Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Okocim O.K. Pilsner

Back in my review of Żywiec Full Light Pilsner, I mentioned that my Polish co-worker had purchased me another Polish beer for me to review for this blog. Well, she brought it in a couple days later, but I had other beers to review and other things to get ready for (like a wedding), so naturally, it started gathering ice in the back of my fridge. Well, I finally rediscovered it there and decided to review it. The name is Okocim O.K. Pilsner, a very amusing name.

Okocim O.K. Pilsner (pronounced OH-ko-cheem) is brewed by the Okocim Brewery of Poland. The brewery itself was established in 1845 (the year in the shield on the O.K.'s bottle) by Johann Evangelist Götz, but was expanded under the ownership of his son, Jan Albin. Under Polish communist rule, the brewery was nationalized in 1945, but re-privatized after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. In 1996, the brewery was absorbed into the Carlsberg family of breweries. It now produces several beers in addition to the O.K., including a porter, a malt liquor, and a couple non-alcoholic beers. According to a sales sheet from the importer, Stawski Distributing in Chicago, this beer helped define the "Polish pils style," which sets it apart from other pilsners. On the label (which hasn't been changed in almost 40 years), the beer is listed as a "full pale." I still don't know what the significance of the goat in the shield and the woman on the label signify; I suppose that's a question for the importer. (Brewery history in Polish, plus beer information in English)

Here are the stats (which aren't much at this point):

Okocim O.K. Pilsner
BREWERY: Okocim Brewery, Brzesko, Poland
CALORIES/SERVING: per 16.9 oz. bottle
ABV: 5.6%
AWARDS: World Beer Championships Silver Medal Award Winner

The brewery and ABV information came from the bottle, and the awards info came from the aforementioned sales sheet. I plan to call the importer to get some more information. Hopefully they'll know some more.

The beer poured very smoothly into the glass, giving off the aroma of wheat and grain. It was a rich dark amber color with a nice white head that was mostly bubbles, but it lasted for about a minute, taking its own sweet time to fade away. Taste-wise, the beer had a little bit of a bite to it, but it transitioned into a smooth grainy taste. Unlike every other pils I've had, this one didn't taste like a penny had been dropped into the bottle, a major plus in my book. The aftertaste originally finished clean, but as I started drinking it, I started to develop a residual taste in my mouth that reminded me of when I drink IPAs.

Overall, a decent beer. Those Poles sure know how to brew. I'm looking forward to trying the Okocim Palone, complete with fire-burned malts. Mmm.

Na zdrowie !

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