Pilsner (also pilsener or simply pils) is a type of pale lager. It takes its name from the Czech city of Pilsen, where it was first produced in 1842 by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll from local ingredients.The world’s first blond lager, the original Pilsner Urquell,is still produced there today
The city of Pilsen began brewing in 1295, but until the mid-1840s, most Bohemian beers were top-fermented. The taste and standards of quality often varied widely, and in 1838, consumers dumped whole barrels to show their dissatisfaction.The officials of Pilsen founded a city-ownedbreweryin 1839, calledMěšťanský pivovar Plzeň(German:Bürger-Brauerei, English:Citizens' Brewery– now Pilsner Urquell), which was to brew beer in the pioneeringBavarianstyle.Brewers had begun aging beer made withcool fermentingyeastsin caves (lager, i.e.,German:gelagert[stored]), which improved the beer's clarity andshelf-life. Part of this research benefited from the knowledge already expounded on in a book (printed in German in 1794, in Czech in 1799), written by Czech brewer František Ondřej Poupě (Ger: Franz Andreas Paupie) (1753–1805) fromBrno.
Historical examples of German Pilsner beer labels fromEast Germany
The Pilsen brewery recruited the Bavarian brewerJosef Groll(1813–1887) who, using new techniques and palermalts, presented his first batch of pale lager on 5 October 1842. The combination of brighter malt prepared by English technology, Pilsen's remarkably soft water, localSaaznoble hopsfrom nearbyŽatecand Bavarian-style lagering produced a clear, golden beer that was regarded as a sensation. Groll returned toVilshofenthree years later in 1845, and there later inherited his father's brewery.
Emergence of efficientglass manufacturingin Europe, aroundthe same time, lowered glass prices. This allowed the general population to purchase glass drinking vessels for the first time. These former luxury items showcased the visually pleasing golden clarity of the beer, further influencing the Pilsner's rapid dissemination.
In 1853, the beer was available in 35 pubs inPrague. In 1856, it came toViennaand in 1862 to Paris. Improving transport and communications also meant that this new beer was soon available throughout Europe, and thePilsnerstyle of brewing was soon widely imitated. In 1859, “Pilsner Bier” was registered as a brand name at the Chamber of Commerce and Trade in Pilsen. In 1898, the Pilsner Urquell trade mark was created to put emphasis on being the original brewery (Urquell meaningoriginal well, the English equivalent would probably beprototype pilsener beer).
Some beers are labeledUrtyp Pilsener (UP)meaning that they are brewed according to the original process, although many breweries use this accolade for their top beer.
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