HELL

Brewery: Pivovar Steiger

HELL 11% Svetle

Type: Bohemian pilsner
ABV: 4.5%

Only available in kegs, this beer is worth bar browsing for or buying for your next Slovak keg party. They used to make few different versions of the HELL brand, and I believe it was popular, but now they only make the one. Who the hell knows why.

Reviews


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Ranking the Best Beers from Slovakia

I’ve tried most of the popular Slovak-made beers and I have to say that it’s a tight race to the top. Below is a list of links to other sites that have ranked beers from Slovakia. Hopefully, it’ll help guide you on your tasting journey through the Slovak Republic.

Rate Beer
Rate Beer is the beer-drinker’s go-to site for beer ratings.

  1. Kaltenecker Chopper IPA Grand Champion 2012
  2. Kaltenecker Brokát 27 B27 Old Beer
  3. Zlatý Bažant 19% Medový Porter
  4. Kaltenecker White Shadow 15º
  5. Bratislavský Bubák 12º Tmavé

Itchy Feet on the Cheap
Boy oh boy this is a good site. I think it’s because I made it. My girlfriend and I sampled all the Slovak and Czech beers that we could find in Bratislava. The reviews are very informal and were mainly written as entertainment and for our own amusement. At any rate, the ratings are how we felt at the time.

  1. Zlaty Bazant
  2. Topvar 12º
  3. Corgon
  4. Palatin
  5. Smadny Mnich

Slovak Spectator
Their list includes some Czech beers, but I’ve ranked their top 5 Slovak beers below. If you are interested, here’s the article that tells the story of their tasting adventure.

  1. Topvar Zochar Tmavé
  2. Stein 12º
  3. Kelt
  4. Hell
  5. Steiger 11º

Most Popular
Of course, the most popular beer doesn’t mean that it’s the best. In fact, considering the most popular beer in America is Bud Light and Coors Light takes the title in Canada, I’d say: 1) people are dumb and 2) popularity doesn’t equal taste — not in the slightest. That being said, I thought I’d include this list of the top 3 Slovak beers sold in 2012:

  1. Zlatý Bažant 10º
  2. Saris 12%
  3. Staropramen

If you have a favourite beer from Slovakia, please let us know what it is in the comments.


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Kaltenecker: The Future of Beer in Slovakia

Kaltenecker Brewery LogoLocated in the small city of Rožňava in the southwest part of Slovakia, Kaltenecker Brewery has made a name for itself despite its modest location. It’s done this the best way a brewery can — through the taste of its beer. Ratebeer.com, currently the largest beer rating website, tells the story: The top three rated Slovak beers are made by Kaltenecker. Six out of the top ten are Keltenecker beers. At the very top of the list is their imperial stout, Kaltenecker Archa a beer that they no longer make. It’s also important to point out that Kaltenecker’s beers receive a high number of votes. They aren’t at the top of the list because only a few people have tried them and given them rave reviews. In fact, considering a lot of the brewery’s beers are only made for a limited time, and only available in a limited number of places, they are getting serious attention from the beer-lover’s community. Producing about 1.5 million litres of beer a year, Kaltenecker Brewery is only a few 100 thousand litres away from stepping out of the “microbrewery” category. Of course, this doesn’t really mean anything when considering the taste of their brew, but as the brewery expands, the joy it brings spreads further. I, for one, want to jump on a plane back to Slovakia to see what I’m missing.


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The Strength (not alcohol) of Beer Explained

Steiger beer labelIn most countries, the strength of a beer refers the percentage of alcohol by volume or ABV. In Slovakia, and other parts of central Europe, the beer’s strength is thought to be the amount of fermentable material used to make the beer. If you look at a bottle of beer in Slovakia you’ll often see a large number with a percent sign after it (usually between 10 and 12%). Many of the beers even incorporate the number in their names (Steiger 10% Classic, Topvar 12% Premium).  This often leads to people thinking that the beers are 12% alcohol but in reality they are probably 3-5% ABV.  The number simply means that 12% of the ingredients’ density is made up of fermentable materials.

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Slovak Golden Crown Beer Awards 2013

Gold Crown Beer awardsThe results are in. Slovakia’s most prestigious beer awards took place on June 13th with 13 breweries competing — the highest in competition history. Sixty-seven beers were anonymously evaluated by judges in a 20° air-conditioned room.  The beers were stored at 8-12°C.  They don’t take this competition lightly.
In the 10° category, Steiger took the gold with Zlaty Bazant coming in second, and Topvar taking home the bronze.

The 12° category had Saris winning the gold. The silver and bronze were both taken home by Steiger Brewery with Stein 12% taking the silver and Steiger 11% taking the bronze.
As for dark beers, Zlaty Bazant 10% Tmavy was first overall, Topvar 11% Tmavy was second, and Saris Red took the bronze.


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Topvar’s Most Beautiful Competition

2012 Topvar Barmaid BeautyEvery year Topvar holds a competition to name the most beautiful waitress or bartender. They are currently voting on it. Have your say by going to the Topvar site and selecting your favourite. The winner gets to be featured in Topvar ads and, of course, wins a bunch of beer. Furthermore, the bar of the winning girl wins €2000 worth of marketing, including advice from some wiz marketing team. Additionally, 12 girls will be chosen to be featured in Topvar’s 2014 calendar. Winners will be announced on August 2nd. Remember, your vote is your voice. Make your dick voice heard.

NOTE: The link will probably redirect to their age confirmation page. Put in your date of birth and press the “pokravocat” button. Then click “Aktualne Akcie” to be taken to the current events page. On the left side of the page, click “sutaz o najkrajsiu barmanku” for the competition, then “hlasovanie fotogaleria” to see the photos of the girls. Click the photo to see it full-sized or click “Hlasovat” to vote for the girl.


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The Commercials of Zlaty Bazant

In Slovakia, Zlatý Bažant is known for its television commercials. They are funny, sometimes overtly sexual, and often make you want to drink down some beer. Although, most things make me want to drink down a nice, cold, frothy brew. Enjoy one as you watch this collection of Zlaty Bazant commercials.
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Slovak Company Selling Beer Cosmetics

beer shampoo and soaps

Pivna Kozmetika is a company out of Žilina, Slovakia that is selling soaps, shampoos, and bath salts that are made out of beer.  They claim that beer has polyphenolic substances in it that will increase the strength, gloss, and volume of your hair.  For 9.90€ you can get a gift package that contains a 300ml bottle of beer shampoo and a 300ml of beer balm.

Have a look their website and the half naked woman that endorses the product.


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Local Specialty Beers on the Rise

The Slovak Spectator published an article about the rise of microbreweries in Slovakia. We’ve mentioned how Bratislava’s microbrewery business has been on the rise, but the article discusses other parts of Slovakia:

Some of these breweries are quite new, established within the last few years by beer enthusiasts who grew bored with the unified flavour of beer made by large producers, or by people who view themselves as picking up where the beer-making tradition left off.

They estimate that there are currently 25 small independent brewers across the country, which makes up about 5 percent of the beer drinking market.  And they think the numbers will grow.

The article also discusses the potential for beer tourism in the country.

Read the Full Article


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Beer Spa: A Unique Exbeerience

If you love beer – really love it – you’ll love this. Beer Spa BBB Prešpork (26 Zámocká St, Bratislava) have setup a “beer spa” where they fill tubs with beer and let you sit and soak in them while you drink as much beer as you want from a tap that’s right next to you. They claim that soaking in beer is good for your skin, joints, and muscles and that it will reduce cellulite. I can’t vouch for this, but nonetheless it’d make for a fun afternoon. If you have a stag party planned in Bratislava, this might be a good way to relax after/before a heavy night of drinking.
A couple of ladies soaking at the Beer Spa BBB Prešpork


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