Summer 2014 – Beer after wine

We asked ten of our wine shop assistants what they’re drinking this summer. They arrived at the theme and compiled their lists accordingly and thus it’s all very subjective. A personal top list, stemming from mutual experiences: originating from our weekly tastings, professional trips, indeed often from customers’ feedback. While it may be somewhat subjective, we’re also convinced it’s sufficiently professional.

Kálmán Gábor

Gábor Kálmán, MOM Park, Hegyvidék

It almost goes without saying that a beer revolution has been taking place in Hungary over the last few years. If it’s true (and indeed it is) then now we can start preparing for the beer consolidation. Today, shops and pubs dealing with beers of small producers pop up with such frequency around the city that one has to jump out of their way. A few years ago, friends laughed sceptically behind your back if you were willing to travel around the city by bus just to find something exciting. They and we are also smarter today. Expressions such as lager, ale, top and bottom fermented beer, IPA and such are not just words for many of us any longer. No one is gasping for air in disbelief if we talk about a beer as we do about wines. We know what makes it pale, what makes it black, how much hops or even water it has. The same way as the consolidation happened in wine tasting, beside the early, revolution-starting, spectacular top beers, we now also appreciate the complexity of slender, lighter versions.


- Rizmájer Szűretlen Búza: Csepel brewer József Rizmajer’s work. Its colour is like fresh peach juice. Opaque, unfiltered wheat beer, frothing creamily in the glass, with thick and dense foam. A zesty and thirst-quenching, citrusy drink. Rich, layered, characterised by mainly pineapple and peach notes. Extremely good acidity-sweetness balance, fresh, ethereal, yet complex. The first brew arrives on July 9.

- Távoli Galaxis: American style IPA from the Rothbeer brewery. Deciphering the name one has to start backwards: “A” stands for ale which is a top brewed beer (meaning that at the time of fermentation the yeast floats on top of the beer). “P” stands for pale, and “I” for India as during colonial times, the quality of the beer had to be guaranteed until it reached India. The latter was solved with the intensive use of hops, which is a very effective antioxidant, preserves the beer and makes it shippable. Sour, herbal, bitter beverage, the best refreshment, although one has to be careful with its alcohol content. Extremely pervasive, with distinctive flavour and body: a relative of Sauvignon Blancs.

- Vörösbegy Altbier: Deeper, riper, almost red coloured Altbier, which implies lengthy ageing. Slightly sluggish, rounder beer which still has good acidity. Not an imposing, loud type, rather slightly spicier, more aromatic, with nice malt, based on a Kecskemét recipe. Lively beer that also ferments in the bottle. Keep it cooled, open it chilled.

- Fóti Zwickl: After its success last year, we can call this a Marzen style, refreshing lager a classic. Unfiltered, opaque, creamily thick. Due to its highly aromatic hop content, it’s citrusy, lively, spicy. Cool, bottom fermented type.