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The town of České Budějovice in South Bohemia may be better known to North Americans as Budweis, the German name that’s been appropriated by a couple of famous beers. The real Czech pale lager from here is known as Budvar—sold as Czechvar in the United States, for legal reasons. It’s an easygoing showcase of light, pure malt flavors and soft, balancing bitterness, nearer in profile to a Bavarian helles than a typical Czech světlý ležák.
Joining us to tell this iconic beer’s story and talk about how it’s made is brewmaster Adam Brož, who is contagiously passionate about all the little details that make a pale lager into something that both tastes great and is addictively drinkable. Along the way, he discusses:
- Budvar Original’s unique place in the pale lager spectrum
- the importance of soft water to the beer’s profile
- why he insists on sticking with whole-cone Saaz hops
- how the barley variety and crop matter to the brewing process
- why decoction matters, from deeper color and flavor to greater consistency
- the benefits of long maturation of at least 90 days in horizontal tanks
- a new variety of Budvar with higher bitterness
- how the dark lager came to be and what sets it apart
"Our product is not the beer, but the joy from the beer," says Broz. "And without drinkability, it’s half of the joy."
This episode is brought to you by:
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