Nova Paka Lager

Nova Paka Brewery

Nova Paka, Czech Republic

Lager

I saw this half-liter bottle of BrouCzech in the supermarket and couldn’t resist. The supermarket is often a questionable place to get “authentic” imports since I have no idea how long this stuff sits on a distributor’s shelf before coming to the brightly-lit aisles of Gristedes’, but they haven’t let me down yet. And I suppose a distributor could hold onto a shipment for a while, but I trust a beer dealer more than one of New York’s crappier chains.

This lager pours with a rocky head that billows and sticks to the glass impressively. The nose is evident immediately. The brew is active with lively carbonation rising up all around the glass. The clarity is impeccable and the color is a beautiful honey hue with a faint hint of red. The nose is slightly sour and grassy. Faint notes of bread yeast hide a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon spiciness that I hope will come across as real Czech hops.

Ah, the first sip is splendid and the mouthfeel is full and complex. It starts as a standard lager or cooling pilsner but opens up nicely with more of the cinnamon than I would have thought, following with a slightly metallic grassiness that might be expected in a more golden lager. A fibrous biscuit quality finishes down the back of the tongue. The hops sizzle throughout the swallow in the shape of clean, carrot-like flavor.

I could enjoy this beer on a hot summer day or next to a fire in a dark beer hall. The lightness would pair well with heartier meals, but it can stand alone or with finer cuisine as well. I dub this a Crom beer. This beer has thoughts on the riddle of steel.

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