28 Oct 2008

Hats off

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.
Na Zdraví!

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.

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.

16 comments:

  1. Sounds delicious! My mouth is watering. I have to say that it wouldn't be hard to beat Guinness (the draft version at least) in the flavour stakes.

    I'm going to have to try to convince my wife that we should visit the Czech Republic next year...

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  2. You most certainly should, afterall we are only just "next door" and with myself Evan and Pivni Filosof around we will be more than able to give yo uthe inside track on places to stay and drink.

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  3. That would be excellent. My wife says that she was in Prague so many times when she was younger that she has no real desire to visit. I have a feeling it was when she was a rebellious teen7early 20's and she might just not want to remember that stage of her life :D

    According to Google Earth it is 715km (about 6 hours 42 mins) to drive. I think we'd fly...

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  4. You shold come, even alone. Im sure Ms. Adeptus won't mind being left alone for a couple of days....

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  5. But would Mrs Adeptus let her man come to the flesh pots of Prague alone?! That sir is teh question ;)

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  6. We will keep an eye on him. I promise that we will not let him get any closer to a woman than us married blokes do....

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  7. lol, "us married blokes"? I am married! Does that mean you can get closer to "other women" in Prague or something? ;o)

    As it is, I'm abandoning her and my son for a week while I visit Ireland in November. It'll take a while to built up brownie points before I do something like that again :oD

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  8. When you say "other women" does that include the barmaids?

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  9. Of course not. But in the case of the barmaids, we are speaking about business transactions....

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  10. I went to PK to try Primator stout yesterday - fantastic! Definitely one of the best brews I've had recently (at least since Slunce ve skle). With this and the Coriander Opat, I'd say PK's having quite a good week...

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  11. Im glad you liked it. I think Primátor have topped themselves with this one. Hope we will see it around at least as much as their weizen.

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  12. I have never drunk Primátor Stout draught but I buy bottles for quite a long time, and for unknown reason, in last lets say half a year or so this beer has almost no head at all, with no exception. It is quite strange to me, before it used to have, as you wrote, nice thick and almost immortal head. Did you or anyone notice this problem as well? I must add that there is no problem with the taste, still delicious to me.

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  13. I haven't noticed that problem really...

    It's always had little head coming out of a bottle, but it's always there and always lasting. Do you happen to wash the glass you drink it with in a dishwasher?

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  14. Oh! And if you want Primátor Stout draught, go to U Prince Miroslava, they usually have it, and if they have the EPA, you can even drink a Czech made Black&Tan

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  15. Well, I wash it in a dishwasher.. But I didn´t change anything before I noticed that problem. I always flush out the glass with cold water but I really don´t want to be bothered with the alchemy of washing beer glasses that I read about at pivni.info, I am not such big beer geek:)

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  16. Is the dishwasher that ruins it. I don't know what they say at pivni.info, but I always wash it by hand with JAR or whatever is that we are using now and rinse it two or three times with cold water, and I also rinse cold water once more before serving, but that's mostly to lower the temperature of the glass...

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