What Is Pilsner Beer?

Beer is one of the world’s most enjoyed beverages. It is light, smooth, and delicious in most cases, but there is never just one type of beer.

What Is Pilsner Beer?

No, around the world today, there are hundreds of different kinds of beer. From the frigid north of Denmark to the sunny islands of Japan, everyone has a favorite type of beer.

The reason for this variety has a lot to do with circumstance and cultural ties. For example, across the British Isles and Ireland many people love a stout, a rich, dark, malty beer.

People love this beer because it is a cheap and readily available beer on the docks of the many port cities of the islands, and it would warm up frozen bones in winter. 

So, we know there are many kinds of beer, but have you heard of a Pilsner beer?

This wonderful concoction is beloved in many places, but what exactly is it? What makes it different from other beers? 

In this article, we will look closely at Pilsner beer and discover what exactly it is. 

The Definition Of Pilsner Beer

A Pilsner is a pale lager that originated in Bohemia (Czech Republic).

In its purest form, Pilsner is an unfiltered lager made with German malted barley, Czech hops, water filtered through bone char and fermented at low temperatures.

This beer style can be traced back as far as the 19th century when the first documented cases of pilsners appeared in a brewery in the city of Plzeň, the “Měšťanský pivovar Plzeň”, (in English: The Citizen’s Brewery of Plzeň) in 1839.

However, Pilsner lagers did not become widely popular until after World War I. During this time, many new breweries opened in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These breweries were producing their own versions of pilsners based upon the recipes they had been using since before the war.

Today, Pilsner beers account for about 80% of all European lagers. So if you want to experience true Pilsner beer, try it while traveling in Europe or even better, drink it at home!

Pilsner Beer Ingredients

Let’s start out by looking at the ingredients used to make Pilsner beer. To begin with, we need to understand how the malt, hops, and yeast work together to create this beautiful beverage. 

  • Malt – Malt is the base ingredient in brewing beer. It provides color, flavor, body, and carbohydrates. There are two main types: unmalted and malted. Unmalted barley contains more nutrients than malted barley, which means it is easier to use. Malted barley is ground into flour and then cooked like wheat. After being cooked, the starch is converted into sugar. These sugars give beer its sweetness and body. 
  • Hops – Hops provide bitterness, aroma, and flavor. They also help protect against spoilage bacteria and act as preservatives. Hops contain alpha acids that inhibit growth of certain yeasts and bacteria. Also, these acids prevent spoilage. When hops are boiled with wort, they release resins that impart a bitter taste to the beer. If the beer goes through a filtration process called “cold hopping”, only the hop oils are left behind. 
  • Yeast – Yeast produces alcohol during fermentation. This is why most brewers add yeast to the wort. Yeast converts starch into simple sugars. Then those sugars get turned into ethanol and carbon dioxide. It is important to note that some strains of yeast produce esters and fruity flavors, which contribute to the unique character of each type of beer.

Now that we have looked at the basic components of Pilsner beer, let’s take a closer look at the three main parts of the brew.

How Does Malt Affect The Taste And Feel Of The Beer?

Pilsner Beer

Malt imparts color, flavor, body and carbohydrates. Here are just a few examples of what happens when you add malt to your beer.

  • Color – Malt has a lot of different colors. Brown malt gives brownish tones, light amber malt gives golden tones and dark amber malt gives deep reddish tones. You will see these colors when you inspect your malt.
  • Flavor – Malt adds depth of flavor to the beer. The darker the malt, the stronger the flavor. Pale malt gives a lighter flavor than dark malt.
  • Body – Adding malt makes the beer seem fuller and richer. Malt also helps keep the beer cold longer because it takes up less space.
  • Carbohydrates – Malt contributes carbohydrates to the beer. Without carbohydrates added, the beer wouldn’t have the energy needed to be stored. In fact, without carbohydrates, people would die.

We can tell when malt is added to a beer by seeing the following changes. As the malt is dissolved, the solution gets thicker.

After adding malt to the water, the solution becomes thick due to the starches. Starches are complex carbohydrate molecules made from glucose (sugar).

Glucose molecules stick to themselves, forming long chains of tightly linked glucose molecules, which is called polysaccharide.

The amount of malt affects the thickness of the solution, as such, more malt results in a thicker solution.

Why Do People Like Pilsner Beer?

If you asked someone who doesn’t drink beer about their favorite style of beer, they might say something like this… “I don’t like beer”.

However, if you ask them what kind of beer they like, chances are they’d say something like: “I like lager/pilsners”. What makes Pilsner beer so popular? Why do people like it?

People like this style of beer for many reasons. One reason is the taste of the beer itself. Another reason is how well-balanced it is.

It has a nice balance between the sweetness of malted barley and the hoppiness of the hops.

The combination of sweet malt and spicy hops creates an overall tasting experience similar to wine.

People enjoy the taste of beer, but they also appreciate its ability to relax and refresh.

Beer drinkers tend to describe themselves as having a good time while drinking. Sometimes, they even refer to themselves as “drinking buddies” or “beer buds”.

Pilsner beer is often described as being crisp, clean and refreshing. Some people think it tastes better after sitting on ice for a while.

Since there are no carbon dioxide bubbles, Pilsner beer stays fresh much longer than other types of beer.

This means Pilsner beer is perfect for outdoor activities. When it comes to sports, Pilsner beer is the best choice!

When you compare Pilsner beer with other beers, one thing stands out: Pilsner beer is usually slightly sweeter than other styles of beer.

This allows Pilsner beer to pair well with foods that are naturally sweet, such as desserts. If you’re looking for a great pairing, try some Pilsner beer with chocolate cake.

Pilsner beer is typically associated with summer. That’s because it was originally brewed during the hot summers.

Today, Pilsner beer goes perfectly with food that you eat outdoors. For example, Pilsner beer pairs very nicely with hamburgers.

A lot of people believe Pilsner beer is healthier than other types of beer because of its low alcohol content. Alcohol contains calories.

However, the calorie count of Pilsner beer is only 3% compared to 6% or higher for most beers.

So, it really depends on your personal preference on whether you want to drink Pilsner beer or not.


Pilsner is possibly the most beloved style of beer in Europe and, considering Europe might be the world’s beer belt, that would make Pilsner the most beloved style of beer in the world.

It is light, crisp, and just wonderful to cool off during the heat of summer. 

Andrew Carr
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