It’s Cask Ale Week next week – and Roger Protz and I will be celebrating by singing the praises of lager. No, it’s not a premature April Fool. I wrote in January that drinking unfiltered, unpasteurized Budvar straight from the conditioning tanks in Ceske Budejovice was one of the most amazing taste experiences of my beery life so far. It was exquisite, a completely different drink, and it underlined to everyone present that great lager is every bit as superb as great ale. Well, next week I get to drink it again, without having to go to the Czech Republic – and you can try it too. On Tuesday night, 30th March, The White Horse at Parson’s Green will be cracking open some of the unpasteurized, unfiltered nectar flown straight in from the brewery, and Protzy and I will be singing its praises and talking more generally about the difference – and similarity – between ale and lager. I’ll be focusing on what I learned at the fascinating Guild of Beer Writers lager seminar at Thornbridge about 18 months ago, questioning our conventional understanding of how you define lager, discussing examples of beers on the borderline. Then, the Protzatolah will share some of his research on the history of lager brewing, challenging conventional wisdom that lager is inherently somehow inferior in quality to ale, and showing that lager brewing actually goes back much further than most of us think. Admission is free but places are limited, so if you’re keen, it’s best to book a place with the White Horse now. Things kick off at 7.30ish. See you there!
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Pete Brown is a British writer who specialises in making people thirsty. He is the author of nine books and writes widely in the drinks trade press and consumer press.