The Beer Facts About Pilsen in the Czech Republic

Any town that gives its name to a type of beer must be worth visiting, I reckon.

The Czech Republic town of Pilsen gave its name to the beer called pilsner, that bitterish beer that is an acquired taste but, when finally acquired, is hard to give up was first produced in Pilsen in 1842.

The combination of malt, local hops and Pilsen’s soft water is said to give the beer its unique taste and fine amber colour. The fact that it was easily transportable made it popular throughout Europe and from there its fame spread around the world.

The city isn’t known just for the quality of its beer, though. It also has a reputation for having interesting architecture due to the cacophony of architectural styles that have been employed over the centuries.

The city is located about 90 kilometres west of Prague, the Czech Republic’s capital, and it has played a prominent part in Czech history.

Although there was a prominent castle in the area in the Middle Ages, Pilsen didn’t actually become a town until 1295 when King Wenceslaus II declared it to be a royal city, which meant that it was destined to become involved in a great number of wars over the centuries.

In fact, an awful number of invaders have either won or been repelled in battles over the centuries. One of those battles took place during the Thirty Years War and is called the Siege of
Pilsen when the protestants won a major battle against the catholics and took the town, which caused Bohemia to revolt.

In more recent times it was occupied by the Nazis, liberated by the Americans, controlled by the Soviets, the liberated when the Communists lost power.

One of the interesting aspects of the city is that it has a huge, ancient underground. Not a mass transit line, but a series of tunnels that were begun in the 13th century and which continued to be built until the 19th century. These tunnels lead to cellars, which are sometimes two or three stories deep, and which were used for a variety of activities including the preservation of food, the carrying of water and the dispersal of sewerage.

These days Pilsen is quite a cultural city, but it still celebrates beer with its very own Brewery Museum which celebrates the brewing of beer from its humble origins to the sophisticated draughts we get today.

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