1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,040 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,040
Reviews: 1,314
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.53%
Wants: 62
Gots: 308 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s. visit their website
Czech Republic

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 09-10-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pilsner Urquell Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,040 | Reviews: 1,314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RoamingGnome
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A) There is a nice golden shine, and about an inch of white foamy head. The head was not maintained for a lengthy duration. No lacing noted.

S) Grain and slight hop bitterness. There is a morning dew on a recently mowed lawn quality to this one.

T) I wasn't blown away by the flavor, but it works out well enough. It just feels pure. A nice combination of grain and a distinct type of hops. The finish is slightly bitter and dry.

M) This is light IMO, moderately carbonated. The feel is okay.

O) This is a pretty good patio beer, as it is crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day. Glad I picked up a single to enjoy, but I don't think this will be in my regular rotation.

Photo of JRed
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours transparent pale gold with bubbly white head. Aroma of spice hops, slight sweetness, wet grass. Malt sweetness mingles with spicy hops, grass and clean bitterness. Residual sweetness and crisp hop flavor rides out the taste. Medium carbonation and light body. A classic and enjoyable the whole pint through.

Photo of GrizzlyBehr
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from bottle into pint glass

appearance- a golden color with bubbly head

smell- light and grassy smell of hops

taste- a very solid pilsner taste, not overly hoppy good balance

mouthfeel- pretty average for a pilsner

overall- a solid pilsner and the original

Photo of rvdoorn
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: the beer pours a clear-yellow-golden color with a huge fluffy head.
Smell: malts, flowery and spicy saaz hops.
Taste: malts, flowery and spicy hops, grass, with a nice bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, high carbonation.
Overall: Nice pilsner, smooth and drinkable

Photo of obrendano
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a classic which I had not yet tried

A - body is very pale and clear without being grainy looking, head needs a little help to stay fluffy, but sticks around in small lacing for a bit

S - very clean crisp lager nose with floral hop notes

T - very nice pale malt flavor, notes of lemons, oranges, black pepper, biscuits, and pizza crust. hop bitterness is present but subdued, maybe slightly stronger than the average pils, but still very nice and in character.

M - no frills lager crispness with a bit more body than expected, no major complaints really

D - I can see how this could have really gotten people thinking differently back in the day. Today it doesn't stick out from the pack like it should, but has its place. good brew here.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Thanks Steve for contributing to the cause.

Appearance: Pilsner Urquell pours a transparent golden straw color with a 3 cm fluffy white head. Lots of medium sized bubbles work their way up from the bottom to reinforce the head, which retains well and leaves some nice lace.

Smell: Softly sweet pilsner malt, and a relatively complex blend of earthy, musty, and pungent hops. This is not my preferred hop aroma, but I like it better now than I used to.

Taste: The flavor starts out with a soft pilsner malt that stays surprisingly sweet throughout the sip. A little bit biscuity as well, but eventually the pungent, strong noble hops come into play. A firm bitterness brings a skunky (not to be confused with skunked) ammonia flavor toward the end. The finish is bitter, but the carbonation helps clean it up a bit.

Mouthfeel: The visible carbonation ends up adding a medium crispness to the mouthfeel. There is a hint of creaminess up front, but the carbonation makes sure to cut away any remaining flavors to leave the finish very clean. Light bodied.

Overall: This is a pretty decent beer, one that is worth having every now and again and certainly better that some other 'import' beers I have had. I am intrigued to have it at the brewery sometime; I have heard it is a completely different experience trying the unadulterated version.

Photo of ckollias
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Light golden-copper ale with a frothy two-finger head that quickly dissipates into a thin wispy lace.

S: Strong grainy - malty aroma. There is a spicy herbal hop scent and an aroma fresh cut grass!

T: Smooth with a strong hop bitterness. Crisp taste with a slighty sweet and grassy malted barley flavor. Spicy hops flavor with hints of lemon in the background followed by a dry finish.

M: Thin body and medium carbonation.

O: Not the typical beer I drink but I a nice take on the style.

Photo of G2Brew
4.19/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had a sense that I was picking at nits, real or imagined, when I was trying to determine the differences between Summit's "Bohemian Style Pilsner" and the Czechvar and Pilsner Urquel I had sampled previously.

The only way to really know the difference is in a careful, side-by-side test. So, I poured one glass of each beer. I was in a “primitive” situation, without enough proper pilsner glasses, so I used wine glasses to keep it even. Poured at 45 degrees F. Let the tasting begin!

Visually, the three are very, very close. The Summit and the Czechvar are virtually indistinguishable, even side-by-side. The Urquel is a shade darker. All were clear enough to read a newspaper through them (until the glasses fogged up due to the excessive humidity here.) Let me say up front, the Urquel is in a class by itself. It was not only a shade darker, but also had more grain and more Saaz hops aroma. Likewise, it had not just more, but a mellower flavor, even though it has a bit more hop bite. Pilsner Urquel is an amazing beer. Carbonation among the three was nearly identical, with the Summit having almost imperceptibly more – evidenced only by the higher volume of bubbles ten minutes after the pour.

So, the competition really came down to a race for second, between the Summit and the Czechvar.

The summit has a bit more lacing, and better foam than either of the Czech brews. Understand that none of them has a lot of foam. But the Summit’s head retention was impressive.

The aroma (where the Urquel first ran away from the group) was very close between the Summit and the Czechvar. The Czechvar takes this one, but just barely. The Czechvar has more Saaz, and I admit, I’m a sucker for Saaz. The intensity of the grain aroma is about equal, but slightly different. The Czechvar has a bit more of that unique, earthy, richness of the Bohemian Pilsner malt. That said, the Summit’s aroma is very pleasant, and a bit lighter, but not in a bad way. Cleaner, perhaps. Some corn aroma.

The Summit has the best mouthfeel of the three – not overwhelmingly so, but slightly less watery.

Now for the big one: taste. Again, Urquel wins hands down. The flavor is full of Bohemian pils malt, and Saaz hops. Mmmm...Saaz. Yeah, baby, this is what a Bohemian Pilsner is supposed to taste like. The only better Pilsner I’ve had is Urquel on tap in Europe.

Now, for the other two:

Summit is very nice. Some good pilsner malt, but with a touch of corn. That makes it less earthy and rich than the true Bohemian, but still very pleasant. The corn doesn’t help it, if the goal is to be true to the Bohemian style, but this is a good “drink-all-day” beer. I think it would be improved without the corn and with a touch of carapils (which I suspect is what makes the Urquel darker and tastier) and definitely would be better with a bit more hops, especially late-boil and dry hops for flavor and aroma.

Czechvar has a bit more character in the flavor than Summit, and it’s a tad richer, even though it’s not darker. The hops taste is almost on par with the Urquel. It’s not as rich as the Urquel, but better than the Summit.

Of the three, my order of preference is 1) Pilsner Urquel, 2) Czechvar, and 3) Summit “Bohemian Style” Pilsner. The Summit and Czechvar are so close that it comes down to a matter of preferences. If you want a little more of the Bohemian malt flavor and Saaz hops, then go with the Czechvar. Taste wise, I think the Czechvar wins, but if appearance is more important to you, go with the Summit. If you want a cleaner tasting lawn mower beer, the Summit is great cold. But in the end, if you want a Bohemian style Pilsner, there is no substitute for the original -- Pilsner Urquell IS Bohemian Pilsner.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cedar Point, Day Two: stopped for a quick bite before heading back into the park. It’s always a good time to try an original, style-defining beer, so I decided to finally get a bottle of Pilsner Urquell. I believe it was my first Czech beer, too. Seems like a great place to start!

Bottle served in Sandusky, OH at Ruby Tuesday. Reviewed from notes taken on 07-06-2011.

A: Beautiful golden shine on the body. Awesome, fluffy Pilsner head that leaves pretty good lacing. Aside from the head leaving almost instantly, it’s the perfect Pilsner look.

S: First off the block is an unexpected earthy fruitiness that reminds me of a good hefe; banana and grape aromas are big. Not a lot of hops (isn’t that the hallmark of a pils?), but what’s there is a tiny hint of tartness throughout. Great bright yeasts, too, giving this hearty intro a Belgian feel. It’s pleasant, but the near-absence of hops troubles me.

T: A very fruity and mellow palate upfront, with spicy yeasts behind. A small bit of hops also appears, but, sadly, it fades quickly. Yeasts sweep in and steal the aftertaste, making it smooth and slightly bready in the end. Not complex at all, but a pretty good drink.

M: A little oilier than it should be, with a lack of bubbles that is strange for the style. A bright, crisp feel would have been perfect; unfortunately, that’s not the case.

O: I’ve had better Pilsners, but this one has some unique, import-style flavors that I wasn’t expecting (but still enjoyed). At the very least, I can certainly respect this classic.

Photo of navinsula
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured beer in glass, it was a nice golden color as a pilsner should be. I poured agressivly and sitll only had a finger and a half of head. The smell was very nice with a hint of honey and saaz hops. The tast was very crisp and although the malt was there the hops are what stood out and left a slight bitterness in my mouth. this is a great beer and is my favorit pilsner.

Photo of flyingpig
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden amber & clear with plenty of visible bubbles rising in the glass. The beer forms as nice sized, bubbly white head that has pretty good retention & slowly subsides to leave a finger sized, foamy head.

Quite sweet & has lots of maltiness in the mix. Is is slightly skunky but nothing major to hinder it and this is followed up by some nice hops.

Sweet with strong hints of grassy hops in the initial sip here, this is quickly followed up by a blend of bread and biscuit.

Very smooth the entire way through this drink and the carbonation is good too, it feels excellent to drink and goes down a treat.

A solid pilsener that I will no doubt go back to time & again; it's not anything brilliant but it tastes, feels & looks good and would hold its own.


Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice golden color with a white fizzy head on it. There wasn't any lacing at all on this beer. The head settles leaving just some clumps of white on top of the beer. The smell of the beer isn't overly grassy, Thankfully. The aromas are hoppy and grainy with just a touch of grass. The taste has a good bitterness to it. The hops leave a dry bitterness in the back of your mouth after each sip. The mouthfeel is light and kind of refreshing. Overall it's a decent drinkable Pilsner.

Photo of molegar76
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First thing I noticed after pouring from green bottle to glass was the skunky smell. Overpowering. Lacing was minimal and faded quickly. Bottle had exp date and was still within freshness date.

Taste was like drinking a milwaukee's best with some skunk. Just couldn't get over the skunky smell to finish my second bottle. Almost $10 a sixer, I would have been better off getting Bud Light.

Photo of BigBry
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I drank this, was from a green bottle and never could recover from the skunky smell. I found a single 500 ml can, so want to try again. Plus I can add the can to my collection.
Two tone gold and dark green can, "The original pilsner from Pilsen". Best before date stamped on the bottom.
Shimmery golden color with a puffy white head. Decent retention, foam tightens and shrinks, but doesn't disappear, good looking lace too.
Smell has some grassy hops, a touch of malt sweetness, and guess what - no 'green bottle skunk'.
Taste has some sweet, grain malt flavors. Lots of earthy hoppiness. Crisp and clean, what a true pilsner should be. Light (but appropriate) body and mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, especially on a hot summer day.
Long live the UV light protecting can!

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.17/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straight from the bottle

A: A deep golden color, not quite as light as other lagers but similar. It has a fizzy head that lingers just a bit.

S: Aroma is very bitter and biscuity.

T/M: Tastes malty as well with some graininess, perhaps rye. The smell is actually better than the taste.

It’s not a bad beer at all, but it’s not quite as great as I remember it. I wonder if it had anything to do with the string of flavorless American adjuncts that I had before trying this.

Photo of rundocrun
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in (what else?) a pilsner glass.

A - Pours what appears to be a pale straw color at first, as the glass fills it turns out to be a richer honey gold. About a finger of pristine white head that fades slowly. Effervescent champagne-like bubbles float up.

S - Rich, malty, bready aromas are prevalent here. Very mild hop aroma wafts up too.

T - Taste is somewhat different from what I expected regarding the nose. A very striking honey-like sweetness rides from the middle through the finish. Up front I get hints of hop bitterness, and pale roasted grains. Incredibly smooth though, which is what I was expecting from this legendary pilsner.

M - Smooth! From start to the very finish this is a drinkable beer. Only a very slight stickiness remains afterwards.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of the lineup on the cruise ship, which, for a cruise ship, seemed to have a pretty darn good craft beer selection. Reviewed multiple bottles, so here goes...

Poured into a pint glass. The body is crisp and clear, straw-colored amber hued, and topped off by large and coarse bubbles that create a thick and sticky head. Lacing goes from spotty to delicately spiderwebbed at various points in the drinking experience.

Grassy, earthy, and stanky hop aromas, clean and crisp with no esters. Seemingly imbalanced bitterness versus the concentration of the aromas. There is also a light breadiness. The flavor has the typical Czech pils characteristics that I expect, though it seems almost too green, and I attribute this to the hop extract's tendancies to impart too much bitterness and downplay the earthy stank of the Czech Saaz hops that are in the aroma addition.

Light and refreshing, it feels good on the palate. I would get a case of this from time to time as an easy drinking beer, though there are certainly pilsener variations that I would turn to first. All in all though, you aren't gonna do much better than this on a cruise ship.

Photo of Rifugium
1.32/5  rDev -63%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First had: ? (a random bar somewhere)

I'm just not a pils fan, and this is no champion among them. Pours a clear, yellow color, carbonated, with a quickly-dissipating white head. Weak grains and some grassy funk in the aroma. Weak, sweet, malts, grainy, with bitter hops that create a metallic sensation. Light bodied and not at all pleasurable to drink.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The first time I drank this stuff many years ago, I hated it. Presumably I was not used to the taste of hops because I had only ever drank macro stuff at that point. Moving along...

Brilliant golden hue with a generous puffy white head that lasts for a few minutes before settling to a decent cap and lacing. Carbonation looks very high if the ridiculous quantity of bubbles streaming to the surface are any indication. Smell is nice but nothing special; grassy hops, malt sweetness and some faint apple juice notes.

Taste is very nice - some sweet biscuit and grain malt flavors are quickly overpowered by earthy, floral Saaz hoppiness that extends into the finish. Crisp and clean, this is pilsener to a tee; not surprising to read that this was the first one ever made. Light-ish mouthfeel and surprisingly moderate carbonation. This stuff is ridiculously drinkable, unless you do not like the taste of beer.

Even though I am constantly trying new beers, I always bump into Pilsner once in a while at a pub or liquor store with only the basics, and I never regret picking it. Worth a try, and always recommended.

[Updated Nov. 16 2013]

I pick up cans of this on a fairly regular basis, as I am living in an area where craft beers, and quality ales in particular, are not all that readily available. We've got lots of lagers though, and I'm convinced this is one of the best widely-available ones in the world. It amazes me that this is actually cheaper than some Euro lagers like Stella or Heineken. It has a nice, varied floral noble hop presence, with a touch of diacetyl and biscuity malts. I still won't touch the green bottles, but for me a cold can of PU is a welcome addition to any night.

Final Grade: 3.88, a B+.

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having just read that Pilsner Urquell was the first pilsner ever brewed, I figured it was time to give this one a go for history's sake.

Had on tap at the Country Corner in Setauket, NY. Served in a pint glass.

Look: clear, pale, golden body with a thin, white head that dissipates almost immediately and doesn't leave any lacing behind.

Smell: Saaz hops lend a bit of spice and floral hop aroma with a bit of light, bready malt.

Taste: follows the nose with a bit of bready, malty sweetness, a bit of hop spice and floral character, with a lingering bitterness.

Feel: light to medium, crisp and moderately carbonated. Easy drinking and could make for a good session.

Overall: decent. Apparently, this beer has changed from its original and as it stands now, its a pretty good pilsner but its a bit lackluster. Whether its the changes or my palate, but it could be a bit better. Cheers!

Photo of gabedivision
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz to a SA Perfect Pint glass.

Pours a golden yella thats crystal clear fo sho. About a 1 finger head that fades quickly to a thin white lace. Smells of Euro-skunk malts, with lemony citurs, buttered rolls, with almost like a slight SLIGHT bacon scent...almost. Malty and buttery in taste, crisp hops, sweet and grassy in taste. Very light in feel and medium carb. A staple for pilsners with alot of flavor and character.

Photo of djura
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one was made in Dreher brewery in Budapest.

A- is very nice,a bit darker color,nice foam,real pilsner.
S - Very smooth and basic, but for a pils it has a great scent.
T-99% Czech pilsner taste,that 1 % less is because it's made in Hungary.
M-light to medium mouthfeel, ample carbonation, slightly bitter in the finish.

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. Best before Nov0211.

Appearance: Pours that lovely golden Czech pilsner color. Relatively thin white head which recedes quickly.

Smell: Grassy, metallic Euro lager smell. You know you're drinking an import. A bit biscuity.

Taste: Wow, I almost forgot what a good tasting beer this was. Nice hop flavor comes right at you. I remember why this was a constant pick over so many other beers through the years. Smooth and light, yet full of biscuity, buttery, hoppy flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and refreshing. A "light(er)" beer with a lot of character. A bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: This is the first time I have come back to this favorite of mine after about six months of craft beer exploration. It's nice to know you can go home...and at just 4.4% ABV, I might have found my summer diet beer!

Photo of Brabander
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the mother of all beer in my humble opinion. This bottle came right out of the country of origin thanks to a guy who brought this to me.

Expiredate is today so just in time to drink it. Poured in a dutch beerglass this beer has the looks. Two finger white head which disappears not too quickly. Good carbonation. I think this is one of the first Tjech beers i see which looks good.

Smell is good, some citrus and bread come in the nose.

Soft and very 'round' taste. This is a well brewed beer.

Photo of ejeffer11
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

one of the classic brews.

nothing amazing about the appearance, pretty translucent, but this is not unexpected for the style. Good carbonation with a very white head on it. A little malt sweetness along with a zesty hop bite to the aftertaste. There is some skunk to this as well, but not in a detrimental way. Enjoyable to say the least.

I always look forward to drinking this because it means the weather is getting a little warmer. A classic easy drinking brew that at 4.4%, you can have a few and not lose your bearings. Great with something off the grill.

Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 3,040 ratings.