A pilsner a day...
- Hop Character:
- Usually around 40 IBU's, (Imperial IPA's can be as much as 100 IBU's)
- Malt Type:
- cave lager
- "good" lager
Pilsner beer is one of the most popular varieties across the globe. The original pilsner beer was created in the Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell, the beer that follows the old recipe, is still produced in the Czech city of Plzeň today. Since pilsner beers are a by-product of the pale lager, you generally don’t see a history about one, without it mixing in with the other. The mighty Pilz is the leader of it’s own following, and some even get offended to hear someone confusing the two types of beer. The novice beer taster aside, there is a distinct taste to a pilsner that anyone trying to discover a difference will surely find.
A clear, golden/yellow color, a distinct, and unique hop essence (nothing like an ale), and an alcohol content of 4-5% Anything stronger will be due to the fact that it was brewed for export, i.e. the long travel from some Czech brewery to the bar stool you’re sitting at, or beer cave you’re staring into.
The Origin of Pilsner Beer
The pilsner brewing process can be traced back to the late 1700s, when a book by Franz Andreas Paupie was written about the proper way to brew a Pilz; Franz Andreas Paupie is a guy I can’t even describe because his origin, and his works have never been translated from German, but apparently, his works influenced the brewers in the city Pilsen around the start of the 19th century, which brought about the version of pilsner we drink today.
The bottom-fermentation process was relatively new, because most of the beer craft in Bohemia had been of a top-fermented variety. The craft breweries in what is toady the country of Czechoslovakia, were brewing beer since the 1200′s, mostly the aforementioned top-fermented types. Due to the differences in standards, and the overall inconstancy in the city’s beer quality, customers were widely dissatisfied. The official of Plzeň decided to open the first city-owned brewery in 1839 that would eventually become Pilsner Urquell, and was a major attempt towards achieving higher standards, and quality beer craft.
Armed with the knowledge of Franz Andreas Paupie, and the newly honed techniques like storing and aging the beer in caves, the first batch of contemporary pilsner beer was created on October 5, 1842. Beer maker Josef Groll was employed at the city-owned brewery and was the brewmaster responsible for this new art of brewing. The Bavarian-style lager brewing, the softness of the local water and the paler malts resulted in excellent taste and a longer shelf-life of the product.
In the 1850s, pilsner beers had spread to Prague, Vienna and even Paris. Very soon, pilsner became available throughout Europe. The technique became popular and numerous micro breweries began imitating the pilsner brewing process.
How Popular is It?
Today, pilsner beers are one of the most popular beer styles across the world. Various brands of beer are made using the same technology. Both micro brew facilities, and larger breweries have benefited from the Plzeň experience and the special technique developed in the Czech city, more than a century and a half ago.
Many breweries that use the style, call their beer Pilsner, so there is a large diversity of possibilities that share the same name. Pilsner beer created in the US, however, is somehow different from the original Pilsner Urquell, dare I say, Americanized.
The original Czech pilsner is imported and available throughout the US. It is also possible to buy beer online and receive the original pilsner.
According to a 2010 Wall Street Journal report, Pilsner Urquell is increasing in popularity and the sales of the beer are growing in the US. The world’s first pale lager beer is gaining fans in the US because local distributors are educating the US clients about the culture of lager, the brewing process, and the uniqueness of Czech beers.
What Makes Pilsner Beer Special?
Pilsner micro brew is so special and loved because of several reasons:
The lightness of the beer’s flavor is one of its best characteristics. A pilsner is a clean and highly refreshing craft beer, which makes it so much more different from the regular lager-style, draft beer varieties. It’s classy, not too hoppy, and provides a more elegant taste than the one’s offered by Uncle Budweiser, and Mr. Miller.
Pilsner beer is made with bottom-fermenting lager yeast and the alcohol level varies from four to five percent. A real pilz will exhibit a moderate amount of malt taste. The hop bitterness of the original Pilsner beers should be 40 international bittering units (I.B.U.) – moderate to slightly more than average pronounced level of hop bite.