I love pilsner. I especially love Czech (Bohemian) pilsner, although I do enjoy a good German pilsner too. Day to day, it’s my ‘go-to beer’. For a long time, my favourite all-round beer was Stropramen, the pilsner from Prague (although nowadays I often find myself preferring Pilsner Urquell). It’s got a rich, full-bodied toasted malt flavour and golden brown colour, with a firm bitterness and hoppy Saaz finish. This is a great beer. If you haven’t tried it before, do yourself a favour.
Living in the UK, I have a choice of Budvar, Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or one of the supermarkets’ own brand Czech pilsners available to me commercially. One of the advantages to being this side of the Atlantic is that generally the beers bought from the supermarket are pretty fresh and if you take care to select a 4-pack from the back of the shelf where the bottles have been away from the flourescent lights, it’s possible to find bottles which haven’t been skunked.
A few weeks ago, I ordered a pack of Wyeast 2782 – Staro Prague, supposedly the Staropramen strain of lager yeast, to brew with next. When it arrives – I plan to make two beers with it, a pilsner as well as a Czech dark beer (dunkel). I usually use a strain of lager yeast for 2-4 beers, repitching the yeast slurry for each consecutive beer, before acquiring a new pitch of a different yeast for the next few lagers.
I’ve recently brewed a fusion Czech / German pilsner to enjoy over summer using White Labs’ WLP815 – Belgian Lager, I can’t wait until it’s ready and I can put it on tap.