On 5th October 1842, in Plzeň, the world’s first blonde lager was born.
Today, Pilsner is easily the most popular type of beer in the world but it came from unlikely beginnings. It all began when the local brewery in Plzeň ordered 36 casks of poor quality Bohemian ale to be dumped in the street!
The residents of the town had long been dissatisfied with the dark, cloudy traditional beer and the inconsistent quality of its fermentation. But it was this bad beer crisis that sparked investment in a new, state-of-the-art brewery in the hope bringing a much-needed better brew to the city.
They even hired a brewer from Bavaria, a region famous at the time for being at the top of the brewing game. Josef Groll combined partially malted Czech barley and local Saaz hops with German lager yeast. Whether by accident or design, what he got out was the clear, golden liquid of Pilsner Urquell!
As soon as this first Pilsner hit the taps, it was a roaring success. It was revealed at a public festival in November that year. One happy drinker wrote of the scene, “What admiration they had for the golden colour and the snow drifting over it, as the drinkers giggled when they tasted the delicious, delicious flavour – a beer like no others before.”