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Des de Moor
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Ridna Marka Pshenychne (Weissbier) Etalon

Ридна марка Пшеничне Еталон

First published in BEER November 2006 as part of a piece about beers stocked by Tesco supermarkets. See previous post for more Tesco beers.

ABV: 5 per cent
Origin: Radomyshl, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine
Website: www.etalon-beer.com.ua 

Pshenychne Etalon

In 2005 the Beer Challenge added a category for imported beers and the first winner was a genuine, and rather pleasing, surprise – a Bavarian-style unfiltered wheat beer from, of all places, Ukraine. It’s still a regular line in larger Tesco stores, having long outlived its original guaranteed listing. 

The brewery at Radomyshl, about 70km outside Kiev, was established by Czechs in 1886 but was only offering an undistinguished blond lager when bought by fruit juice company Ridna Marka in 2003.

The new bosses had enjoyed wheat beers in Munich, and took the brave decision to turn their acquisition into a state of the art weissbier facility, bringing in experts from the Doemens brewing academy in Gräfelfing and an un-named Bavarian brewery, rumoured to be Erdinger.

Following local success, in 2004 the beer caused an international stir by beating several leading German Weissbier brands at the World Beer Cup and the Brewing Industry International Awards.

It pours a lightly cloudy golden with a good white head and a restrained slightly salty wheat aroma with typical banana tones and snatches of hops and coal dust.

The palate is creamy and fruity enough to remind you of fresh banana sliced into custard, lifted by a wash of citrus. The mouth feel is a little thin textured but not overly carbonated, with plenty of flavour.

A slight saltiness with brackish hops leads to a grainy, chewy finish with herbal notes and a final burst of banana.

While international judges might have gone too far in putting this beer ahead of the likes of Schneider, it’s still an impressively confident and tasty interpretation of the style that certainly gives Erdinger, its most obvious model, a run for its money.

Read more reviews of Tesco beers in the next post.

Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/pshenychne-etalon/44746/

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