Beer Aficionados: You’ve Heard of Pilsner, But Have You Been to Pilzen?

Plzeň, Czech Republic is the proud birthplace of Pilsner beer, the pale-gold blond lager that’s enjoyed around the world.

First produced in 1842, Pilsner beer inspires more than two-thirds of the beer produced in the world today. But it wasn’t always this way. While beer may be the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage (dating back to at least 5,000 BC), for centuries, lagers were much darker.

In 1837, city officials, worried that cheap imported beer would soon flood the market, agreed to build a new brewery that would begin producing a bottom-fermented beer (a so-called Bavarian beer).

The first batch was brewed on October 5, 1842 using pale malted barley, local hops, soft Plzeň water and special lager yeast. It was the world’s first golden lager – fresh, clear and refreshing with a hint of caramel sweetness and a fragrant, balanced hop bitterness. By the 1870s, it was being sold in the United States.

Visit Plzeň and you can sip a Pilsner in the city that created it. Several breweries (like Pilsner Urquell and Plzeňský Prazdroj) offer tours. The city has its own Brewery Museum which tells the story of beer and Pilzen pubs.

The Czech Republic is a fabulous pre- or post-cruise destination when you’re sailing the Danube River. Let your Stellar Travel advisor take care of all the details – all you have to do is pack your bags!

 

Photo: Michal Ritter

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