5 Nov 2008

Blue Moon

There were two things to take into account before tasting Modrá Luna. One, the brewery that makes it, the other, that it is a Czech fruit flavoured beer, blueberries in this case.

The first one gives this beer some credit. Černá Hora is a pretty smart brewery. They have good marketing and they exploit very well the touristic potential of their facilities. They have a fairly big restaurant, that expands to a terrace in the warm months. You can play bowling. They run a hotel. They even offer the possibility of brewing your own beer at their microbrewery and they are also planning to open a beer spa, similar to the one at Chodovar. On top of all that, they know how to make beer, and some of the stuff they brew is quite interesting, like their nefiltrovaná desítka, the strong lager 1530 and the beer aperitif Black Hill. I was expecting a certain quality standard.

However, Czech brewers still have not mastered the art of fruit flavoured beers. So far I hadn't tasted any memorable one, actually, I had, and were horrible. The problems are usually two, either they don't have enough fruit, or the beer ends up being artificially sweet, more like a cheap fizzy drink than a quality alcoholic beverage. The use of extracts is part of the problem. But it should also be considered that using real fruit would make the costs prohibitive and the beer way too expensive for a market used to cheap beers of good quality.

I was somewhat wary, not expecting much.
The wariness started to disipate when I opened the bottle. Instead of sweet, almost medicinal scents, what I felt was a refreshing fruity dry aroma, berries. I was glad to see that the beer hand't been brewed with a base of dark lager. I would say they used Páter 11% Světlé. The beer is dull reddish, crowned by a lasting and thick, pinkish head. In fact, it doesn't look too different from some Belgian fruit beers that I've seen around. The berry parfume is still there when pouring, and once in the glass is balanced by mild caramel notes in the back. I was surprised by the taste, dry and slightly acid, pretty natural, I would say. The finish is herbal with a bit of caramel that, once again, gives some balance. Its rather low 4.4%ABV help make this beer very easy to drink. I really loved that it wasn't sweet, because blueberries aren't. Yes, extracts are used, but, as with every other product, there are different qualities of them. At least those used by this Moravian brewery have a distinctive sour berry flavour. It is a pretty nice beer to drink on a summer afternoon, or after a light dinner.

It isn't perfect, but Černá Hora-Modrá Luna is a step in the right direction. Let's see how this new product does on the market and if it opens the door to other similar ones.

Na Zdraví!

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6 comments:

  1. In my foolishness I once decided to try some of the fruit and herbal beers that PK stocks, and they were all foul. Tasting on chemicals and extracts rather than fruit. Fruit beer is though something I would like to try when I finally get making my own - in particular I have in mind a maraschino cherry sweet stout.

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  2. I know which ones you mean, Beerberry from Janáček. I've always been afraid of those.

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  3. That's the ones - disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

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  4. Just had the Modra Luna on tap at U Radnice, very nice. They also have the Primator Stout on today in half litres, all for a more agreeable price than Pivni club:)

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  5. Tried the Modra Luna in U Radnice on Friday night, after we had polished off the rest of the Priamtor Stout! Thought it was nothing special and not one I would run after at any great rate of knots.

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  6. I had it too (remember?:), but I must say that bottled is a lot better.

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