The provenance of supermarket lager

I really fancied a chilli this week. So I really fancied a lager to go with it. Something to take the edge of the heat, to put some bready sweetness back onto a fiery palate.

So I had a bottle of Czech lager. Which one, I hear you ask? Dunno. It was in a bottle that said "Czech Pilsner Lager" on the label. Actually, it also says "Brewed in Prague". Twice.

On the back label, in the small print, it says it's brewed by Pivovary Staropramen. Ostravar-ish, maybe? More likely to be Vratislav-like?

But the question is - who cares? If I'm paying £1.35 a bottle for what is essentially a palate-quencher, do I care about a beer's parentage? If it hits the spot, should I then be bothered if it's a rebadge or a variant or a new brew?

If it cost £10 a bottle, would I care more about where the hops and malts were sourced, where the brewery was based, what the head brewer's name is? Would you care more? Should you? Why? Because you expect to know more at that price point?

If beer does the job that you ask of it - in this case, be cold, wet and refreshing - who cares where it came from?

Not me, for one.


  1. And not me either!

  2. Having (for reasons I can't be arsed to go into) had a glass of Carlsberg in the pub the other day, I can confirm that even the crappiest Czech lager is better. Those no-name supermarket continental lagers are rarely eye-openingly brilliant but, as you say, they're not usually offensive and they're great when you just want a beer, in the same way you sometimes just want a burger, or a chocolate bar, and don't necessarily need the gourmet versions thereof.