13 June 2005

Weiss of the North

I never thought I'd see the day when Hoegaarden was easier to get on draught in Belfast than in Dublin, but there you go. Things have certainly changed in the city where beer was recently limited to Guinness and Harp/Smithwick's or Tennent's/Bass depending on who controlled the supply to that bar.

Amazingly, in the Duke of York, where one can get Hoegaarden, Stella, and Carlsberg (among others) on tap, people were still drinking Harp. What's that about? Still, people were also drinking alcopops so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised it's a low-taste zone.

On the higher-taste front, while in Belfast I discovered an English beer called Curious Brew. It's a strange little dark lager, with distinct yeasty-aley overtones. One to be savoured (and not chugged down in the hotel bar at the end of a ten-hour session and after everywhere else has closed, ahem).

And just for the sake of completeness (which is what this blog is about), I also added Eisbrau Czech pilsner to my list of beers tried (something I will actually add to the side panel one of these months). It's passable, in the mould of Budvar. And, er, that's all I have to say about it.

04 June 2005

Straw Pole

On the J.D. Wetherspoon's web site I found a description of the Polish beer Zywiec. It has, it said, "a hoppy bitterness and a hint of malt" and "a sweet lemony aftertaste". Intrigued, I bought a bottle yesterday. I don't get it, however. Zywiec is pretty bland - straw colored with no trace of all that alcohol (5.7%) in the taste. It reminds me a little bit of Spaten or the other classic Bavarian lagers, but it lacks their flavour. Maybe in Poland where this stuff costs half nothing I'll go back to it, but when it shares a shelf with much cheaper and tastier beers I'll be giving it a miss.