As you know, we love piggybacking on the travels of others to find more about beer and this planet of our. Recently I have been working with Steven Hales of the Department of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania on his collection of essays Beer and Philosophy which is to be published by Blackwell in the summer of 2007. I am providing a chapter entitled "Beer and Autonomy". Anyway, Steven was off to Romania for some reason last week and I suggested he provide some reviews of Romanian beer. And so he did.
Hi Alan. Here's my assessment of Romanian beer, and some pics. I didn't get pictures of everything.
All beers were extremely inexpensive, ranging from US$.50 for a half liter of Timesoreana to US$.80 for a half liter of the Silva Dark.
- Ursus blond or helles: Brewed in Cluj, where I stayed, founded in 1878. Ursus is a sharp, light-bodied, reasonably hopped for the style, pilsener. It is tasty with a pale color. Between a Czech and a German pils.
- Ursus dark: Very sweet, like a porter or swartzbier. Pruny, burnt caramel flavors, thick and chewy.
- Ciuc: pronounced chook, as in cook. Brewed by a Romanian brewery owned by Heineken. Another pilsener, much maltier than the Ursus, and comparable to Czech Boom.
- Silva blond or helles: A malty pilsener, somewhat sweet, hoppier than the Ciuc, but less than Ursus. More of a straight lager, and slightly darker than Ursus.
- Silva dark: 7% abv. The strongest of the beers sampled. Not as sweet as Ursus dark, drier, grainier, and with perhaps a cherry finish. A nice head after pour, and comparable to a Belgian dubbel.
- Timesoreana: Pilsener style. A pale, light version of the style, not very hoppy or, frankly, memorable. Clearly inferior to the other pilseners sampled and comparable to American mass-market brew.