When Bierocracy (12-23 Jackson Avenue; 718-361-9333) opened late last year, it brought the trappings of a Central European beer hall into the heart of Long Island City. This week, on January 21, it will host a special event dedicated to that region’s most celebrated style: pilsner. Specifically, Pilsner Urquell, the originator of the species.
But unlike the Americanized versions you might be accustomed to, Thursday’s shindig showcases unfiltered, unpasteurized kegs of the beer flown directly from the Czech Republic brewery. In fact, the beer is so fresh, it’s kegged and shipped on the same day, arriving in Long Island City within hours. It’s a rare occasion no self-respecting lager lover should miss.
Four kegs will tap at 4 p.m., when customers can expect an authentic experience extending beyond the liquid itself. Even the pour method follows traditional Bohemian customs. “The key to achieving the perfect pour is 50 percent faucet/50 percent pouring skills,” notes Bierocracy’s GM, David Young. “The faucets we use at Bierocracy are the original Turn ‘LUKR’ Restrictor Faucets designed and imported from the Czech Republic. Along with a bit of finesse from our ‘bier tenders,’ these faucets can be perfectly dialed in to assist pouring perfect foam and, consequently, the perfect ‘bier.’ ”
When filling the glass, pilsner is typically served in one of three ways: Hladinka, which forms a two-inch head above the beer, is the most familiar pour to American drinkers; mlíko (as in milk) is a mug filled with white foam, which slowly settles into a pilsner with reduced effervescence; rezané pivo, or cut beer, taps a dark lager atop the pilsner, producing a totally Instagrammable dual-hued pint.
And then there’s the foam itself. Turns out it’s not all created equal. As in Central Europe, “bier tenders” at Bierocracy distinguish between “wet foam” (mostly beer) and “dry foam” (mostly air). Not only will Thursday’s event afford you access to the freshest Czech pilsner this side of the pond, it’s also a great chance to set your foam game on fleek. Come for the crisp beer, stick around for the inimitable culture.
Thursday’s event is open to the public, no tickets required. Pay-as-you-go pints of the 4.4 percent classic pilsner are $8 a pour. Two hundred liters of fresh, golden grog will flow freely until it’s gone for good.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 19, 2016