|Manufacturer||Pilsner Urquell Brewery|
|Style||Cool fermented beer|
Pilsner Urquell (IPA: [ˈpɪlznɐ ˈʔuːɐ̯ˌkvɛl], Czech: Plzeňský prazdroj IPA: [ˈpl̩zɛɲskiː ˈprazdroj]) is a lager beer brewed by the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň (former German name: Pilsen), Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell was the world's first pale lager, and its popularity meant it was much copied, and named pils, pilsner or pilsener. It is hopped with Saaz hops, a noble hop variety which is a key element in its flavour profile, as is the use of soft water. It is available in 330 ml, 355 ml and 500 ml aluminium cans and green or brown bottles.
Almost all draught Pilsner Urquell is sold filtered, but small quantities are available unfiltered, in the Czech Republic and, in very limited amounts, in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Hungary and Austria. In recent years, the unpasteurized "tank" version of the beer has become more and more available.
Pilsner Urquell was the first pale lager, and the name "pilsner" is often used by its copies. 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 pale lagers based on Pilsner Urquell. The German name, which can be roughly translated into English as "the original source", was adopted as a trademark in 1898.
By 1839 most beer in Bohemia was dark and top fermented. However bottom-fermented lagers were gaining popularity. The people of Plzeň preferred imported cheaper bottom-fermented beers to local top fermented ales. The burghers of Plzeň invested in a new, state-of-the art brewery, the Měšťanský pivovar (Burghers' Brewery), and hired Josef Groll, a Bavarian brewer, to brew a bottom-fermented beer. On 5 October 1842, Groll had a new mash ready and on 11 November 1842, the new beer was first served at the feast of St. Martin markets.
The brewery registered Pilsner Bier B. B. name in 1859. In 1898, they also registered names Original Pilsner Bier 1842, Plzeňský pramen, Prapramen, Měšťanské Plzeňské, Plzeňský pravý zdroj and finally Pilsner Urquell and Plzeňský Prazdroj which are in use today.
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