It's the May Day weekend, and all the better for me because I have Tuesday off work too. What better way to celebrate hanging around the house with nothing more more to do than a bit of gardening and some study for my last brewing exam than imbibing five litres of quality German lager? I chanced upon this big tin of beer in my local German box of tricks Lidl store. There is always something tasty and unusual to be had from these stores, and in the current economic climate the German discount stores are all the more appealing.
I have had a few of these mini kegs in the past and always found them thoroughly satisfactory. The funny thing is that the beer that is served from them is rarely the very best available, but I always find the pint drawn from them excellent. This keg of Grafenwalder Pils is no different and is serving me well this weekend. It is the perfect lawnmower beer offering superb refreshment with solid lager malt padding things out. It also packs decent bitterness, providing a satisfying lip smack. It took me a while but I have pinned down why the beer from these mini kegs is so satisfying; the carbonation is perfect. It is smooth and oh so easy to drink, but at the same time gives a rich foam that lasts and lasts. In many ways it is similar to the pressure barrel I use for my home brew, though the method of dispense is different.
I am always a little confused about how to serve from these kegs. Allowing the beer to come forth under its own trapped carbonation is a disaster; a glass of tasty looking foam was the result, so I twisted the valve on top to allow air in and this fixed things. However, as most beer lovers will be aware, this signed the beer's death warrant, resulting in a shelf life of around 3 days - similar to that of a cask.
Not to worry, it'll be gone by then.