Pilsner Urquell

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This article is about the beer. For the brewery that produces that beer, see Plzeňský Prazdroj.

Coordinates: 49°44′48″N 13°23′14″E / 49.746758°N 13.387243°E / 49.746758; 13.387243

Pilsner Urquell
Manufacturer Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Introduced 1842
Style Bottom-fermented beer
Main gate of the Plzeňský Prazdroj

Plzeňský Prazdroj (IPA: [ˈpl̩.zɛɲskiː ˈprazdroj], Original Source of Pilsner), known better by its German name Pilsner Urquell (IPA: [ˈpɪlznɐ ˈʔuːɐ̯ˌkvɛl]), is a bottom-fermented beer produced since 1842 in Pilsen, part of today's Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell was the first pilsner beer in the world. Today it is a prominent brand of the global brewing empire SABMiller.

Pilsner Urquell is more strongly hopped than most pilsner beers. Saaz hops, a noble hop variety, are a key element in its flavour profile, as are the use of soft water[1] and fire-brewing.[2] It is available in a 330 ml, as well as 12oz (355ml), and a 500ml (half litre) in both aluminium cans and green bottles.

Almost all draft Pilsner Urquell available throughout the world is served via keg dispense under carbon dioxide pressure, and has been since the 1960s. However, small quantities of the beer in cask conditioned form -which is dispensed from wooden casks- are sometimes made available in the Czech Republic. These were also seen in the United Kingdom during 2012[3] and 2014.[4]

The cask version of Pilsner Urquell is unpasteurised, unfiltered and naturally conditioned with no added CO2, and is far closer in character to the way the beer would have been in the 19th century.


Traditional fermenting building (center) and modern fermenting building (left)

As the name suggests, ("Urquell" in German or "Prazdroj" in Czech both mean "the ancient source") Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner and first pale lager beer. It is characterised by its golden colour and clarity and was immensely successful – nine out of ten beers produced and consumed in the world are derived from the original Pilsen beer.[5] Before 1840, the standard beer in Bohemia was top-fermented and characterized by a dark colour, turbidity, and inconsistent quality. Pilsen burghers had not found this satisfying and the Pilsen city council ordered 36 casks to be dumped.[6] They invested in a new, state-of-the art brewery, the Bürgerbrauerei (Town brewery, Měšťanský pivovar in Czech), and commissioned Josef Groll, a Bavarian brewer, to develop a better beer. On 5 October 1842, Groll had an entirely new mash ready and on 11 November 1842, the new beer was first served at the feast of Saint Martin markets.[7]

Bürgerbrauerei registered Pilsner Bier B B brand in 1859.[8] In 1898, they also registered Original Pilsner Bier 1842, Plzeňský pramen, Prapramen, Měšťanské Plzeňské, Plzeňský pravý zdroj and finally Pilsner Urquell and Plzeňský Prazdroj which are in use today.


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.pilsner-urquell.com/html/en_gb/_2_1_3.html
  2. ^ http://www.pilsner-urquell.com/html/en_gb/_2_2_2.html
  3. ^ "Czech this out". Ben Viveur. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  4. ^ http://threehundredbeers.com/post/87515908589/pilsner-urquell
  5. ^ Jackson, Michael. Ultimate Beer, page 124, DK Publishing, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-7894-3527-6
  6. ^ "Pils". The German Beer Institute. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Řezáč, Jiří. "Kdy bývá pivo Pils? (When is Pils beer?)". GastroNews.cz. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Pilsner Urquell

See also[edit]

External links[edit]