24 Beers of Christmas – December 1st: Budweiser Budvar B:Dark
Now this is a Budweiser I can get behind. Brewed in České Budějovice, or Budweis in German, this Czech Dark Lager is one of the best value-for-money beers available in the LCBO this holiday season.
The Czech Republic is known for the world class lagers they produce, including their Premium Pale Lagers often known as Czech Pilsners. Their love of these bottom fermented beer styles originated with the influx of imports from Bavaria during the early part of of the 19th century. The typical lager arriving in Bohemia (now a part of the Czech Republic) at the time would have been fairly dark, while still maintaining a crisp, clean characteristic.
Advances in the malting process allowed brewers to begin producing lighter coloured and also lighter flavoured beers by the mid 1800s, with the Pilsner Urquell Brewery among the first, if not the first, examples of a golden lager. While the dark lager never went away, the popularity of pale lagers soon brought about more and more similar iterations both regionally and abroad.
Which brings us to another Budweiser. You see, brewers from the city of Budweis had begun exporting their product to the United States by the late 1800s. So popular was their beer, that a future brewing giant registered the trademark “Budweiser” for themselves in 1876. The modern-day Budweiser Budvar Brewery came into existence 19 years later and since then the two companies have been locked in a century old battle over naming rights. The result is that while much of the world knows Budweiser Budvar by its true name, much of North America and some of South America only know the brand as Czechvar.
This beer has a great richness to it, but goes down fresh and light. Nice deep roasty grain, dark rye bread, chocolate, light fruity esters from the grain and a noticeable, but pleasant noble hop character.
Style: Czech Dark Lager – 4.7% ABV, ? IBU, SRM – ?
Food pairings: Roasted Meats and Hearty Stews, Gruyère , Trdelnik
Availability: LCBO (Seasonal)