Friday, July 29, 2011

Pilsner Urquell light

Among the international beer brands available in Sweden, you can find Pilsner Urquell. If you go to Systembolaget it is possible to buy the original pilsner beer in bottles or cans. But Pilsner Urquell is also available in another version in Sweden. It is brewed by the Pilsner Urquell brewery itself on the original site in Plzeň, Czech Republic unlike the licenced beers brewed in Poland and Russia. This Pilsner Urquell version is sold in Swedish supermarkets and shops and has 3.5% alcohol. The original Pilsner Urquell has 4.4% alcohol. The Russian and Polish licence products probably have the same alcohol content.

The beer is a golden lager with some carbonation and a small head. In the nose there is grass and hops. The taste is very alike the ordinary Pilsner Urquell, but it is not that fruity nor bitter. I feel it is a watered down version of the original, but it is still a very good and refreshing beer. In fact it is the best 3.5% lager beer I have found in Swedish supermarkets.

I am very fond of the real Pilsner Urquell. I also like this 3.5% version, but I do not like that the brewery misuses its name. Pilsner Urquell is German and means original source of Plzeň. This is not the beer Josef Groll made in Plzeň in 1842 that later become the prototype of all beers in the pilsner style. It has the same hops and the same malting, but it is not the same beer. I feel that is a shame. The brand name gives a promise, but this beer is not delivering what the name offers. The same goes for the licence production of Pilsner Urquell outside the Czech Republic. Those beers are made from other water sources and not the original wells of Plzeň and should therefore be called something else than Pilsner Urquell.

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