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The Midweek Drink - Bernard Free Lager

Welcome back, my fellow L-Der’s and new readers to the 7th edition of The Midweek Drink. We are now half-way through November and Christmas has made itself well-known in adverts and across all supermarkets. In the workplace, you probably have that one colleague who’s already decorated their desk with tinsel or counting down the days or humming the same Christmas song over and over again. I prefer to celebrate the early arrival of Christmas by buying a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks (with added cinnamon sprinkles on-top, of-course).

Today’s choice is a non-alcoholic Czech beer (ABV: 0.5%) known as Bernard S Čistou Hlavou Free. The ingredients used is water, barley malt (from the Bernard malt house), Saaz hops and hop extracts.

A brief history on Bernard

In 1991, the bankrupt brewery was purchased at an auction under the “small privatisation” scheme by Stanislav Bernard, Josef Vávra and Rudolf Šmejkal. All three had the same dream: to make Bernard a well-known and popular brand nationwide.

10 years after purchase, the brewery struggled due to being obsolete technologically; this didn’t stop the ‘dream’ from becoming a reality. This gave the three owners more motivation and determination to make it work. And it wasn’t only the brewery that was saved, too. In September 2000, the Bernard family purchased a malt house in Rajhrada by Brno where they continue today to brew their unpasteurised beer with quality pilsner type malt from the malt house.

After working long and hard to produce a traditional unpasteurised Czech beer; listening to the customers, developing their brand and winning many awards, Bernard brewery eventually succeeded in exporting their grand selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers across 35 countries!

Three senses and a beverage

This Czech beer comes in a 330ml, stocky bottle with a blue label and a face above the word ‘Bernard’ smiling back at you. I believe - by comparing the faces through google images - that it must be Stanislav Bernard.

The colour of the beer has a hazy, dark gold tone; small white head that dissipates slowly, very light body and highly carbonated which keeps the beer very crisp and refreshing. You can recognise a malty, grainy texture to it and a bitterness at the back of the tongue which is very pleasant and not too overpowering. The aroma has notes of malt and yeast with a slight sweetness.

Having won 16 awards since 2007, this non-alcoholic beer deserves to be noticed and deserves a home in your fridge ready for you after work or the weekend.

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