Czechvar Czech Dark Lager

Tonight’s selection is straight from the Czech Republic. My parents mentioned having it while overseas and enjoying it.


ABV: 4.7%

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Good beer has been brewed in Bohemia since time immemorial. Therefore, when founding the city České Budějovice in Bohemia (Czech Republic) in 1265, the Czech king Přemysl Otakar II did not fail to also grant to its burghers the brewing rights, i.e., the right for malting, brewing, storing and selling beer at their homes. In the following centuries, the local beer became so famous because of its quality that it gained loyal customers in imperial and royal courts. In the course of the centuries, small home breweries were disappearing and the beer was brewed in even larger facilities. on 15 April 1895, Český akciový pivovar was founded, whose current successor, B.B.N.P. brewery, carries on the local brewing tradition.”

Random: I put an empty cardboard box on the floor and one of the kittens thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It did leave a small, yet thick, crown on top of the body. The body was a dark brown color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with nutty malt. It had caramel sweetness, hazelnuts and a hint of smoke. The taste had less sweetness, but still had a lot of nutty malt. It also had light bitterness from the hops. Smoke was there as well. The body was thick with high carbonation. It had a long finish with hazelnuts and caramel sweetness. I picked this up for $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. This beer was fine, but I’m not a huge fan of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Pretty Things Lovely Saint Winefride

Happy 4th! This is one of the beers that I had after work last night. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 7%

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lovely Saint Winefride is a ‘brown’ lager, created by Dann using a complicated and extremely-rare decoction mash. You’re correct, ‘Brown Lager’ isn’t actually a style, but we wanted to make the most deliciously malty lager imaginable. At the same time we wanted this to taste like a lager you’d actually find in Germany, bursting with authentic character and suitable for the most discerning old-timer. Besides the decoction mash, we fermented Saint Winefride at 52 degrees and lagered her over a period of 9 weeks in the deep of winter. They just don’t make lagers like this here in New England. The beer is malty, containing a blend of German malts and roasted German malts. There’s even the wisp of smoke near the end. St Winefride lived in post-Roman Wales from 600 to 660 A.D. She was charming and intelligent, and decided to become a nun. Unfortunately, this news went down poorly with her suitor, Caradoc, who hacked off her head. Luckily, her Uncle Beuno was able to perform the miracle of reattaching it and she recovered fully. (Hooray!). She became an Abbess and governed Gwytherin Abbey in Wales until her death on November 3rd, 660 A.D. The lager, yes lager, started out as an idea to create a very rustic beer with a roasted character and a brown disposition. We imagined a pre-Great War sort of beer that might have been on its last legs of popularity. The kind of beer young folks of the time would laugh about as being ‘an old man’s lagerbier.’ Well Pretty Things is the old-man’s-dream-beer-brewer, so we decided to give it a whirl. We started with malted barley and hops from the German tradition and employed a single decoction mash. Decoction is a slightly complicated, time intensive and little used technique (on this continent anyway) that insured temperature accuracy in the age before real temperature control. Got it? Okay, that was a boring explanation. How is this: we took a portion of the mash and boiled it at 212 degrees F for 15 minutes. Trust us, boiling a mash is rare. Dann has only done this a handful of times in his twenty year career (on purpose anyway). Ahem. We continue by saying this brown lager is also quite delicious and nice to drink. If you choose to not think about boiling mashes and old men we assure you this beer will still very much please your palate.”

Random: I love beers with a story behind them.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also left a half a finger of crown on top of the dark brown body. There was no carbonation visible. The nose had brown bread, smoke and nuttiness. The taste was filled with brown bread as well. There was also nuttiness and pepper. Malt was present too. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a long, bready finish with lots of nuttiness. This was also a beer that my parents picked up for me, so no comment on the price of this one. This beer was well-crafted, no doubt, I just wasn’t a huge fan of the flavors. I wouldn’t have this one again, but it’s more of a qualm with the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Guinness Black Lager

It’s finally the weekend! It was definitely a long week and one that I’m happy to see end. And, tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day. I really can’t say no to a holiday that encourages Irish food and drinking. We’re finally down to the final two Irish themed beers, and we’re getting into the ones that are actually from Ireland. Guinness Black Lager is a relatively new brew that has gotten a lot of press. I like to try anything Guinness, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I got my hands on this one.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Trivia: According to, “The purpose of the new product is to create new income. It is aimed at young men who prefer chilled, bottled lagers to pints of beer, and is being sold in 330 millilitre bottles for six to nine months in Northern Ireland, as a test market for Europe, and in Malaysia to see whether there are opportunities for the product elsewhere. In Malaysia, the beer will be known as Guinness Premium Beer. It will be offered at a comparable price to other premium lagers. The move follows previous attempts by Diageo to boost sales by introducing variations of Guinness stout.”

Random: I’m digging the silver and blue label of this one. It has the classic marks of Guinness while adding a new twist to it.

This poured with a thick, two finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was more subtle than I expected. It had some roasted malt and coffee, not much else to it. The taste was not at all what I was expecting. It was pretty bland to start, with very light roasted malt flavoring. There was also light bitterness to the brew. I can’t believe how boring this beer was, especially given how flavorful I find Guinness to be. The finish was quick with nothing to it. I wouldn’t have this beer again…a real disappointment.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0