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We all win

May was a brilliant month in terms of beer. I started it sampling the very good Spanish beers that my friend Andrés sent me, and finished it at the Festival. Between that there were the unconvincing beers from Erdinger and a couple of very forgettable Polish beers. There was also some new stuff, Majové Polotmavé 13° from Pivovar Louny, a very tasty beer, new in the market (I reckon) and that gives some hopes that the new Dutch owners will keep this pivovar open. It reminded me a bit of Primátor polotmavé, with just a bit more caramel in it. Nice beer to sit down and sip slowly. And what can I say about Bock 16° from Richter. They make some really nice German style beers there at U Bulovky. This one was an amber with a creamy white crown. Its nose mixed apple, caramel and mint. The caramel dominated the palate, together with some bitter nose, somewhat like burnt sugar. The caramel continued in the finish, now joined by citrus notes. All that with a permanent subtone of apples. Delicious.

I was also able to enjoy the much awaited Majový Kozlík 16°, another May Bock, this one from Pivovarský Dům. Also amber, but with ochre sparkles. The nose also had caramel, this time mixed with sour fruits. The taste was glorious, started fruity, turned caramelly and finished herbal, the end of each fading into the beginning of next one. Glorious.

In any other month Kozlík would easily collect the award, but not in May 2008. This month the winner is not one, nor two beers, but the beers from small breweries that took part in the festival. Not because of their quality (which was not lacking), nor for the novelty (though I had a couple I'd never tasted before), but fact of having been the most popular ones. The beers from the big brewers could only watch with resentment how most of the festival's visitors avoided them to taste something new, more interesting and, in many cases, of better quality. It's still too soon to celebrate, but if that was the beginning of a market trend, then we will all be the winners.

Na Zdraví!

I was almost forgetting about the count. During may I drank 35 beers that I hadn't tasted this year, some of them, never before. That makes a total of 168 different beers so far in 2008.

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