Thursday, January 13, 2011

Královský pivovar Krušovice Schwarzbier

Hello all! Happy new year! I hope your holidays were enjoyable and that this new year is even better! How is everyone? It has definitely been too long since my last post. My apologies, but life has been a little crazy lately. The holidays have come and gone, and now I am preparing to embark on an adventure overseas. On January 19th I'll be headed for Barcelona and London respectively, spending two weeks in each, and finally making an attempt to live and work in Amsterdam for six months. You can definitely expect reviews of beers from the region, which just so happen to be quite amazing :]

In any case, tonight I'll be reviewing a traditional german lager, Schwarzbier; translated from german, it means: "black beer." As I was browsing the beer aisle a week or so ago, and thought it might be nice to mix it up and opt for a traditional style beer. I was actually looking for a Czech Pilsner and thought I'd found one in Krušovice, but I had no idea it was a Schwarzbier until I got it home. Even though it is traditionally a german beer, I thought I'd give it a shot. Anyhow, let's get down to business...

Královský pivovar Krušovice (Royal Brewery of Krušovice) is located in the village of Krušovice, Czech Republic. It first opened its doors in 1517 and gained a contract to brew beer for the Emperor of Austria, Rudolf II in 1581. If you notice the crown (Royal Crown of Austria) on the logo of the beer, this is why. The company was acquired by Heineken in July 2007, but continues to brew beers in the classic style. The fact that this brewery was purchased by a larger brewery is quite sad, however seems to be a more and more common occurence. Does this mean the beer will lack in quality? Does this mean that the beer will lose what it was and what it meant when it was originally created? I have no idea, but it's an interesting question and thought, and might be worth looking into.

Delving into the history of is a black lager originating in central Germany in the regions of Saxony and Thuringia. The earliest record of Schwarzbier was in 1543 by Köstritzer (a brewer that still brews their brand today). Schwarzbier utilizes lager yeast (yeast that ferments at colder temperatures than that of ale yeasts) and dark malts, which differ from their darker ale relatives that utilize roasted barley for color and bitterness. The popular lagers today (Budweiser, Miller, and Coors, to name a few) are typically very light in body, but lagers of all body types are available and brewed throughout the world. Some of the worlds strongest beers are lagers (I thought this was an interesting fact). In any case, I hoped the Krušovice Schwarzbier would be a good representitive of the style...ready for the review?

Name: Královský pivovar Krušovice Schwarzbier
Category/Style: Schwarzbier (black lager)
ABV: 3.8%
IBU: Unknown
OG: Unknown
Malt Types: Unknown
Hop Types: Unknown
Yeast Type: Unknown
Additives: Unknown
Bottled: Unknown
Bottle Size: 500 mL

The Pour: Dark brown, reddish, clear. Head is light brown off-white/tan. Head is nice and fluffy, nice lacing.

The Nose: Initially all malt and cereal. Smells like wheaties. Sweetness. Hints of chocolate and dark roasted grains. Straw-like notes, slight raisin-like notes, and dark fruit. Perhaps some grassy noble hops in the back as well as hints of caramel.

The Taste: Light body, roasted grain and wheaties, light bitterness and cereal. Slight caramel notes. Light on the carbonation and mouthfeel. Light chocolate notes, bitterness lingers quite long. Not as sweet as I would have thought. Reminds me of a light dopplebock.

The Verdict: Was quite light bodied despite its' dark coloration. I have tasted the aforementioned Schwarzbier brewed by Köstritzer and I honestly felt Krušovice was spot on for the style. It's very drinkable and quite refreshing and clean. I was also surprised to find out that some of strongest beers in the world are lagers. If you're looking for something dark, but not heavy, and quite drinkable opt for a Schwarzbier...this just reaffirms that the germans, and the czechs for that matter, know how to brew a solid beer ;]

Thanks for reading!


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