Josef Groll changed beer forever when he brewed Pilsner Urquell for the first time in 1842. People had been drinking beer since about 7,000 BC, but no one had ever seen or tasted a golden lager quite like this.
For thousands of years, beer was flavoured with a combination of fruits and spices called ‘gruit’. These sickly sweet beers took on the colour of the malt used during brewing. Depending on whether or not the malt was roasted, the beer had a colour from pale yellow to dark brown or even black.
In the 19th century, brewing was hugely popular in Plzeň, but no one could get it right. So a group of beer lovers hired Josef Groll, a talented Bavarian brewer, and built him a state-of-the-art brewery. He chose the finest local ingredients: soft Plzeň water, delicately bitter Saaz hops with a characteristic crisp flavour and aroma, and double-row Moravian barley, combined with a bottom-fermenting yeast.
Groll created a crisp, refreshing golden lager—Pilsner Urquell. His beer was perfect, and everyone who tasted it agreed. That’s why most beers in the world today are pilsner-style lagers, and why we still brew Pilsner Urquell like Josef Groll did at our original brewery in Plzeň.