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28-02-2011, 10:52
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One of the most neglectful aspects of this tosh so far as been to fail to cover one of the more exciting cooking lagers available to the British cooking lager enthusiast and this weekend I bought a big box of it to compensate for my neglect. It is currently difficult to ascertain whether permanent inflation has hit the cooking lager market bumping up the prices of lovely grog or whether we are stuck in the wilderness between Christmas and Easter waiting for the next 3 for £20 offer on big boxes of cheap lout.

One example is a recent 2 boxes of 15 for £18 offer on Beck’s (http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/sainsburys-price-comparison/Beer/Becks_Bier_15x275ml.html) in Sainsbury’s, making a half pint bottle a whopping 60p. Is that a good deal in these economically straightened times? Should that be accepted as the new economic reality of a stagnating inflation riddled economy? Should the cooking lager enthusiast shrug his shoulders and accept the value of money has collapsed and 60p is what a bottle of lout now costs? Kronenbourg looks a far better deal at £6.13 for 15 (http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/sainsburys-price-comparison/Beer/Kronenbourg_1664_15x275ml.html), a far more reasonable 41p a bottle. It looks like there are still bargains out there on decent ice cold fizz.

However for me it was time to revisit a lout I’ve not necked for a couple of years. Boheme lager (http://www.offlicencenews.co.uk/articles/49174/Tesco-lager-launch-takes-it-into-Czech-beer-territory.aspx) is a brand exclusive to Tesco, in effect their own Czech lager. Brewed to 4.7% and containing water, malt, hops & hop extract. Boheme 1795 is a pilsner brewed by Budejovicky Mestansky Pivovar, the oldest brewery in the city.

Crickey this sound like we are in proper lager territory here, and in some respects we are. Crap about craft versus industrial lager negates that one of the key attributes of European fizz is that the quality of the beer, its intrinsic attributes being far more important than unquantifiable attributes like the “amount of love” it was brewed with. Most decent authentic lager is industrially made and that is a key feature of its quality and consistency.

We could put this beer in a term of reference of other better known brands of Czech lager on the market but whether you are necking Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser Budvar or Staropramen you should be looking to do so at about £3 a litre. 2 500ml bottles for £3 appears the fair going rate for decent neckable branded grog in this arena. This grog came in at 20 330ml bottles for £10, or 50p a bottle or £1.50 a litre. Half the price of other available Czech lagers.

So is it only half as good? Nope not at all. It’s a cracking lout. It has a fullness to the body, a delicate sweetness and a wonderful crisp bite. A bang on decent Pilsner that even a “discerning” drinker would be happy to throw down there neck. On the great scheme of lout appreciation I’d put it up there as an arguably a comparable grog that could be branded and hawked at the same price of the branded goods. Boak & Bailey look at the grog here (http://boakandbailey.com/2007/09/10/boheme-1795/).

Bang per buck isn’t just about alcohol content, it’s also about how good the lout is and this lout really is top stuff for the buttons being charged. There is no such thing as bad cooking lager, it is all good, but some arguably is better than others. The way you decide this is by necking everything that is cheap and deciding for yourself what you like, and I really quite like this one.

When Tesco first started hawking this grog they flogged it at 3 boxes for £20, but when it came off the bargain bin other louts were offered cheap and I waved goodbye to the crisp delicious nectar. As the box sixes of the other offers has reduced and this remains 20 330ml bottles, at £10 for a box the offer hits the spot. Welcome back to Daddy.


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