First and foremost, a Pilsner is a refreshing, palate cleansing, thirst quenching Pale Lager beer. These Pilsners come in several styles, such as German, American, and of course, the Czech Pilsner.
The Czech style Pilsner, sometimes called a Bohemian Pilsner was introduced in 1842 in the western Czech Republic. The Bohemian label refers to the name of the area in which the beer was produced, and is actually the name of a province in the Czech Republic.
This all malt brew is always made with malted barely, never adjuncts like corn, rice, or wheat. The Czech Pilsner malt provides a bready, biscuity, toasty profile to the beer. As for the hops, the Czech Pilsner recipe calls for Saaz hops, leaving a much larger hop presence than that found in an American or German Pilsner. Classic examples of Czech Pilsner beer were conditioned in wooden tanks and had a less sharp hop bitterness than the modern examples we see today.
Overall, the Czech Pilsner is complex, yet well balanced and refreshing. It has a strong, but clean bitterness, gentle hop spiciness, a long rounded finish, and clean flavor with little to no fruity yeast esters. Low level diacetyl is acceptable in these Pilsners.
Czech Pilsners are typically darker in color and higher in final gravity than its German and American counterparts. Its ABV typically falls in the 4-5.5% range. The best Czech Pilsner glass is of course, a basic Pilsner glass, with a narrow base, and sides that flare outwards, although the beer can also be served in a dimpled mug. When poured properly the brew yields a dense frothy white head.
When pairing Czech Pilsners with food, it is best to stick light fare such as salads, crab, lobster, salmon, and chicken. However, it can also pair well with fried foods and spicy Mexican entrees.
We are so excited to feature a number of Czech-style Pilsners in our monthly beer club membership! Cheers!
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