21 Nov 2008

And the winners are...

I chose to publish the list of winners separated from the previous post because I want to speak about about the awards. Analyse them, if you wish.

I don't care too much about awards and medals of any kind, but these ones are for me of some importance because they are given by the association that represents consumers. I'm not sure how Sdružení přátel piva choose the winners, nor what criteria is used for some of the awards, and though many are questionable, I have no doubt of the honesty of the people of SPP.

So, here they are.

Desítka 2008:
Fist: Moravské Sklepní nefiltrované from Černá Hora
Second: Pardál světlé výčepní pivo from Budvar
Third: Budweiser Budvar světlé výčepní pivo
I couldn't agree more. Moravksé Sklepní is a very special beer and no doubt unique in its category. Now, the second place. Pardál better than Budvar světlé výčepní (and many others)?

Jedenáctka 2008
First: Ležák 11° from Pivovar Klášter
Second: Otakar ležák from Polička
Third: Svijanský Maz from Svijany
I might like Otakar a bit more, but I think Klášter is a fair winner, after all it is the fourth time in a row that they take the prize.

Dvanáctka 2008:
First: Sváteční ležák from Bernard
Second: Pilsner Urquell
Third: Opat from Pivovar Broumov
Another worthy winner, another beer that is different. Pilsner Urquell as second, hmmm...

Speciál 2008
First: Primátor Exklusiv 16° from Pivovar Náchod
Second: Kvasar from Černá Hora
Third: Démon from Lobkowicz
This is a difficult category, Speciály are those with at least 13°balling, so the range is huge. It is enough to have a look at the list above to get an idea. Exklusiv (well deserved) is a pale strong lager, Kvasar is also a pale with 14°balling and with honey and Démon is a 13° polotmavé.

Tmavé pivo 2008:
First: Budweiser Budvar tmavý ležák
Second: Speciální černé pivo from Bernard
Third: Svijanská Kněžna from Svijany
Here I don't agree at all. Budvar tmavé is a fine beer, but it's not even close to the one from Bernard or Herold, that wasn't even mentioned. Besides, this is a category that should be broken down since it scopes all dark beers regardless of their gravity.

Polotmavé 2008:
First: Skalák from Rohozec
Second: Primátor Pale Ale from Pivovar Náchod
Third: Primátor polotmavé 13° from Pivovar Náchod
Another winner I don't agree about. Skalák wins it for a second year in a row and I don't think it deserves it. It is, for me, the weakest product from Rohozec, whose beers I like a lot. Both samples from Primátor are far superior.

Nealko 2008:
First: Bernard Free Jantar (amber)
Second: Bernard Free (pale)
Third: Svijanská Vozka from Svijany
Nothing to add here.

Minipivovar 2008:
First: Prague’s Klášterní Pivovar Strahov
Second: Pivovarský dvůr Chýně
Third: Malostranský pivovar in Velké Meziříčí
Another that wins back to back awards. The beers from Strahov have improved considerable in the last couple of years. However, I think Chýně brews more interesting and daring beers.

Pivovar 2008:
First: Svijany
Second: Budweiser Budvar
Third: Pivovar Náchod (Primátor)
This is one of the categories for which I don't know what criteria was used. Does Svijany deserve the award? Stricktly beerwise, they haven't done anything new recently, on the other hand, they have grown a lot. More and more people know and appreciate their beers every day. I think that, to a certain extent, they have taken Bernard's place as an alternative brewery in the mind of many consumers. Budvar as second, not a chance, they haven't innovated, they haven't grown, they haven't done anything new worth mentioning. Primátor should be in their place (if not first)

Sládek (brewmaster) 2008:
Ing. Josef Tolar from Budweiser Budvar
There is no doubt that he is someone who does his job very well. The question I have is wether he would still be able to brew Budvar the same way if the company was privatised.

I don't know what you think.

Na Zdraví!

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  1. Budvar may not have grown or innovated, however what they are doing is keeping the traditional way of making Bohemian lager alive, and seemingly doing very well with it.

    As I mentioned on Evan's blog, it would be good to have a category for "Newcomer of the Year".

  2. I mentioned that once to T. Erlich and he told me that there aren't enough new products each year to open a new category. And I think he is right, at least when it comes to bottlers.

    Oh! And you have a good point about Budvar.

  3. I would have thought that such an award would be an incentive to innovate.

  4. It would, if breweries really cared about these awards. Unfortunately, I don't think it is the case.

  5. About dark beers - first round is selection by members votes. So those beers like Herold and Bernard might not have made it to final round. And Budvar's version is the one that is not sweet among the big breweries ofeers. So I agree

    Honza www.svetpiva.cz

  6. Hi Honza,

    Thanks for letting me know how the shortlisting works.

    I agree that Budvar's dark beer is different (and more interesting) than the dark beers from the big brewers. Still, I think Bernard, that was second, is a better beer, but that is just my opinion.