The Czech Republic: Home of Pilsner
The Czech Republic has played an important role in the development of the type of beer we commonly drink today. In the early 19th century, Bohemian brewers pioneered the development of pilsners—a style that we commonly associate with pale, well-hopped lagers with crisp carbonation. Pilsner Urquell, made in the town of Pilsen, is still one of the most popular Czech beer exports, and a fine benchmark of the style.
The history of Czech beer styles does not end with pilsners. In the latter part of the 19th century, American brewery owner Adolphus Busch first encountered a local style in a town called Ceské Budejovice. The beer, better known in Europe by the town’s German name, Budweis, was none other than the original Budweiser Budvar, or Czech “Bud.” It is from this style that Busch developed his own variation in the United States, producing Budweiser in the giant Anheuser-Busch brewery based in Missouri.
The Czech Republic is also a major grower and exporter of the finest hops used for pilsner-style lagers. These hops are typically imported in large volumes by U.S. brewers, and are used in attempts to brew beer outside of the Czech Republic with just as much character, quality and flavor.