Thursday, July 5, 2007

Żywiec Full Light Pilsner

Man, it was hot today! I could tell sitting in my office that I was going to catch on fire if I stayed outside too long. (For those of you not in the know, it was 108°F in Reno today, which probably broke a record.) So I decided to wait until it was a little bit cooler to enjoy this beer that had been sitting in the cold fridge for the past week or so: Żywiec Full Light Pilsner. My Polish friend gave this beer to me after I told her that I was starting a beer blog. She's actually already bought another Polish beer for me as well, spoiling me and my love of foreign beers.

Żywiec Full Light Pilsner (pronounced ZHUH-viets, nothing like it's spelled) was first brewed in 1956 by the Żywiec Brewery, which was established 104 years earlier by Albrecht Friedrich Rudolf, Prince Imperial and Archduke of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, Duke of Teschen (that's a mouthful!) while he was the governor of Hungary, along with Karl Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria. A Habsburg (an important European ruling family lineage), the brewery was passed down from generation to generation until it was nationalized in post-World War II Poland. (It also was almost destroyed by the German army in that war.) As a result, descendants of the original Habsburgs sued the Polish government for use of their family name and coat-of-arms in marketing campaigns in the 1990's, which was settled in 2005 for an undisclosed amount. During this time in 1994, the brewery changed hands again, this time to Heineken International, the fourth largest brewery in the world.

Here are the very limited stats:

Żywiec Full Light Pilsner
BREWERY: Żywiec Brewery, Żywiec, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland (a part of Heineken International, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
ABV: 5.6%

These stats came mostly from the bottle, but the year came from the company history website.

I had the 500 ml bottle, which their website describes as good for "When you want a pleasure to last longer." (I assume they mean the pleasure...the entire site is full of small English grammatical errors, but I forgive them.) The interesting thing about the bottle is that on the back the Żywiec logo will appear when the beer is at the optimal drinking temperature. The beer had a night light aroma and was a rich golden color, but had an unimpressive white head. The taste was nice and light, but the finish was slightly metallic, lingering long after I had my sip. Becky noted that a friend of hers made this comment about pilsners: "It tastes like you've put a penny in your beer and are sucking on it afterwards." I have to agree with that assessment.

In summation, I really just don't like pilsners, although this one was the best of the ones I had. If you like pilsners, give this one a try. I'd have liked to have tried a more localized Polish beer, but you get what you get. I look forward to the next one.

Na zdrowie !

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