Semi Final 1
Pilsner Urquell 4.4% abv €2.99
Zlaty Bazant 5.0% abv €2.19 (Slovak)
Look at the picture at left. Notice any similarities between the two beers? Gold foil at the top, green font on a white background and a red rosette/symbol above same? I did a quick qoogle and Pilsner Urquell has been made since 1842, Zlaty Bazant since 1967.
Zlaty Bazant is marketed in the U.S. as Golden Pheasant, and there's one on the label. There you go. It's owned by Heineken and I found some sniffy reviews on the intertubes as a result of this.
Nice, very nice. Crisp, full flavoured and a hint of bitterness and hops. This beer is apparently the original Pils (from the town of Pilsen, natch).
It's not bad.. It's dry, with a little something or other going on at the finish. I'd drink it if I was given it but it's not at the races today.
Winner - Pilsner Urquell
Semi Final 2
Budweiser Budvar 5.0% abv €2.49
Staropramen 5.0% abv €2.49
I know that Budvar has a complicated and litigious history, which I won't rehash here. Suffice to say I won't ever be drinking it's namesake.
After they took the Krombacher tap out of the Stillorgan Orchard I started to drink Budvar in bottles. I still buy it sporadically, when I'm feeling flathuileach. Staropramen I've had the odd time, mostly when I'm in a pub and don't fancy whatever is on draught
Lots of malty goodness and a hoppy finish. Well balanced and with a long finish. Altogether very tasty. This will be tough to beat.
It's good, slightly sweet and malty, but it's lacking the hoppy bite of its opponent. I'd be happy to drink it in a bar, but I'd probably not buy it...
Winner - Budvar