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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Staropramen

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 13, 2006 5:00PM


It's no secret that we get letters from you fine readers. At least, those of you who don't hide behind anonymous screen names in the comments. Sometimes we even exchange mash notes with the music stars of our youth. Last week, this Chicagoist staffer received an e-mail from reader Zack, a "BotW" fan asking us what beer pairs best with a turducken.

Keeping the backstory short, Zack ordered a turducken online at Cajun Grocer, and wanted some good beer to match with it. We wrote back, asking him how the turducken was being seasoned, and recommended a pilsner or lager, if the turducken was unseasoned, or an IPA if there was some rub on the "bird." We also asked that he keep us posted on how this turned out.

Needless to say Zack wrote back the other day. He decided to buy a mix of IPA and pilsner for his guests. His choice was Pilsner Urquell, which was good, but was neither our first choice nor his. That would have been Staropramen lager.

We've mentioned Staropramen in our writings before, namely when we paid a visit to the Skylark for our "South Side Cheap Eats" series. You remember that one, right? That was the one where you argued with each other in the comments over whether the Skylark was a south side or lower west side cheap eat. All we really cared about was that a pint of Staropramen paired perfectly with the Skylark's Friday fish fry special.

Staropramen is a hearty lager and makes a pleasant alternative to the Heineken/Beck's/Grolsch triumvirate. On draft, like at the Skylark, it's nothing short of heavenly, with its golden straw color, medium head, crisp palate, and light bitterness. Not only does it work well with fish, fried foods, and spicy dishes, it's also hearty enough to stand on its own. As glad as we were to hear about Zack's successful foray into the world of the turducken (we relish the opportunity to go back), we can only wonder how well a cold bottle of Staropramen would have went with it. Which is why Staropramen is Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week."

And to Zack - and all of you "BotW" fans out there - thanks for the support.