06.24.11 - Pilsner Urquell TourPublished Jun 24, 2011, 11:00pm
the beginning of my Czech adventure started HERE
The fermentors are apparently coated so that the oak doesn't impart any flavor on the beer, but like most real Czech pilsners, the beer had a noticeable level of Diacetyl. Diacetyl gives the beer a buttery taste/aroma. There was also a considerable bite from sulfur.
I also got a lot of questions about their exportation answered. I thought that MillerCoors produced all the US Urquell, but I guess it is all made in Pilzen and exported. Which is why it has so much less flavor by the time we get it in Milwaukee. I blamed SAB Miller, but it's the travel time and pasteurization that ruins it. Don't get me wrong, it's still a MUCH better beer that anything else produced by SAB Miller, but it's nowhere near as good in the States as in the Czech Republic.
I was also surprised to see that they are installing a PET line at Urquell. PET bottles are those plastic bottles that soda and juice are in. They are getting more popular for beer in Europe. Let's hope the same doesn't happen in the US.
I had lunch in the restaurant at Urquell, which was decent. Not great though. The beer was great. You can only get the unfiltered, oak-aged on the tour, but in the restaurant, you can at least get it unpasteurized. SO tasty!
Service in the Czech Republic is horrible. Like most of Europe, tipping isn't standard, so pretty much everybody treats you like shit everywhere you go. I've gotten used to it, but still feel guilty not tipping, so I usually give 10% anyway. The highlight of my meal was definitely some old guys in the corner who were singing and playing accordions. Outside they have a beer garden with much cheaper food. Unfortunately I didn't find it until after I ate.
click HERE for the rest of my day at Chodovar