Pils beer is known by many AKAs; from the shortened pils, to the variations of pilsner and pilsener, as well as the combinations of pils beer, pils lager, German pils and keller pils. Pils beer has an ABV range of 4.5-5%, is pale in colour and traditionally served with a large frothy head. There are pilsners now brewed right across the world and you can find an extensive range available at Beers of Europe, from 60 different countries.
The first pils beer was brewed in Pilsen (hence the name) by the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in 1842. The birth of the pilsner was born out of frustration with the consistently poor quality of the beer and in Pilsen the citizens showed their disgust by pouring 36 kegs of beer into the streets. The city’s brewers decided to start from scratch and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. They hired two Bavarians, designed a state of the art brewery, learned from the best and the pilsner beer was born. It is not an understatement to call the development of the pils lager a game changer in the beer world.
One thing that marked pils beer as a new frontier for brewing was that it could be said to be the first truly bottom-fermented brew. Two other key features of this new kid on the block were the German purity laws which would only allow four ingredients (hops, barley, yeast and water) and that the water in question was soft, thus free from harsh minerals.
With the growth of the railroads, the popularity of the pils spread and so did the number of variations. Just because it is popular, doesn’t make it an easy beer to brew and it is said by many master brewers that the pils beer requires an almost obsessive and intimate attention to detail; needing high quality ingredients, careful handling of temperamental yeasts and plenty of patience.
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