Hints and tips of experienced brewmaster: delicious beer even in summer7.7.2008 Uncategorized
On hot summer days, the consumption of beer grows significantly, compared to other months. There are so many occasions to refresh oneself with a tasty ice-cold beer – on a summer terrace in a restaurant, at a summer music festival, at a private garden party with friends, or when sitting on a terrace with a jug. “You will find useful a few tips to make the beer treat even better,” says Jan Hlavacek, the brewmaster of the best selling Czech beer, Gambrinus.
Beer in a pub, garden or at a festival
In summer months, the temperature often exceeds tropical 30 °C. However, the ideal temperature of beer is 7-8 °C, and so it is obvious that there are higher requirements for cooling than in a colder season. Jan Hlavacek, the brewmaster at Gambrinus, gives the following advice:
- In summer, I prefer to order half pints, then I have my beer always “fresh” and with the right temperature.
- In warm weather, I prefer glasses made of thick glass which can keep the beer cold for a longer time – it is however important to rinse and cool down the glass with cold water before drawing the beer.
- It is more probable that you get a good beer in a pub where they have a refrigerated room to store the kegs, or serve beer from tanks.
- If beer is draught into plastic cups, I prefer going to where they have transparent ones. I can see how much beer the bartender let me have, and after all, you “drink” beer with your eyes too! This is also why you get Gambrinus beer at the biggest summer music festivals mostly in transparent stylish plastic cup.
Bring a beer in a jug
Inseparable part of the right summer atmosphere is an evening get-together on a warmed terrace, drinking a good beer you brought from a pub in a jug. How to enjoy a beer from jug best? Here are some tips from Jan Hlavacek, the brewmaster at Gambrinus:
- Before filling the jug with beer, I always rinse it with cold water, leaving the water in the jug for a while to cool the jug to the right temperature.
- I recommend to use earthenware or china jugs for draught beer, they protect the beer from light and can better keep the temperature. A jug with a narrow neck is better, in ideal case with a metal lid keeping in the CO2 that the beer naturally contains and preventing the access of air (getting stale).
- The jug should be of exact size, so that the bartender could draw the beer directly from tap.
- I keep an eye on the bartender, so that he or she draws the beer gently (can be completely without foam). This prevents a premature escaping of CO2 and the foam forms itself first when pouring the beer into the glass.
- In summer, when we need a more a stronger refreshment, I recommend a careful pouring of the beer into the glass – you preserve the natural content of CO2 in the beer, which gives it the right “bite”.
Garden Party with a keg
Summer time is simply an ideal time to prepare private garden parties where you can enjoy warm summer evenings together with your friends. Most people then deal with the question whether to buy rather a keg, a crate of bottles or a carton of cans. Jan Hlavacek, brewmaster at Gambrinus, recommends:
- Buy the keg in advance and ideally put it into a dark cellar to cool down.
- Before drawing the beer, transport the keg carefully, by no means roll it!
- The keg, tap and tube are best placed in a shadow, with a wet cloth over the keg so that the beer does not get warm unnecessarily and the cooling apparatus does not have to overcome a large temperature difference.
- Switch on the keg tap at least 30 minutes before drawing. Thus, the cooling apparatus can get at the ideal operating temperature well in advance.
- Personally, I prefer two smaller kegs to one big keg. With beer, it holds true that two “thirties” are better than one “fifty”.
- Clean glass is essential. If you use glass which has not been used for years, or is not washed properly, definitely do not expect a rich beer foam – it disappears immediately after drawing.
- Keg tap, and possibly the container with propulsive gas can be readily rented from the beer distributor, or directly by the brewery distribution centre. They also give you advice how to connect the portable keg tap.
- Most used propulsive gas for beer drawing today is mainly the combination of CO2 and nitrogen (called BIOGON). Adjust the pressure, so that the beer flows freely. The shorter the way between the keg and the glass, the better.
- If you prefer beer cans, you need a shorter time to cool them down than with bottles.
- For a smaller get-together with only a few friends, it pays off to buy one of the compact 5-liter packs, e.g. the Gambrinus XXL Can.
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- With total sales of over 10.9 million hectolitres in the calendar year 2007 and exports to more than 55 countries around the world, Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s., is a major beer producer in the region and the largest exporter of Czech beer. The major brands in the Czech Republic include Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast, Velkopopovický Kozel and the non-alcoholic brand Radegast Birell.
- The beer is brewed in three breweries in the Czech Republic – in the Pilsen brewers, the Radegast brewery and the Velké Popovice brewery.
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