hate to bash small, local breweries because I know they’re putting
their all into every beer they make. But just because it’s local doesn’t
make it good and it’s the beer blogger’s job to call it as they see it –
not kiss up. That being said, I don’t think Chatham Czech’rd Past is a
bad beer by any means; just a weak one. There’s nothing wrong with it
per se, it’s just too mild for its own good.
I poured a 12oz can into a pilsner glass. There was no freshness date
(which is ironic because there is now a “Canned on” box on the label,
but it was blank). It cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).
Appearance: Surprisingly dark golden hue; mostly clear body. Slow,
consistent carbonation visible. Pours to a small, white, soapy head
which mostly dissipates and leaves no lacing.
Smell: Faint malty notes and just a hint of hops. Otherwise neutral-smelling.
Taste: I’m holding this beer to a higher standard because it markets
itself specifically as a Czech-style pilsner instead of any kind of
generic pale lager (which is probably more apropos). A beer of this
style should have certain distinctive characteristics like prominent
Noble Hop spiciness. I don’t get that here. Mostly I get a mild palette
of pale malt with just a bit of sweetness on the finish (it’s even a
little appley – which is really odd and not in that acetaldehyde way).
The malt base is nice, but it’s not enough to make up for the lack of
hops (which are noticeable, but extremely faint). At least there are no
off-flavors, but a lack of badness to not equal goodness. This could be a
solid pilsner with a few tweaks.
Drinkability: While the taste didn’t do much for me, I’ll say that
Chatham Czech’rd Past was easily drinkable. The mouthfeel was actually a
little less carbonated than I expected (and prefer), though it was
fairly refreshing at the time and left a clean aftertaste. I’m not
entirely sure of the ABV as it’s not listed on the can nor on the
brewery’s website, though I’d place at around 4.5%. Technically
sessionable, but I’d need more flavor to do that.