundwork is done I can spend more time with the tankove Budvar on my next visit.

Cardinal points

Prague has brewpubs all over, and a fantastically simple yet comprehensive barrier-free transport system. Visiting the outliers could hardly be easier.

On the western bank of the Vltava, above even the castle and cathedral and tucked away behind a nondescript streetfront, sits the Norbertine Strahov monastery. It's still very much in the god-bothering business (the order's founder is buried on-site), but presumably on a much smaller scale than hitherto as parts of the complex have been repurposed for other things: there's accommodation, a restaurant and, in one quarter of the courtyard, a brewpub. The indoor barroom is small, with just five tables, encouraging punters to make use of the large and sunny terrace outside.

Three beers are produced all year round, plus one of six seasonals. For March it was Masopustní (picture, right), the Lenten beer. Once you get past the overzealous fizz, there's a wonderful beer here: lots of body and a highly complex blend of bitter flavours incorporating orange pith, herbs and crunchy green veg. If you're going to stick to one beer for seven weeks, this is a definite candidate.

Somewhat less traditionally monastic, there's Sv. Norbert IPA (picture, left), a fantastically fresh-tasting US-style example packed with zingy peaches and mandarins. Only the big bitter punch on the end hints of a more serious side. For al fresco drinking on the terrace I can't think of a better beer to have.

Oddly, there's no pale lager. The nearest is the märzen-a-like Sv. Norbert Amber. Only the extra strength (5.3% ABV) and a bit of Germanic nettle hop flavour distinguishes this from any other average grainy brewpub lager. Sv. Norbert Tmavé is a step up, being a decent and simple dark lager with some lovely sweet coffee notes. I'd hammer through it quite happily, but having reached the end of the menu it was time to pack up the notebook and move to the next one.

Tram 25 goes from near Strahov over to Bulovka in the northern end of town, home to Pivovar u Bulovky and the Richter Brewery within. There's a distinct Germanic feel to the beer range in this tidy, friendly, neighbourhood pub. Richter Weissbier, for instance, hasn't just been hobbled together because the brewer reckoned they needed one. This has clearly been designed and crafted by someone who likes weissbier and wouldn't be content with a less-than-excellent one. As such, it's a lot like Schneider-Weisse: dark red-brown with a perfect balance of bubblegum and clove, plus some extra hoppy green complexities. There's also a Weizenbock: a powerful vinous flat black beer which leaves the drinker in no doubt of its alcoholic clout. Dark fruit -- grapes, black cherry and blackcurrant in particular -- plus caramel and a not unwelcome smack of heady marker pen phenols. You wouldn't drink a lot of it, but a little goes a long way.

And for the less adventurous locals there's Richter Ležak: the opaque orange colour of many an unfiltered pale lager and more of those green vegetables from the weiss. It tastes of squeaky leeks to me. Not a bad thing in a beer, to be honest. The inevitable Richter Tmava has a slightly fusty aroma and an interesting mix of chocolate and lavender in the flavour: Turkish delight as beer.

I liked U Bulovky a lot. It surprised me with some interesting and quite iconoclastic takes on beer styles I thought I knew. Time to move on, though.

Representing the southern end of the tour is Pivovar U Bansethu, a short walk from Zlý Časy and worth dropping in to when you're in the area. It was brewday on our visit, and the small narrow premises was thick with malt smells, like you could get a full day's nutrition on just a lungful. Just two beers were on and we ordered one of each, noting without looking the moment the brewer threw the first hops into the boil as the atmosphere changed from cookies and sweet porridge to grapefruit and cut grass. Basta Světlé is a remarkably bitter unfiltered lager, weighty and with that rough waxy flavour I've encountered in a few Czech microbrews. Nothing darker than Basta Polotmavé was on, a red-amber lager tasting lightly and pleasantly of milky toffee, finishing with a nice herbal complexity. Workmanlike is how I'd describe U Bansethu's beers, though it could well be that I caught them on one of their less interesting days, drinkwise, if not smellwise anyway.

And that brings us back to the heart of the city. There are several brewpubs I could pick for the eastern point, but two will have to suffice for this post. A return trip to Prague would not have been complete without sticking our heads in at U Fleků, quite possibly the second brewpub (after Dublin's Porterhouse) that I ever visited. It deserves its reputation as a production-line tourist facility: even dodging in between the coach parties we were still marched to a table, sat down and given two mugs of Flekovský Ležák without even the time to draw breath. Don't get me wrong: I'm all in favour of pubs that only make and sell one unique beer, and who will just serve it to you if you don't already have a full one in front of you, but the railroad nature of U Fleků really is quite without charm. It's just as well the beer is good: a black lager that's much drier than the usual, with lots of roast, falling somewhere in the schwarzbier-to-stout end of the taste spectrum. One 400ml mug was enough to deem the place done and off we went.

Perhaps most central of all the brewpubs is the behemoth that is U Medvídků. This has been an inn since the year dot and is made up of a rambling sequence of large drinking and dining rooms across two floors. Downstairs it's all Budvar and the stainless steel tankova system is proudly on display, guaranteeing that the beer is all naturally carbonated. From the entranceway a series of signposts lead the more curious drinker into the deep reaches of the building, indicating the way to the brewery, past one glass-fronted fermenting room showing open-topped tanks and up the back stairs. Up here is the low-ceilinged house brewery itself with a few tables ranged around. No Budvar here, only whatever the brewer happens to have ready to go. They were both pale lagers on our visit: Oldgott is a gently hopped plain amber lager; and 1466, a more complex and bitter beer showing herbs, honey and even some cinnamon and clove.

It's a charming place and I wish we'd had more time to explore it properly, take some time over its beers, try the Budvar and maybe a plate or two of the food. But that will have to wait. We're on the last leg around the city centre with just a few more must-drink bars to tick off the list.

South Beer Cup

Del 10 al 14 de Mayo habrá un gran evento cervecero, que sin dudas apunta a ser el más importante de la industria, se trata de la South Beer Cup, el Campeonato Sudamericano de Cervezas.

Si bien todavía faltan 2 meses, nos vamos adelantando para que no digan que no les avisamos con tiempo. :)

Organizado por el Centro de Cata de Cerveza, en este campeonato competirán 60 microcervecerías de Argentina, Chile, Brasil y Uruguay, en 20 estilos.

Es un evento imperdible para todos los amantes del elixir de los dioses, habrá charlas de maridaje, visitas a minicervecerías (con almuerzo y cerveza libre), cenas con los jurados, oradores de la talla de Pete Slosberg y lo mas importante... más de 250 cervezas diferentes para degustar! :)

Les dejamos un resumen del cronograma de actividades, para más información visiten la pagina oficial: http://southbeercup.com/

Martes 10 de mayo
9:00 - Maridajes de cerveza, en Cruzat

Miércoles 11 de mayo
21:00 Cena con el Jurado, en Antares Palermo.

Jueves 12 de mayo
9:00 a 17:00 Tour a Microcervecerías: visita a Barbarroja y Gambrinus.
21:00 Cena con el Jurado, en Buller

Viernes 13 de mayo
13:00 a 18:00 Jornada Cervecera: UCEMA
19:00-23:00 Encuentro de Camaradería, en la ex-Cerveceria Munich (entrada gratuita)

Sábado 14 de mayo
9:00 a 16:00 Jornada Cervecera: UCEMA
20:00 Ceremonia de Premiación, en Club Americano

Por supuesto la Logia estará presente con algunos de sus miembros, y seguramente Galápagos ya estará en condiciones de tomar cerveza! :)

La Cerveteca


Fotos sacadas por : @mardelcore