I love lager.
I hate to hear ill-informed anti-lager rants from real ale jihadists. For a beer drinker to disregard all lager as rubbish is like a wine drinker dismissing all white wine as rubbish. Sure Blue Nun is crap, but that doesn't make all white wine crap. Sure Fosters et al are the Blue Nuns of the beer world, but they don't make all lager crap. When I hear any variation on the phrase "the war against lager", I think "this person doesn't actually care about beer."
Anyway, yesterday was hot. Last night my living room was 25c which is quite remarkable given that it spends ten months of the year at about 12-15c spurning the efforts of my central heating and gas fire to get it above 17c for any sustained period. So, last night I needed cold lager. I don't keep a huge cellar of exotic beer, in fact, lager is the only style I check I have emergency supplies of.
And so it was last night. First I opened a bottle of Staroslav from the Czech Republic. I wolfed it down without contemplative pauses a la Ice Cold in Alex. Not the most sophisticated lager I've ever had; a little too sharp in flavour and lacking complexity; but still hugely preferable to UK mass-market alternatives.
I then opened a bottle of Český Pivovar I had picked up in ASDA earlier. A whole different kettle of, er, malt and hops. Soft malt flavour reminded of the stuff inside Crunchie Bars I can't remember the name of. The Saaz hop character was beautifully integrated and a delight to behold. Thirst-quenching over and done with, I allowed Český Pivovar to caress my tongue and envelope me.
Lager inferior to ale? Nah, it's all just beer - some good, some bad.
BTW - You don't have to go to specialist beer shops for either of these beers, they're in national supermarkets. The Český Pivovar is in ASDA and Booths; Staroslav in Tesco and ALDI.