There is certainly a call it seems to get back to basics in the world of brewing!

This was evident recently on a visit to Bulgaria, where established national brands such as Ariana  and  Zagorka are now turning the clocks back and offering a chance to taste their beers in a more natural unpasteurised form, which is welcomed by beer enthusiasts.

This may possibly lead to several more versions of unpasteurised and unfiltered Bulgarian brews appearing on the market, giving a rare opportunity to taste then in their pre pasteurised guise.

The two most prominent examples so far are Ariana’s Batch 7 at 5%Alc.vol. which is firm bodied, clean, and a welcome improvement on the standard version, and Zagorka’s  ‘Retro’ Beer also at 5%Alc/vol. This brew certainly benefits from this approach showing more immediate fresh floral characteristics and livelier palate.

Shelf life is naturally short, and they benefit from drinking as close  as possible to the bottling date.                     

Perhaps the most interesting though is the product produced by Fifth Ocean Beer Company in Sofia the capital.

Here again Bulgaria is doing something very out of the ordinary as this is a golden style ale not a lager.

Although the brewery supplies The Ale House a restaurant attached to the brewery complex with taps literally available at the table, the product can be found much further afield also...

This is achieved after a brew is ready and can be transported ‘live’ to other retailer’s in Bulgaria. This is done in tanks to maintain absolute freshness.

From there it is bottled under pressure on site into embossed PET bottles and sold in plastic bags minus any bottle labels.

The novel packaging is an equally novel way of trying to bring freshly brewed beer to customers at its peak.

As with all ‘live’ beers the shelf life is naturally short and should be consumed within two days, but the total overall flavour experience is well worth the purchase.

An  original product and worth seeking out in several respects.

                                       Above top right  the Zagorka 'Retro' product with below the original outer packaging for the Fifth Ocean unpasteurised beer sold in retailers.

                                 The brewing process explained for the Fifth Ocean unpasteurised brew directly above. Once the brew is rested in the brewery it is sent out to the retailers
                                                                            in tanks and bottled at source. An innovative approach giving a brewery fresh product.


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