Explosion Brewing Company, from the Czech Republic, is trying to change the perception of the pilsner with its line of Boom Beer.
When it comes to beer, the Czech Republic is pretty much known for just one style — pilsner. Pilsners are golden, clear, lighter beers with a touch of hop bitterness. They can be wonderfully refreshing beers, but they are also the style of beer that all mega-breweries in the United States base their beers on.
But Explosion Brewing Company is trying to change that perception. The first craft brewery from the Czech Republic has released three beers, under the Boom Beer label, they hope will change what people think about Czech beers.
Explosion brews in the town of Strakonice, which is in the shadow of the home of Czech pilsners, Plzen. The company does not ignore history completely: all three of the Boom beers are lagers, just as pilsners are.
They also do not ignore the pilsner style completely. They just do it a little differently — they make it bigger.
The Imperial Pilsner is like a pilsner on steroids. Most pilsners are in the 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) range (some are higher, some are lower), but the Boom Imperial Pilsner comes in at 8.5 percent ABV.
Along with more alcohol, it also has more hops, producing grassy aromas, and a big, biscuity malt flavor.
Although bigger than a typical pilsner, the brewers do a good job of balancing all the flavors. It still tastes like a pilsner, unlike many imperial pilsners that seem to lose the pilsner-like quality when they cross into the high alcohol levels.
It is more of a sipping beer than a regular pilsner, though, due to the fuller body and higher alcohol. It is a beer to enjoy slowly.
The Boom Chocolate Stout Porter may be the strangest name for a beer. Stouts and porters, although similar, are different styles of beer. And, they are both styles of ales, but the Boom Chocolate Stout Porter is brewed with a lager yeast. In short, this may be the world’s first stout/porter/lager hybrid.
No matter what you call this beer, it is a tasty, well-done beer.
The beer is a little more light bodied than a typical stout or porter, but the chocolate, from cocoa powder, really comes through. It has a coffee-like roastiness, similar to a stout. It is as dark as a stout, with a frothy, caramel-colored head.
The Boom Chocolate Stout Porter is a fantastic after-dinner beer, alone or enjoyed with a sweet dessert. Like the Imperial Pilsner, this beer is relatively high in alcohol at 7.8 percent ABV.
The third beer is Boom’s Böhmerwald’s Majesty. The name comes from the local Böhmerwald Forest.
The beer is a pale bock, which is a stronger style of lager (8.8 percent ABV).
It is also brewed with rye, which gives the beer a pleasant spiciness.
Page 2 of 2 - The Böhmerwald’s Majesty is brewed with beet sugar, but what you can really taste is the oak chips the beer is conditioned on. The oak adds a sweet vanilla-like flavor, which works in harmony with the spicy rye to make this a phenomenal beer. The alcohol is also well-hidden by the spice and vanilla flavors, making this a dangerously drinkable beer.
I enjoyed all three of the Boom Beers, and I can’t wait to see what they release next.
Norman Miller is a MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-626-3823. Check out The Beer Nut blog at http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut/