Budvar's 'yeast lager' to hit London
brighten Bank Holiday
A rose among the thorns? Unusually, a famous London pub -- the White Horse at Parson's Green -- will include a Czech lager when it hosts a Belgian beer festival over the August Bank Holiday, 28-31 August.
Accompanying 20 Belgian cask ales will be a special version of Budweiser Budvar golden lager. It's dubbed "yeast lager" in its own country and is an unpasteurised version of the world-famous lager that is matured for 90 days in cellars beneath the brewery in Ceske Budejovice.
The beer has only a short shelf life and is sold to just 50 nominated outlets in the Czech Republic. The bars are chosen by the brewery and they have to convince Bduvar's brewing staff they have sufficient quality of cellar and dispense management to look after the beer, which has to be sold within a few dasy of kegs being broached.
According to White Horse manager Dan Fox, who struck the deal with Budvar, the south London pub has passed the brewery's test to become the first retail outlet in Britain to dispense the beer. According to Budvar Technical Director Tony Perkins, there is no mystique about installing unpasteurised beer "as long as you observe scrupulous hygiene standards and give the keg sufficient time to settle after delivery you will be fine," he says.
The initial process for yeast lager is the same as Budvar's classic original. Both beers have an ABV of 5% and are brewed in a 100-day cycle from the same natural ingredients: water from an ancient lake beneath the brewery, whole Zatec hops, Moravian barley malt and the brewery's own yeast culture active since 1895. The beers diverge when "rings" or living yeast cells are added to the lager yeast when the fermentation cycle is at its high point.
Following kegging, a further level of fermentation takes place, giving the beer its unique taste. In the glass it has a golden yellow colour. The yeast causes the beer to be non-sparkling but with a light opalescene and a compact and stable head.
*White Horse,1-3 Parson's Green, London SW6 4UL. www.whitehorsesw6.com.