What's up with mlíko (milk) pours?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by thebeers, Aug 16, 2021.

  1. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    There's a new trend in American craft beer: the mlíko (or milk) pour.

    I've seen breweries from Pennsylvania to Utah promoting these on Instagram in recent weeks, but first encountered the phenomenon at Human Robot, which serves a roughly 95%-head pour of one of their Czech-style lagers in a stange and calls it a "Milk Tube." It's meant to be chugged.

    Supposedly, this is a classic type of beer pour. Levante Brewing just got a side pull tap, and explains:

    "There's 4 proper Czech pour styles...

    Cochran: neat, British style, no foam. Not recommend as its too bitter.

    Hladinka: 20-25% foam. Classic way to pour beer with well-balanced flavor.

    Snyt: split, half foam, half beer. Old fashioned method which fell out of popularity, but making a comeback.

    Mlíko: milky, almost entirely foam."

    Have you tried this before? Do you want to try it? Is this the inevitable counterforce to the "boss pour" trend?

    Here's a pic of a "milk tube" next to a regular pour:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,895) Dec 10, 2015 France
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    Out of those four pours proposed, the 20-25% foam suits me better. Unless it’s a Belgian Tripel in its glass and I’m stuck with half foam (Duvel does this too…).

    I mean, this picture you shared and that « milk tube » isn’t appealing to any standard. YMMV.
     
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  3. HoppingMadMonk

    HoppingMadMonk Poo-Bah (2,963) Mar 3, 2017 New Jersey
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    No,haven't and don't desire to try. Sounds like a desperate attempt to just make something up to draw attention and customers
     
  4. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I had my first Milk Pour on a small brewery's (outstanding) Bohemian Pils last week. Tried it because I knew it was a Czech tradition.

    Gotta say, the special tap really makes a creamy and delicious head -- not at all like a bad AAL pour with too much foam.

    FWIW -- I had already tried the Pils with a regular pour and knew it was a great take on the style. Not sure the pours change up the flavor of the beer itself (once you get thru the head), but the mouthfeel of the head was nice.
     
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  5. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    I've heard the pour is less airy than what one might normally associate with an all-head pour. Did it make you belchy or bloated?
     
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  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Nope. It was almost (almost) like the froth on a Cappuccino. Thick and creamy -- very tight bubbles.

    Didn't think about it, but I should have asked for a spoon for experiment. :grin:
     
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  7. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    That was my impression at first, too. Learning that it's a traditional pour option in Europe makes me more curious though.

    According to this article:

    "Czech pubs can serve any beer on draft as a mlíko. Pilsner Urquell is a popular choice. At the Urquell brewery's tap room, you pay half the price of a beer when it's poured in the mlíko style."
     
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  8. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (165) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    From what I understand, the Mlko pour is generally preferred by female drinkers in the Czech Republic.

    I always called for beer and they gave me the standard pour when I visited the Czech Republic. I had some great experiences knocking back Krusovice on a frosty early spring evening over some Stroganoff while watching the Euro cup hockey game at a pub in Prague. I guess that was the Hladinka pour?
     
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,543) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Something tells me <<< most >>> US "craft brewers" trying to be authentic still will not follow this aspect of the tradition... :grimacing:

    EDIT - See post #14 below
     
    #9 jesskidden, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Whatever. There are ignorant, macho man comments like that all over the drinking world.

    I drank a lot of half pints in England, to many a stink-eye look from old-timers -- but I got to sample twice as many beers as everyone. :wink:
     
    #10 steveh, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  11. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    IIRC, at Human Robot a milk tube is $3 (and $2 on Tuesdays). I think a regular pour is generally around $6. They promote them as something meant to be chugged — so it's like an funny add-on that you get a round of for your friends while you're drinking regular beers. I don't think people order round after round of tubes w/o getting other stuff. That's my impression anyhow.
     
  12. jonphisher

    jonphisher Poo-Bah (1,519) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    They also sell “got milktubes?” shirts a la “got milk?” wording style so something tells me you are correct.
     
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  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    The spot where I had mine followed suit.

    I honestly hadn't noticed it was half the price until one of my friends pointed it out.
     
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  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,543) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    OK... fair 'nough. I'll quickly edit my post! :grin: Happy to be wrong in this case!
    :wink: (Now, WTF's Human Robot?)
     
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I spent two weeks in the Czech Republic and many, many hours in various pubs. I personally never ordered the mlíko pour and more importantly I never witnessed any of the Czech customers in the pub order a mlíko pour. Needless to say that two weeks of observations is in the realm of anecdotal but I am confident that within the Czech Republic the mlíko pour is not a real 'thing'.

    It seems to me that Human Robot (and others) are just doing a bit of marketing here. You can indeed create a mlíko pour using a Lukr side-pull faucet so perhaps they are just 'highlighting' this feature?

    One difference of the Lukr side-pull faucet is that it provides a wet foam vs. the dry foam which is achieved via a regular tap. This does provide a different drinking experience.

    The term "wet foam" means that the foam is predominantly comprised of beer. Thereby the mlíko will have more of a 'beery' aspect to it.

    For reference below are some photos of beers I had in Czech Republic pubs. Without me specifying they came with the standard (Hladinka) pour.

    Na Zdravi

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #15 JackHorzempa, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    @thebeers , you can learn more about the Lukr side-pull faucet and the various pours courtesy of Evan Rail:

     
  17. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Human Robot is a brewery in Philadelphia. They're known for their lagers (the "human" part), but also brew NEIPAs and kettle sours (the "robot" part). Not to get too philosophical, but it seems like milk tubes may be a good marriage of their two competing tendencies.
     
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  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Yeah, I can only speak for my new favorite brewery, but it was just one more aspect to solidify that status.
     
  19. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,819) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    The places doing Czech beers in CO are doing this, too. Well, at least they're offering it. I don't see many people actually ordering it that way, but they mention it on all their promo materials.

    I think it's kind-of like the concept of the "7-minute pils pour." I've been to Germany quite a few times and have never encountered such a thing. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but it's kind of obscure.
     
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  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,543) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Yeah, more of a rhetorical question to suggest "I want to go there..." (imagine a Liz Lemon gif here) - knew it was a Phila. area brewery, didn't know if it was in the city or suburbs. Thanks :wink:
     
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I definitely did, though I'm not sure it wasn't because I was recognized as a tourist.

    Then again, one small spot where I remember it, they probably didn't care whether we were Auslanders.
     
    #22 steveh, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  23. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    FWIW, the Czech 10 was my least favorite of the eight lagers I’ve reviewed from them. It also happened to be the only one I purchased at a beer distributor rather than the brewery. :beers:
     
  24. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (2,502) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
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    Source Farmhouse Brewery in New Jersey does this as well.



    To answer your question, yes, I’d like to try it.
     
  25. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (512) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Looks like warm beer is being poured and calling it something else is a good excuse.

    I like my beer to be liquid. Mostly liquid. Do I want to feel bloated? Put me down as a pass. I am confident I am not alone here.

    Cheers
     
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  26. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    And yet, you haven't tried it, have you?

    Not warm, no bloating. Very tasty -- at least at the hands of my semi-local.
     
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,543) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Apparently besides brewers, they're magicians over there, too.
    :astonished: Better have a bar towel handy! :wink:

    Haven't been over there since the start of the pandemic for a variety of reasons, will put it on my list. They were kinda expensive IIRC but I like that they're opened during the afternoon. Wonder if they charge ~half price for the mlíko?
     
    #27 jesskidden, Aug 16, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  28. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (369) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I would think that beer poured gently (typical bar serve without a massive head of foam) would contain the most carbonation when drunk. The excess of which is released when consuming the beer instead of when pouring it.

    Similar to this:
     
  29. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    Not sure what you mean. It's not going to be ubiquitous, but that doesn't mean it isn't a thing. It's also not a "desperate attempt to just make something up to draw attention and customers" (as someone else put it).

    In some ways, the various Czech pours are ways of presenting the same beer for different drinking occasions - the beginning of a meal, with your meal, "session" beer drinking, the last drink of night, or a moment when you don't want a full glass... for people who care about such things (and most people don't care about such things... just like most people aren't posting on BA at 11am on a Monday).
    It changes the flavor of the beer (subtlety I'd assume) because the different pours change the amount of carbonation in the beer. Mliko is known for being sweeter... while the pour with minimal head is known for having more perceived bitterness due to having more carbonation in the beer.

    There was a Czech restaurant in NYC that took their Urquell seriously. Their head bartender was Czech, a winner of an international bartending competition, and a specialist with draught beer. I wanted to go there to try Urquell with the various pours, but the restaurant closed many years ago and I never made it unfortunately. While that sounded great to me, I don't have the same interest in trying it at a US craft brewer's taproom with their own product. My cynicism would be much higher in that context and in this moment of Czech beer terms becoming more trendy.

    Here's a decent video:
     
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  30. HoppingMadMonk

    HoppingMadMonk Poo-Bah (2,963) Mar 3, 2017 New Jersey
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    Hey,maybe I'm wrong, its happened before and will happen again.
    If its a thing to do i would at least try it once so I can actually have an informed opinion.
     
  31. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (4,790) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
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    So you get 10% of a normal beer at 50% of the price, judging by that picture posted earlier. Seems reasonable, I think I just figured out why these are so popular for breweries to offer :rolling_eyes:.
     
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Perhaps instead of using the words "is not a real 'thing'" the terminology of it "is not often seen at pubs" would be 'better' for you?

    Cheers!
     
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  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Maybe this it the explanation why out of the hundreds of 1/2 liter mugs I saw at many Czech pubs I did not see a single mlíko pour? Perhaps Czech beer drinkers like most beer drinkers worldwide prefer 'full' mugs?

    Na Zdavi
     
  34. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Yeah, I read that too, but didn't get it in-person. Definitely a different mouthfeel, and the head on any beer tastes slightly different, but when I got to the body of the beer it wasn't really different.

    And I think you'd be impressed with the Pils brewed at my local. Sad part is, they aren't canning it.
     
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  35. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,442) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
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    DSSOLVR here in Asheville does them. Bartender told me I'm supposed to chug it. It was weird, I didn't like it.
     
  36. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (512) Sep 1, 2004 New York


    I have indeed. I have installed Lukr faucets and can send you a beermail of the places you can visit. Some people like it, but I think it is more of some fascination with Old World work more than anything else. If Fritz poured the beer that way then it must be correct.

    Foamy beer is 99.9% warm beer, almost always. Unless it is intentional.
    The last 0.1 % is not very good. It's an opinion.

    I probably know more about beer foam, beer carbonation and beer faucets than typical. Not bragging here, but I have researched the arcane and have published work under this specific topic.



    Cheers
     
  37. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    @billandsuz -- to each his own. And while I admit I tried the pour "just because" of that old world tradition, I had no preconceived notions and actually expected to be underwhelmed.

    As it was, I was pleasantly surprised by a little different beer experience.

    Maybe your own experience has put you too close to the subject, but I can't complain about the beer temperature or added bloating from carbonation in my foray into this particular gimmick. And I'm no fan of gimmicks.
     
  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,995) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    I know you edited your post, but here's another data point. Notch also charges less for Schnitts/Mlíko pours.

    My cousin visited Prague back in 2019 I believe, and he did observe it there. I don't recall how often he saw it though.

    You get a half pour when it settles out.


    Notch was doing this in the US before any other craft brewery that I know of. They've been doing it for years and opened their first tap room in 2015. Not sure if they did it right away, but I believe they've had Lukr taps the entire time.

    I've had more Mlíko pours than I can count, mostly because I've been to Notch so many times over the years. I'll usually get one per visit, because otherwise I'll get a half pour (Schnitt) if I want to try a bunch of different beers when I'm there.

    If done right it is most certainly NOT a gimmick. It's a fantastic experience, and is a non-flavor-muting way to create a nice creamy mouthfeel as opposed to using something like nitrogen.

    You're supposed to chug it, but you can definitely just sip on it, and that's what I do. As it settles out you get much more beer than the initial pictures imply.

    In another thread I did express that I'm concerned with how many places I'm seeing installing Lukr taps. Notch conducts frequent training with the staff on how to do all the proper Czech pours. I could see craft breweries doing this as a gimmick much like cask. And much like the Lukr pour, if you don't know what the hell you're doing, the results can be disastrous (albeit much worse regarding cask).
     
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  39. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (512) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Yes, there is an inverse. And you make an a good point that is often missed.

    Cold beer holds more gas than warm beer. It can be difficult to get any head if the beer is ice cold. Down below 36F is around where the beer does not easily release CO2 gas. When you drink these very cold beers it can make you feel bloated. Ball park beer is a well known example of ice cold beer. Combine that with a hot day in the stadium and yeah, everyone starts getting cranky.

    Warm beer pours foamy. Everyone has had a can or bottle explosion. Opened in a hot car, you wear it. That gas in liquid wants to equilibrate with atmosphere as soon as it has the chance, warm liquid does not hold as much dissolved gas. Voila. You wear a beer.

    The actual amount of gas in the beer is determined by the applied pressure, which determines the amount of CO2 in liquid. The relationship between temperature and applied CO2 gas needs to be maintained and truthfully it is quite difficult to get correct if the beer is too warm. No matter the physics, it just is. Reference a Zahm Nagel chart, every brewer is familiar. Every brewer also knows that getting too far away from 38F is a headache, no matter what the chart says.

    Cheers
     
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  40. jonphisher

    jonphisher Poo-Bah (1,519) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    I, for better or worse, tend to look at these things like this as well. They are starting to pop up everywhere here too. I've seen posts from at least three local breweries boasting of having them now.

    To support your thought I've had two incredibly different experiences with lukr pours. One was one of the most beautiful looking pours (and lacing) I've ever seen, the other you wouldn't have even known it was lukr.
     
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