Friday, April 22, 2011
Easter Egg Hunt vs Easter Beer Hunt
Czechs will think of any reason to drink beer!
I'd prefer it to be pink because green reminds me of St. Patrick's Day, but I can envision skipping with my Easter basket through a field of green...
Here's the article from the Prague Post Food Blog:
Breweries are just as eager to find an excuse to put out a special beer as beer lovers are to drink it. In the run-up to Easter this weekend, several breweries are capitalizing on any celebration’s penchant for drink by releasing limited-edition craft beers. So, if you’re the type who prefers liquid gold to chocolate eggs, you can pile these pints into your proverbial basket.
Green may not normally be a color associated with “Easter” let alone “beer” — unless we’re talking St. Patrick’s Day and boozy parties at Irish pubs. But there’s also the tradition of “Green Thursday,” also known as Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. Marking the Last Supper of Christ may seem an odd occasion for brewing a green-colored beer, but several breweries, such as the Velké Březno brewery, are releasing an envy-colored pint this Thursday, April 21.
Velké Březno’s zelené pivo is a special flavored beer brewed in the brewery Starobrno. According to the brewery’s press release, it combines spring water, barley malt and Moravian Saaz hops. Given an eight-day traditional fermentation using Velké Březno yeast, the brew is 13° and has a “typical taste” and “well-rounded flavor.” What they won’t divulge, however, is the “secret herbal extract” that gives the beer its tint, saying the brewers guard the secret fiercely.
Velké Březno has a catalog of equally interesting and quirky beer specials that it produces annually, including a pepper beer. It markets them quite heavily through Facebook, and websites for each specialty beer feature an alphabetical list of every single pub and restaurant (by town) in the Czech Republic serving each one — an ingenuously helpful tactic.
The list for places pouring the zelené pivo starting this Thursday is too long to recount here (the listings for Prague are even divided into districts for easy searching), and range from restaurants to pubs to dive bars. A few of the most well-known spots include: Petrínské terasy, Kozička, Limonádový Joe, V Cípu, PopoCaféPetl, Merenda, U Sadu, Pivní Tramway,Mirellie and U Bilého lva.
Prague’s own Novoměstský pivovar, on Vodičkova street, pours a special Velikonoční 14° dark lager starting on Green Thursday, for 45 Kč a half-liter. The microbrewery also has a special lunch and dinner menu for the weekend.
Farther afoot, near Plzeň, the Dobranská minipivovar has two Easter specials: a 7° honey lager and a 12° nettle lager. In the same area, the Purkmistr brewery, in Plzeň’s Černice district, has a festival of beers for Easter, starting April 21 and running through the 25th. Specials include a green beer and a Velikonoční 15°, brewed using two kinds of hops. The green lager, according to Marketing Chief Petr Míč, combines “three types of herbs” for its festive flavor.
Pivovar Holba also releases an Easter special, the 13.51° Šerák, which boasts a greater proportion of hops and malt. Brewer Luděk Reichl says it has had an extraordinarily long production period in large cellars, where it has matured and fermented for up to two months. “The ideal is to drink one or two and enjoy its excellence in every sip,” says the brewer.
This Saturday, April 23, the Chodovar brewery opens “officially” for the season, celebrating both Easter and the warmer months by welcoming visitors to its grounds, for tours and festivities. The brewers will lead a traditional barrel-rolling contest in the courtyard, among other activities, as well as keeping thirst at beer with a special yeast beer.
Other breweries no doubt are offering similarly unique specials this weekend, making for a veritable Easter egg hunt for interesting brews. Seek and ye shall find!