The October meeting presented me with a chance to talk about some of my favourite beer styles, Czech Lagers. BrewDog Reading kindly let us use their projector and the Beer Hall above the main bar. We had a good turnout and it was good to see several new faces. We were also joined by Jeff Rosenmeier from Lovibonds Brewery in Henley-on-Thames who kindly brought some of his Czech-inspired lager to try! Lager Boy certainly went down well with me…
I gave a brief introduction to why I love Czech lagers and then of the birth of lager in Bavaria. This was followed by a discussion of beer history in the Czech, Bohemian, Moravian region and then how Pilsen came to be the origin of pale lagers. I kept the history as short as possible, this region has been through many changes over the years and that would be a series in itself!
We then moved on to a discussion of the current-day beer styles and then how the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) have divided them up into the four styles in the 2015 Style guide: 3A. Czech Pale Lager, 3B. Czech Premium Pale Lager, 3C. Czech Amber Lager and 3D. Czech Dark Lager.
Not wanting it to be too dry of a talk, we broke out some samples I brought along to share. I brought what I hoped to be a good commercial example of each of the four styles, along with my own attempt at a Czech Premium Pale Lager and Czech Dark Lager.
We then covered brewing techniques, and that in the majority Czech breweries they still practice triple decoction mashing. I gave some examples of my recipes and the water profile I use, with the warning that these are latest versions, and not finished!