1001 Beers: Pilsner Urquell

Beer Number 32: Pilsner Urquell

Here is a beer I knew literally nothing of. Other than it was like 170 million years old... Ok, not million but 170 years none the less. It actually has a pretty cool story and the website is pretty high tech and fancy. I would go by there and watch the video.
At one point in the 1830s, the beer from the Bohemian town of Pilsen was considered undrinkable, with many locals preferring the new lagers arriving from Bavaria. Unfortunately, the main brewery in Pilsen didn't have room to switch to the new style of production, and the quality of its own top-fermented beer fell. One day in 1838, locals protested by dumping thirty-six barrels of spoiled beer in front of the town hall. The citizens with brewing rights agreed to build a new brewery.
Hiring Josef Groll as brewmaster might have been their real stroke of luck. Hailing from the Bavarian town of Vilshofen, Groll had experience working with bottom fermentation, as well as the knwoledge he had received from his brewmaster father. Still, the first batch brewed in 1842 came as a shock. With the combination of bottom fermentation, triple-decocted pale barley malt, and the city's extremely soft water, Groll had created the world's first clear, pale, bottom-fermented beer. It tasted different as well, in part due to the delicate floral aroma and light bitterness from a healthy dose of Bohemia's long-treasured Saaz hops.
I kind of forgot to get a picture before I started drinking this one. I thought it was pretty good though. The Saaz was a standout in this beer and the light bitterness made it fairly crisp. A bit of caramel, clean and dry. I mean, not a style I drink very often so there are probably somethings I am missing from it. Typically, I'm an ale drinker.

That story made me appreciate this beer more. It is hard to think about a time such as then when beer was considered bad by the masses. Everyone thinks every beer brewed today is amazing... when that is truly not the case. But hey, Drink What You Damn Well Please.

969 Bottle Of Beer To Go!



  1. I've heard (read) that this beer was better before it became SAB-Miller. I don't know that to be true, because it has only been over the past year that I tried it. I am pretty sure I would have enjoyed the bottle I had much better fresh from the brewery.... the hops just didn't "pop" like some other Bohemian-style pilsners I've had.

    1. I believe what you are saying but sometimes when I hear that I wonder if part of that is just because of the disdain for the company/buy out. I have nothing to compare it to, being this was my first but I do believe that the production value/quality was probably lowered.

      Do you have any other suggestions for this style? I am always looking to try new beers, but you know that :)