Tweet Those of you who regularly follow this blog might already know that I'm a big fan of Pivovar Náchod, Primátor, for friends. Despite being, at least for now, a state company, actually a municipal company (its sole owner is, at least for the time being, the city of Náchod), it is the most innovative brewery in the Czech Republic. They call themselves specialist in specials, which is a big truth, their line of strong lagers is pretty interesting and appreciated by many of those who know about beer. They are the first industrial brewery, and still the only, to brew top fermented beers. Their brilliant Weissbier has nothing to envy its German industrial pairs; and their English Pale Ale, though misunderstood by some, is an interesting beer, very daring for the conservative Czech market, which seems to be having relative success and which I like a lot.
Imagine my joy when I was told that they were about to come out with a new product. Imagine my curiosity when the product in question turned out to be a Stout. So far there had been only one stout-like beer made in Czech, Kelt, a bottom fermented beer that is actually a pretty decent recreation, in fact, I would say that it's the only decent product of InBev (pardon my French) in this country. Primátor's aims to be a something more. Top fermented, brewed with four kinds of malt: Czech, Bavarian, smoked and colouring, together with roasted barley, unmalted oats and English hops. The people of Náchod do take things seriously.
So, when I heard that Pivovarský Klub was already tapping it, I went there as soon as I could. My anticipation was huge, though I must admit that I was a little afraid. This year I'd had several Czech craft stouts and loved all of them, would Primátor be at their level?
I ordered my first glass and was given a very dark beer, there were only soft ocre gleams when put against the light. The head is creamy, slightly tanned and almost inmortal. The bouquet is all autumn, baked apples, espresso coffee and some hints of herbs and smoke. It goes in with caramel and chocolate notes that soon give way to an intense taste of very strong coffee, everything wrapped in a soft and creamy body. The finish is long, dry, roasted and delicious. The beer itself is delicious, there is no other way to evaluate it. It is so well made. If hadn't had to leave, I would have stayed there to drink the rest of the keg.
So good it is that, according to what I was told at Pivovarský Klub, at the weekend, some Irish visitors decided to give it a go and could not believe that it was a Czech beer. According to my sources, their verdict was that it's better than Guinness.
My most sincere congratulations to the people of Primátor for such a good product. I hope the bottled version is available soon at supermarkets and specialised shops. And I also hope that other brewers start taking notice or even rip off some ideas. It would be great, and I think the time is right. In the meantime, go to Pivovarský Klub and see for yourselves.
PS: I agree with my good friend Velký Al, Pivovarský Klub could sell this beer in pints, 0.3l is not enough. And since I'm in a request mood, together with their sister restaurant, Pivovarský Dům, they could also start thinking about procuring glasses that are more appropriate for ales and other top fermented beers.
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