It’s flamIng June, when england is at her best. Wimbledon. Cricket. strawberries. Punting. that sort of thing. so on a By pleasantly warm June day Ted Bruning in england, what more suitable refreshment could there be than a nice cold lager? Because let’s face it, that’s what we drink in summer.
But you don’t have to go for ordinary. treat yourself to a genuine imported lager, one you haven’t tried before. I’ve picked two, one from germany (which isn’t actually the historic home of lager – the Czech Republic is, but that’s another story), and one from Poland. let’s start with Warsteiner from Westphalia. north-West germany is known for decidedly bitter lagers such as Jever and Bitburger, but Warsteiner at 4.8% abv is altogether different. It’s very, very pale for a start – almost colourless, in fact. the aroma is grassy-fresh, with a hint of bready yeast giving way to a suggestion of ginger. the palate is soft and light and the finish is slightly sweet, a bit peachy, with just a faint hop bitterness. an ice-cream soda of a beer. tyskie comes from tychy in silesia, which was german from 1742 to 1945. the brewing tradition here is german; but the Poles are expert at brewing strong, muscular lagers and tyskie at 5.6% is certainly muscular. the nose is rich and malty as you’d expect, but the palate is altogether different: quite sharp and tangy, a hint of lime, not malty at all. the finish is bitter and creamy at the same time, with a bit more of that thirst-quenching lime sourness. a beautiful beer – but treat it with respect!
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