Earlier in the year, I think it may have been back in June, discount supermarket Lidl made a bit of a media splash by launching what was described as a range of “craft ales”. Several national newspapers latched on to the story and the chain even recruited Blur bassist-turned-organic farmer and brewer, Alex James as their first major celebrity tie-in.
To someone like me, who does a lot of drinking at home, this sounded like a great idea, but I have to admit that with one notable exception, I have been rather disappointed by the beers on offer at my local Lidl store. Admittedly Tonbridge is one of the company’s smaller outlets, but the sight of the excellent Czech Black Lager, from the Herold Brewery in Breznice, was something to get my pulse racing.
At just £1.50 a bottle it seemed too good an offer to miss, so I picked up several bottles. Imagine my disappointment then this evening, when there was not a bottle of Herold to be seen. The so-called “craft-ales” were limited to a handful of offerings from Shepherd Neame and Marstons, both of whom supply Lidl on a regular basis. There was an unfamiliar looking Belgian beer on sale (Blanche de Namur), but there was no sign of the La Chouffe, or the Portobello Star promised in the company’s promotion.
The second “roll-out” in this “craft-ale” promotion is due to be launched at the beginning of next month. I will be keeping a sharp lookout to see what’s included, but if the current performance is anything to go by, I won’t be holding my breath!
Pivovar Herold Tmavé Speciální Pivo 5.2%. A Czech Black Lager and a mighty fine one at that! Jet black with a dense creamy head and a smoky dry finish. Brewed by the Herold Brewery in Breznice, Bohemia, and lagered for 70 days in the cellars of the 500 year old Castle brewery.
This really is one of the finest black lagers around. Smooth with a full rich flavour, satisfying and very moreish.