Still hypnotized by a recent trip to Prague, I was more than happy to discuss my travels with Notch Brewing founders Chris Lohring and Mary Ellen Leahy. The conversation naturally evolved into a discussion about Notch’s new side-pull faucets, which are most commonly seen in the Czech Republic. Greater control of the flow and speed of the beer makes them ideal for performing the Mlìko, or milk pour, a method that results in a mug full of sweet, pillowy foam.
“It’s hard to do. You have to go slowly to get the foam,” Lohring explained. “But not too slow, or the beer begins to settle.” When the side-pull faucets arrived, the Notch team had an after-hours contest to see who could best execute the ambitious pour. Liz Olive, the brewery taproom’s General Manager, emerged as the milk pour victor. And on this day, she unknowingly volunteered to demonstrate her skills for us.
Grabbing a mug, she paused to visualize the task. With her right hand, she placed the tap firmly at the bottom of the glass. With her left, she gently-but-confidently pulled the handle toward her. Airy, pearl-white froth trickled out. Then, faster and faster, the lacteal suds monopolized the mug’s capacity until the only sign of “beer” was a razor-thin line of gold below the dense foam.
Watching the process and tasting that beer, it was almost like I was back in Prague. Almost.