Monday, April 23, 2007

Rating the Bad Ass beers of Eastern Europe

Which is easy to do due to the weak condition of those countries' currencies versus the dollar. Sure, you can only buy one bottle at a time, but it's pretty darn cheap compared to domestic equivalents.

My system in choosing is to go to the beers by the ethnic grop that I perceive to be the most bad ass. The thinking is that if they're tough, their beer will be tough. Baltika for export, from Russia is badass, so are the Latvian beers. Latvia is tougher than Poland, although Poland no doubt has heavy beer drinkers, so my premise is that Polish beer will be less hardcore. I'm waiting for a Hungarian beer. That would be something. Right now I'm sampling a Ukrainian beer, Obolon. I wasn't sure where the Ukrainians stood on the scale of bad ass-ness compared to the Russians, but one sip of this told me what I needed to know: this beer could kick my ass if I ever ran into it in a darkened alley.

Interestingly, the Czech beers I've tried aren't so great compared to other countries'. I attribute this partially to the westernization of the Czechs, which has watered down their bad ass quality. Slovak beer...it's available but I think it would pale in comparison to Hungarian beer, which is a sentiment that would no doubt get the Slovaks fuming because of the history between Hungary and Slovakia..

The most bad ass groups from the former Eastern Bloc either don't drink beer because they're Muslim or they drink mostly wine, like I'm thinking the Georgians do. I'd love to try some Georgian beer.

Ok, the Polish beer is going next; let's see how it stacks up to the Ukrainian beer: not as hardcore. I'm drinking Okocim brand porter. The other beer, Obolon, was a porter too. The Ukrainian beer officially kicks the Polish beer's ass, therefore confirming the validity of the bad ass scale in predicting the quality of Eastern European beers once again.


****note...it seems that the Georgian beers available suck, according to the ratings on sites. Hungary seems to be classical wine country; beer production wasn't started there until the 19th century, so the jury is still out on Hungarian beers, although we have hope.******

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