Pilsner, also called pils or pilsener, is the most famous beer. When you order beer in the pub, you usually get pilsner. That's because pils is usually called ‘normal’ or ‘regular’ beer. But what exactly is pilsner and when do we speak of lager beer? We are happy to tell you!
What is pilsner?
Pilsner is the most widely consumed beer in the Netherlands, which is why we often say "an ordinary beer". Pilsner beer can be recognized by its golden yellow color and tastes less bitter than most craft beers. The alcohol percentage is usually between 4.1 and 5.2%. Pilsner or pils is beer, but not all beer is a pilsner. Are you still with us? When you order a ‘regular’ beer in the pub next time, the bartender should actually ask what kind of beer you want.
What is lager beer?
Lager is often confused with pilsner. Officially, lager is a term used for bottom-fermented beers. Lager comes from the German word ‘lagern’, which means ‘to store’. The origin of this word derives from the method that German brewers applied in the 19th century. The brewing process consisted of long fermentation and long storing periods, also called lager. Lager is actually an umbrella term, just like ale, for example.
In the Netherlands, we hardly ever use the term lager and we say, or ask for ‘pils’. Which is actually the best-known lager beer. In Germany and England it is common to order a lager. In that case you get a beer with a ‘lower’ (yes, that also means lager) alcohol percentage that ranges between 3.5% to 4%.
Where does pilsner beer come from?
Pils, or pilsner, is certainly not the oldest beer. It is around 175 years old. It was first brewed in 1842 in the Czech city of Pilsen. That is also where we can find the origin of the name: ‘Pilsner’. Josef Groll, a German, decided to brew his own beer. Unlike other beers at the time, Groll decided to use bottom fermentation instead of top fermentation. This means that it is fermented at low temperatures (sometimes also mentioned as low fermentation). And that trick turned out to be a great success. Furthermore, pilsner is made from malt, water, hops and yeast. Sometimes extra ingredients, such as certain sugars or corn, are added in order to develop a higher alcohol percentage.
Buy pilsner beers online at Beer Republic
In addition to all kinds of craft beers, Beer Republic also has an impressive line up of pilsners and lagers that you probably did not know yet. Are you a real fan of pilsner, but do you want to try something different than a Heineken, Hertog Jan or Jupiler? Then take a look in our webshop and buy pilsner beer online at Beer Republic. We highly recommend that you try them all! Prost