Chaz Bartok’s Beer of the Month: Czechvar: King of Lagers

The other day a ladyfriend, red with fury, screamed at me: “Do you really think life is all about long hair, hard rock, trans ‘ams, and beer?!” I paused for a second in deep thought, then threw back my mane, took a swig of my brew, pressed play, and left her in a cloud of dust and guitar wails as my ‘am squealed its way across the parking lot and on to the open road.

Unlike the world of music, which clearly hit a peak with 1989’s Appetite for Destruction, the world of beer keeps expanding. More imported beers are making their way to liquor shops from all corners of the globe, and anyone with an old-fashioned logo and a wacky name seems to have a microbrewery. The quality and variety of beer in America and around the world has increased drastically in the past 20 years, however many of the finest brews available are those created hundreds of years ago in obscure Central European towns.

One such beer is Czechvar, which is known as Budweiser Budvar in Europe (a legal agreement with American giant Anheuser-Busch require the name change in North America). Czechvar was first brewed in the Czech Republic city of Ceske Budejovice in the 19th Century and comes from a Czech brewing tradition of over 700 years.

While history and unique packaging count for something, the real test of any beer is how it tastes, at least when you’re talking about the first 9 bottles of the night or so. Czechvar’s taste is remarkable; it’s a robust lager with a special golden color and even a golden taste. There is something sweet, dry, and clean about the flavor which sets it apart even from other world-class lagers, a certain sparkle of magic which makes the first sip a revelation of sorts. The flavor is very mild and lingers on the palate well after a sip, making the aftertaste smooth and clean. Each sip seems to demand another, as the nectar-like taste is toasty, warm, and inviting. No dominant element of the beer overwhelms the overall taste, which is balanced and exceptionally drinkable. This a beer that even non beer-drinkers will instantly enjoy and savor.

While I don’t advise this for everyone, my ‘am has a built in cooler which is now fully stocked with Czechvar 20oz bottles, which for some reason are tastier than the 12oz version, perhaps because the brown glass helps protect the natural ingredients better. The smooth taste means Czechvar is perfect with the t-top under a hot sun, and the robust flavor makes it a perfect pick-me-up when I roll out of bed. Basically I can and do drink Czechvar all day long– it’s the perfect company as I speed across town looking for ladies and new adventures, my greasy mane flapping in the wind, eardrums blown out by the world’s loudest guitars, ‘am kicking up smoke and dirt clods on losers in Hyundais on their way to work. I may not be a rich man, a smart man, a respected man, but when I’m cruising through town with a lady in the bucket seat on my right and a Czechvar in my hand, I’m golden, baby.

USOUNDS urges everyone but Chaz not to drink and drive. Chaz Bartok can be reached at cz1679 at Yahoo [removespamblock] dot com

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