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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vignette #4, Adam Brož (Budějovický Budvar)

Brewer vignettes feature quotes from brewers I picked up in my travels around the world.

“It depends on the beer category you are producing.  If you try the lager type, the decoction is very important.  We compared decoction versus infusion on our  small-scale brewery; always the beer brewed by the infusion process was emptier in its taste—the body was not correct for the lagers.  Also the color changed.  If you boil during the decoction, you prepare the compounds which cause golden color.  So the infusion lagers were yellowish, not so full in its taste.”

“Always there is a discussion of the definition of pilsner lager.  We are a bit different [than Pilsner Urquell].  It is not so bitter, and a bit deeper fermented.  It’s really difficult to compete with Pilsner Urquell because I think that it’s really the style.  It became the style of the pilsner type.  We are a bit different in this category because bitterness is really fine, the alcohol is a bit higher than the pilsner has.  The Budweiser beer is really different.”

(Incidentally, there's a cool story about that mug Brož is holding. They're copper-clad but lined by tin, and are the vessels brewers have used to taste beer for ... ever, probably (Adam wasn't sure; "a very long time.") It's called something like a mazek, based on what I could hear him say, and that apparently derives from the name of the volume it holds which I think is related to the German Maß. When we were in the cellars, he used that little pigtail you can see in his left hand to zwickel beer (the pigtail is nearly always used for lagers in Germany), and he filled that that sucker nearly up to its full mazek. The day I visited, the brewery was having electrical work done, and there was no power on in the brewery. Except for the small flashlight he carried, we were in the dark, like thieves stealing the beer. After he filled it up, we passed it back and forth and crept around the echoing cellars--which I couldn't see.)

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