A while back I tried BrewDog’s prototype Zeitgeist beer, a dark lager “taking inspiration from the Czech classics.” That line gave me the idea of trying it against three classic Czech dark lagers, coffee-like black beers which generally finish on the sweet side.
But the Zeitgeist (or Zeit Geist, as it was back then) seemed to be made of different material, so to speak: I liked it, but as I wrote then, “I don’t think it tasted very Czech… Zeit Geist was far more dry in the finish.” And I added that if I had known it was a dry dark beer, like a Schwarzbier, I would have tasted it with Herold Bohemian Black Lager, one of the only dry dark lagers the Czechs produce.
Later, I found out that Herold was in fact the very inspiration for Zeitgeist. And then came the word that Zeitgeist was going into full production and wide release in Britain. So once I got a copy of the production brew, I decided to compare that to the originals, both prototype and paragon.