My sister is in Budapest with us now, so I went out and bought some German, Hungarian and Czech beers to try out. We also went out to an 'all you can eat' sushi joint on the Buda side called Wasabi (it may be part of a chain) and had some beer there. It was actually my first time eating sushi at one of these conveyor belt style places where you pick an item from the line of dishes that drift past you. Since it's all you can eat, my husband thinks it will soon go out of business. The day we were there we saw some large Hungarians leaving the place clutching their bellies in a satisfied way, so he may be right. The food was great though.
We had the German and Czech beers (a Bitburger and a Staropramen) at home. The Staropramen (which means "old source" according to the Oxford bottled beer database) was a light coloured lager. As I drank the Staropramen, I tried to find a little background information online. I read that Staropramen makes a light Pilsner that is every bit as good as Urquell, but cheaper. When I poured it out it had a froth that lasted about two minutes. It had a dry aftertaste or finish. It grew on me. It was more complicated than I had at first thought, but I also thought that I preferred the Pilsner Urquell that I had tasted at a restaurant a few weeks ago. I decided to go out and buy two more bottles so that I could compare the Urquell with the Staropramen. I poured both into glasses and put them side by side. They looked very similar.
which is which?
Actually they also tasted somewhat similar. But I still preferred the Urquell. And, especially when recalling how I had felt when I first drank these beers separately they had in fact seemed quite different. Maybe there are better and worse times to drink beer. The Urquell may have made a better impression because I had had it with food at the Gundel. And anyway in social situations beer often seems better. In any case, my impression was confirmed when I tried them out together but they are definitely not that different.
The German pilsner is billed as the number one draft beer in a can from Germany . It's slogan is Bitte ein Bit or "a Bitburger please". It's a golden coloured beer. It has a crisp dry flavour, but doesn't leave a lasting impression. Maybe I prefer darker beers. It's alcohol level is 4.8 percent. It's sold in Quebec (this I know, because it has instructions concerning the return of used cans in Quebec).
At the Sushi restaurant, we had an Amstel Bock which is a rich sweet beer with no bitterness. It pours out frothy. The head lasts for about a minute. It went well with the Teriyaki chicken. We had the Dreher Bak later (it was my sister's choice). It's a different beer than the Amstel. It has a rich molasses taste which is strangely (because I did say molasses) not as sweet as the Amstel. It has a nuttiness and a slightly bitter finish. I think I preferred it to the other bak.
Note the Goat - the universal symbol for bock