The Modern Pilsner was born on October 5, 1842, in the city of Plzen, Bohemia, now part of modern-day Czech Republic. Brewer Josef Groll combined newly available pale malts with German lagering techniques and local Saaz hops to create the Pilsner. The beer’s brilliant clarity, golden color, and light body made it an instant hit among beer drinkers everywhere who had become accustomed to only dark, heavy, and cloudy beers. From there, its popularity increased exponentially. Immediately, this new style of beer became widely popular throughout Europe.
Not too long after that, the Pilsner spread to many other parts of the world, but not without some local variations. Not to mention, the Pilsner inspired the production of numerous other light beers. Budweiser, the most famous of the Pilsner’s inspirations, derived its original name from a Bohemian Pilsner brewery. While sometimes referred to as a Pilsner, Budweiser is actually better known as an American Pale Lager.
Today there are three types of Pilsner: Bohemian, German, and American. The Bohemian, or Czech Pilsner, features Saaz hops with a base of rich malt and soft water. The German Pilsner is brewed to have different characteristics than the Czech Pilsner since the Germans did not have access to the soft water in Plzen. Because of this, German Pilsners tend to have a dry, refreshing character and less emphasis on rich malt character. Lastly, American Pilsners are actually American Pale Lagers. However, true home and craft brewers typically do not consider American Pilsners to be true Pilsners.
Being the common beer among warriors, we created a true Pilsner for our first beer. We wanted our beer to be one with as much history as barritus, of which our name was born from. Modeled after a Bohemian Pilsner, our Light Pilsner is brewed with German Lager yeast and balanced with a mixture of hops from Germany and the Czech Republic. These ingredients leave you with a crisp and light beer, exactly the way a Pilsner was supposed to be made. Unlike IPA’s or Pale Ales that can only take a week to ten days to ferment, Pilsner’s require a cold fermentation process of 5-6 weeks to perfect. The result is a clear and clean taste that is refreshing on a hot summer day. Although we could have picked an easier first beer to brew, we’re Barritus Brewery and true warriors don’t run from battle!
Eddings, Bryce. (n.d.). Beyond San Diego’s Surf and Sun: Suds. Retrieved from: http://beer.about.com/od/lager/a/PilsnerHistory.htm
Ensimger, Peter. (1997). Divining the Source of the World’s Most Imitated Beer. Retrieved from: http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue5.3/urquell.html