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Golden Beer's Getting Old

By Amelia Levin in Food on Oct 5, 2007 8:15PM

2007_10_Chicagoist_Pilsner.jpgYou know what today is, don’t you? It’s golden beer’s 165th birthday! Yes, 165 years ago today, on Oct. 5, 1842, Joseph Groll, a young brewmaster in Plzen, Czech Republic, discovered a technique for brewing golden beer, otherwise known as the pilsner, or Pilsner Urquell, which is the brand name now.

Prior to 1842, most beers had a darker, murkier consistency and a sweeter taste. Lore has it that the citizens of Pilsen were fed up with the less than average beer they were drinking, so they enlisted Groll’s help. Groll built a brewery, and before producing the first batch of this new beer, all of Pilsen awaited by tapping kegs. They were shocked by the clear, golden beer with a dense foam. It was so different from anything they had seen or tasted before. Pilsner became known for its bittery hoppiness with hints of caramel and a dry, crisp finish.

It’s arguable that Groll changed the course of history with the Pilsner. The beer became popular in Europe, then in the United States, and now, across the globe in some variation or another. There are many great craft pilsner brews out there. There are also, of course, your typical beers like Budweiser, Miller, Coors, and other cheap, bastardized, get-drunk brews. So cheers to your friend.

Here are some places in the city celebrating the Czech’s b-day with specials and such:

Miller’s Pub
Jake Melnick’s

Near North:
Butch McGuire’s
P.J. Clark’s
The Lodge

Northwest Side:
J & L Lounge in Portage Park
New England Inn in Galewood/Montclare