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Pilsner Urquell 

Mosaic, 101 Lucas Street, 314-621-6001

At Mosaic on a Thursday night, the house beats are dropping from the ceiling, landing like water balloons on the perfectly coifed heads of patrons. They're honoring happy hour, that window of afternoon opportunity. Another day, another dollar, another chance at a drunken hook-up. The women here seem to be celebrating their 21st-century bra sizes; the men are all googly-eyed with beer, flat-screen baseball and newly un-flat chests. New boobs + new scoop-neck shirts = dogs caught in headlights.

We at Drink of the Week are many things, but we are not dogs. We are, however, heterosexual. We have been drinking, and as hard as we try to avoid it, we are genetically predisposed to catch glimpses. Sometimes we get busted, so to speak. Tonight, we do not.

An unscientific survey of Mosaic reveals that beer drinkers outnumber all others two-to-one; despite a nationwide decline in beer consumption, at Mosaic it gushes from spigots like water from a hydrant. Yes, beer might not be selling as well because, they say, it bloats you. But 'tis just a valley in the mountain range, and as long as there are breasts, there will be beer to calm the nerves of men too horny to handle the landscape without it. We'll go further. The bigger the breasts become, the more beer we will consume.

To paraphrase Faulkner, we decline to accept the end of beer. It is easy enough to say that beer is immortal because it will endure -- that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: the whisper of Pilsner Urquell rising in a pint glass, its puny inexhaustible froth still pouring over the lip. Drink of the Week refuses to accept this. We believe that beer will not merely endure: It will prevail.

It is prevailing, in fact, at Mosaic, where they serve Pilsner Urquell on draught. The beer, a product of Bohemia (really -- it's a region in the Czech Republic), is considered one of the best in the world, and we're not arguing. Pilsner Urquell was the first pilsner-style beer; translated, its name means "pilsner from the source." Prior to its introduction in 1842, beers were dark and cloudy; but the genius Bohemian brewmasters created a way to clarify the beer, and in the process made it golden. You may be familiar with another pilsner around these parts: Budweiser.

But where Bud is nonconfrontational (to say the least), Pilsner Urquell has remarkable flavor. It's hoppy but not overpowering, and it has a sweet bouquet that goes well with food. And it goes particularly well at Mosaic's fantastic bar, a circular creation designed so that all of us sitting here can see everyone else. Over at a table, a couple is getting ready to order. A server with an ample bosom and a scoop-neck leans over and offers the daily specials. The gentleman stares straight into her eyes, then looks to his girlfriend, then back at the server's eyes. He grips his pint glass, his knuckles white, and pours some beer into his mouth. "I think I'm gonna have the special," he says.

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