As a follow-up from last week’s post on two new wheat beers in the Czech Republic, I’ve got more details about the new Dožínkové pivo appearing at outlets of Heineken Česká republika around the country. And no, it’s not exactly from Krušovice. And it wasn’t brewed at Starobrno, either.
Tasting it at the Krušovická pivnice on Národní in Prague, I found it to be quite pretty, pouring a cloudy, very pale gold with a loose white head. The aromas briefly touched on clove with none of the conspicuous banana notes of some other Weizens; I thought I got a whiff of Band-Aid, though certainly not too much. The mouthfeel was slightly thin with more wheat than barley notes. Though it was served too cold at a pale-lager temperature, it came through pretty well, easily picking up 3 or more points on a basic 5-point scale, and definitely worth trying more than once.
It seems to fall more on the light/acidic side of Hefeweizen, rather than towards the heavy/sweet versions: in Czech terms, closer to Primátor Weizenbier than Herold Bohemian Wheat. In many ways, it’s just a classic take on the style: originally brewed at a gravity of 12.3°, resulting in 5.2% alcohol by volume, using both hop pellets and hop extract, though finishing with minimal hop presence.
As for where it’s from, I was originally told it came from Krušovice when I asked at the pub. In the comments, Max Bahnson wrote that no one seemed to know where it was from, but that after Googling, the beer seemed to be brewed at Starobrno. In fact this beer was made by three master brewers from Heineken Česká republika — Tomáš Kosmák, Tomáš Pluháček and Petr Hauskrecht — during a work-study session at the Kaltenhausen brewery in Austria.
Though Dožínkové pivo is a limited, seasonal offer, it is a large one: according to Heineken Česká republika, a whopping 1,100 hectoliters of Dožínkové pivo were brewed this year, with distribution to 1,400 of the group’s outlets in the country. Given the enthusiastic response so far, they hope to make a yearly tradition of offering a seasonal wheat beer at the time of the dožínky, or Czech harvest festival. Next year’s batch, I’m told, should be made at one of the group’s breweries in the Czech Republic.