Pilsener or pilsner
is a pale lager, ( 淡啤酒 )
developed in the 19th century in the city of Pilsen
in the Czech Republic
Until the 1840s, most Bohemian beers were top-fermented, dark and cloudy. The taste and standards of quality often varied to the worse, and in 1838, consumers even dumped whole barrels to show their dissatisfaction. The citizens of Pilsen decided in 1839 to found and build a brewery of their own, Burgess' Brewery (now Plzeňský Prazdroj), which should brew beer according to the Bavarian style of brewing. Bavarian brewers had begun experiments with the storage (German: Lager) of beer in cool caves using bottom-fermenting yeasts, (酵母 , a kind of fungus) which improved the beer's clarity, flavour, and shelf-life. Most of this research benefitted from the knowledge already expounded on in a German book (printed since 1794, in Czech since 1801), written by František Ondřej Poupě (1753–1805) from Brno.
The Burgess Brewery recruited the Bavarian brewer Josef Groll (1813 – 1887) who, using new techniques and the newly available paler malts, presented his first batch of modern pilsener on 5 October 1842. The combination of pale colour from the new malts, Pilsen's remarkably soft water, noble hops (啤酒花) from nearby Saaz and Bavarian-style lagering produced a clear, golden beer which was regarded as a sensation.
Improving transport and communications also meant that this new beer was soon available throughout Central Europe, and the Pilsener Brauart style of brewing was soon widely imitated. In 1859, “Pilsner Bier” was registered as a brand name at the Chamber of Commerce and Trade in Pilsen. In 1898, the Pilsner Urquell trade mark was created to put emphasis on being the original brewery.
The invention of modern refrigeration by Carl von Linde removed the need for caves in which to store the beer; however, even until recently the Pilsner Urquell brewery still fermented its beer using open barrels in the cellars underneath their brewery. This technology was changed in 1993 with the use of large cylindrical tanks; however, small samples are still brewed in a traditional way for taste comparisons. Pilsener also has the unique claim to being "the world's first golden beer."
A modern pilsener has a very light, clear colour from pale, really pale up to a golden yellow, and a distinct hop aroma and flavour. Czech pilseners tend toward a lighter flavour with good examples being Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen, while those in a German style can be more bitter (particularly in the north, e.g. Jever) or even "earthy" in flavour. Distinctive examples of German pilseners are Flensburger, Beck's, Bitburger, Fürstenberg, Veltins, König Pilsener, Krombacher, Radeberger, Holsten, Warsteiner, Henninger and Wernesgrüner. On the other hand, Dutch (Heineken, Amstel) and Belgian pilseners (Jupiler, Stella Artois) have a slight sweet taste.
( above info from Wikipedia)
Related term : Czech Beer