The people of Pilsen, in Bohemia, the medieval crossroad of Europe, have always been passionate about their beer, an adamant dedication to quality and perfection.
Before Pilsner Urquell, beer was a dark and muddy concoction that varied wildly in quality. Then enter Josef Groll, a genius and a visionary who saw beyond the ordinary to create something that has withstood the test of time and inspired generations of imitators.
He created the world's first clear and golden beer which, on 4 October 1842, was unveiled at St Martins Market.
Legend has it that the single strand of yeast used to produce the golden lager came to Groll by way of a runaway monk who smuggled it out of his monastery. Today, centuries later, the pedigree of the unique Pilsner H yeast can be traced back to that single strand.
'Pilsner' soon became a generic term for any bottom-fermented beer, but the proud people of Pilsen would have none of that, and in 1898 they renamed their beloved beer Pilsner Urquell, meaning simply 'The pilsner from the original source.'
For centuries the Pilsen brewmasters have dedicated themselves to maintaining the integrity of the fine golden lager, passing the secrets of their brewing techniques down through the generations so that Pilsner Urquell has remained the uncompromised original that is so well loved today.
Since 1842 only the purest, most natural ingredients have been used to create a beer of golden opulence. From the soft crystal clear waters, to the superior Bohemian and Moravian barley and noble hops from the Saaz region.
Considering this, it would of course be inconceivable to simply drink the original pilsner. This brewing icon, is a lager to be slowly savoured and relished.
Catching the light, the clear golden amber colour and creamy head beckons...
Whirl gently to release the floral aroma, raise the glass to your mouth and inhale deeply. Relish for a moment the aromas of fresh baguette, earthy hops and honeysuckle.
Slightly sweet, somewhat malty, the honey nut flavour sparkles on the tip of your tongue, and slides into your mouth where tart citrus flavours and warm caramel bitterness builds quickly before slipping down your throat full of rich body, thoroughly refreshing with a distinct bitter and caramel sweet aftertaste on the palate.
From the beginning, beer and cheese have followed similar paths to evolution, originating as simple farmhouse recipes by revolutionaries and blossoming into complex masterpieces of aroma and flavour.
One reason for the natural affinity of beer and cheese is that the milk fats and oils in cheese are cleansed from the palate by beers' trio of carbonation, bitterness and alcohol. This 'cutting' characteristic is essential to discovering the true delicacy of the cheese.
England produces many of the world's best cheese including a wide range of artisan cheddars - Montgomery's, Keen's, Chewton and Denhay's.