Legend has it that the first batch of the legendary Pilsner Urquell beer, brewed at the Plzeňský prazdroj brewery by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll, was a mistake.
Groll created the new beer using just barley malt, local Saaz hops, and lager yeast. On October 5, 1842, when he revealed his new beer it emerged unexpectedly light and clear, the color of straw, and the opposite of dark German beer.
Happy accident or not, the new type of lager was an instant success and was quickly copied around the world, so much so that the brand name Pilsner became the name for a new style of beer.
Each year to celebrate, the brewery gates are open to the public in the Czech city of Plzeň the first week of October, and a celebration is organized for beer lovers who wish to worship at the temple of the “ancient source” (prazdroj).
This year visitors will be able to take part in special brewery tours during which they will see where and how Pilsen beer has been brewed since that fateful day in 1842, tasting unfiltered and unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell beer, directly from oak barrels.
This year’s Pilsner birthday bash will take place on October 7, not only at the brewery’s gate but also around the city’s Náměstí Republiky and Štruncové sady districts.
Tours take place from 10:00 to 20:00, every 15 minutes. Admission is 100 CZK.
For more information or to buy tickets for the tours see here.
Can’t make it to Plzeň this weekend? Stop by U Pinkasů in Prague, the first pub to serve Pilsner Urquell in 1843; try the U Pinkasů Pivovarnický Masový Závin (Brewers Meat Roll), in honor of its namesake, Josef Groll and, of course, a pint.
Or try any of these Pilsner pubs.