13 Oct 2008

Bitter Reunion

There was almost nothing very interesting on tap the other day when I went on my weekly visit to Pivovaský Klub. I ordered only a pint of the brilliant Regent Tmavé, and while I was drinking it I pondered what I would drink next. The shelves were full to burst and they had on them some beers that I hadn't drank for some time.

I went for the magnificent Vyškov Jubiler 16,80°. It was a delicious reuning, after several months. It is a beer that I like more and more each time I drink it. Between sips, scanning the shelves I noticed something I hadn't drunk for many years, and wanted to taste again.

During the few months that I lived in Stuttgart I tasted a lot of different beers. Only two stayed in my memory as something special, Jever Pils and Paulaner Salvator. I remember the first time I drank the latter, it blew my mind. I thought it was something from another planet. So I was pretty excited when I was brought the bottle.

The excitement lasted until the first sip. It wasn't bad, but nothing special either. Halfway down the glass I had already got bored of it, two thirds down and I was almost regretting having ordered it. I found it so flat and monotonous. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as nine years ago, my taste has evolved and it was likely that the beer would have changed (and not for the better), but nor that it would disappoint me so much.

While I endured it I started thinking which of those beers that impressed me in the past, and I haven't drunk since, I would still like today. Can it be that is better to just stay with the memories? Have you had any similar experiences?

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6 comments:

  1. I had somewhat similar experience with a very good croatian beer Velebitsko, it is actually a small brewery and the beer is not so widely available, but their beers rank amongst the best in Croatia.

    First time I tried their pale lager on draught in a beerhouse which is closed for more than five years now, I was astonished by its full taste, and aroma reminiscent of honey with a brilliant balance between maltiness and hopiness. So, I was really excited when I heard that after a few years it was being available in some bars in Rijeka, albeit only in bottles, and it was definitely not good as on the draught, and I thought were my memories wrong or what? It was still very drinkable beer, but a pale shadow of the full taste I encountered first time I tasted it. Fortunately, their dark beer was also available, and that was much better :)

    I really liked both Jever and Salvator. I tasted Salvator only once, and it was really beautiful, but it was also few years go, so I am disapointed to hear that it is not as good anymore. But Jever always astonishes me, every time I tasted it, and have tried it on few occasions. Its hopinness always amazes me.

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  2. I have had a lot of similar experiences. every time I travel abroad of my native country I taste great domestic beers. When I come home I often would try to get the same beer that have astonished me earlier, just to find out that the same beer is dull and flat. Beers don´t travel well I suppose.

    Pingrid, Norway

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  3. Actually, I share your experiences. I went to Greece this year and found out that the Myhtos brand was to my liking. I brought home some cans, and the beer tasted somewhat different. I have also found Myhtos sold in bottles, but I was also disappointed when I drank it at home. Strange.

    Another story: When I was 16 I went to Germany. I was not allowed to drink beer in my home country, but it was allowed in Germany. Over there I got a liking for König Pilsener. Two years ago I went back and tried König Pilsener. It was still a good beer - but not a great beer. These days I prefer Pilsner Urquell... :-)

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  4. I was in Pivni klub on Sunday - and also had Salvator! I didn't realise it was such a strong beer, I was expecting a normal dark lager. However I was a bit tired, so not really paying attention. It was a good brew though - very fruity I thought.
    Otherwise, it's my birthday today so I'm heading off to try some interesting beers in Zly casy after work. :))

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  5. I believe that Salvator has the same effect on many people used to Eurolagers as those overrated Belgian strong Ales do. It has taste, and a pretty strong one at that, it is completely different to what one is used to, and that is why it impresses so much. But then, you might start exploring a bit further and you go back to, in this case, Salvator only to realise that it was not so fantastic after all.

    Pingrid,
    I think holiday beers are a different category. You might like them, or at least find them acceptable while you are enjoying yourself by the sea, but that is just because you are enjoying pretty much everything. But when you drink them back home, it just doesn't taste the same.

    Iain!
    Happy birthday! I was at ZC yesterday and they had some really really good stuff...

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  6. Yes I was in ZC on Monday as well. Had some very nice Bzenec and also the Kocour stuff - I'd been told it wasn't so great, but I actually rather liked it. It was a bit like a less demanding version of Stepan, but definitely a quality session beer.

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