Review: Pilsner Urquell Czech Pilsner

For some reason, every time I ever do a review of a Lager or Pilsner, I have to say "I'm not a fan of this style.." Well, that needs to change. Lagers and Pilsners are gradually becoming cool with craft beer drinkers for the first time since most of us ever discovered craft beer, they were almost always the gateway beer that got us into trying other beers over time.

Last summer I saw a lot of my friends posting pictures of Pilsner Urquell on social media, it seemed like it was the cool beer to have for some reason. Plzeňský Prazdroj calls the original Pilsner.

From the label: In 1842, the Citizen's Brewery of Plzen brewed the world's first golden pilsner and never stopped. We make it in the same way in the same place, with 100% of our ingredients from the same farming regions in Czech, as always. 4.4% ABV

As someone who's been to enough breweries, it's tough to brew beer the exact same way as in 1842.. well definitely not impossible, I'm sure they have some automated equipment that didn't exist 170 years ago to be able to brew so many million barrels per year.

Appearance: Golden honey appearance with a good amount of clarity to it. There's a lot of carbonation in the body, which is reminiscent of what I remember from a classic macro Lager from my younger days. The head is pretty thick with a very frothy beige appearance to it and as the head diminishes a bit, a good sprinkling of foam sticks to the side of the glass.

Aroma: Quite a sweet Pilsner with notes of honey, wet barley, grassy hops and a bit of a saltine cracker vibe to it. If you have ever gone to a brewery as they're taking the spent barley out, this is exactly what it smells like.. it's a smell that would make many people cringe but it smells like memories of brewery visits to me.

Taste: Sweet Pilsner with notes of saltine crackers, sweet barley that has a hint of a honey sweetness to it. There's a bit of a grassiness in the beer but also a bit of a bitter hop presence that's more aggressive than what you would see in your typical North American Pilsners, a hoppiness that leaves behind a light to mild tingling pine aftertaste at the end. Decently crisp Pilsner.

Overall Thoughts: Crisp, sweet and surprisingly bitter Pilsner - if you were to give this to your typical Budweiser fan, they wouldn't like it as it's definitely got a lot more flavour than almost any AB InBev beer and AB InBev actually owned Pilsner Urquell until a few years ago when Asahi bought the brand a few years ago.

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