Back when I were a fresh faced young beer bore I naturally had an antipathy to lager. But, there was one lager that I liked: Pilsner Urquell. It's a well hopped beer, and I remember a touch of honey in the taste. The latter was probably from diacetyl, but what the hell, I don't mind a bit of that.
As the Czechs went from suffering under state capitalism to suffering under market capitalism things started to change. The brewery was privatised, lagering time was cut, the wooden fermenters were replaced with stainless steel, and it was taken over by a multinational. They even started brewing the beer in Poland.
Whatever you think about the chanages there was a very important one as far as I was concerned: it didn't taste as good. As I was now down to no lagers that I liked I spent a number of blissfully lager free years. But since then endless aeons wheeled and passed. Time and the pure essences of Heaven
and the moisture of Earth, the powers of the sun and the moon all worked
upon a certain beer, old as creation. Or something like that. Anyway, someone at SAB Miller seems to have realised they had in their portfolio possibly the worlds second most iconic beer* and went about re-premiumising it.
Most production returned to Pilsen, and some serious sucking up to beer bloggers went on. The chance to drink the beer unpasteurised from a cask caused a lot of excitement. But I can well understand that, unpasteurised cask beer is after all such a rarity in Britain.
Anyway, I'm starting to get a taste for Czech lager so I thought it was time to see what all the fuss was about, and if inded Pilsner Urquell had returned to the ranks of righteousness. So I bought a bottle.
And do you know what, it's not bad. Not as good as when I were a lad of course, but a pleasant drop, plenty of bitterness and definitely diacetyl. Now in a brown bottle too which is nice. If the weather stays sunny I might even be tempted to buy some more.
* After Ind Coope Burton Ale of course.