It's over six years since I was last in the Czech Republic, and even longer since I spent any significant time there. I was very new to beer on my earlier trips, and came away with two joyous discoveries in particular. One was pale Krušovice (as mentioned here), and the other was a sweet liquoricey dark lager called Velkopopovický Kozel. I was overjoyed to discover the latter on tap in the Czech Inn recently, and then rather perturbed to find a pale beer put in front of me.
So, it turns out our friends at Velky make four different beers, and that what I was used to drinking was Kozel Černý. What I was given was the 4% ABV Velkopopovický Kozel Světlý. But it was no hardship at all. My recent forays into the strange world of pale lager in the Czech Inn have tended to yield very sweet malt-laden beers; Kozel Světlý is not one of those. Instead, this fairly light lager is packed with some classic Czech Saaz bitterness, leaving it clean and refreshing, even when it's probably the first pint of the day out of the tap.
My longing for another crack at the Černý has not abated, despite Al's claim that the brewery no longer makes any good lager. However, now that I'm running out of new Czech Inn beers to try, I think I may have found my regular, for as long as they have nothing properly dark.