The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The freshest Pilsner Urquell hits New Zealand

full glassesPetr Dvorak poured a beer last night. That in itself is not unusual – he is the Global Brand Ambassador for Pilsner Urquell, the world classic Czech pilsner. This beer was special because it was the ceremonial first glass of Pilsner Urquell which had been cold shipped directly to New Zealand to ensure maximum freshness.

Before the launch, Neil Miller from TheShout talked to Petr about beer and his visit to New Zealand. Petr has worked for Pilsner Urquell for five years and believes that people around the world know the story of Pilsner Urquell. “It is the original pilsner still brewed the original way. We have never compromised in brewing techniques or ingredients.” Pilsner Urquell means ‘ancient source’ and since 1842 has been produced using the same Saaz hops, the same Czech barley from Moravia, the same strain of yeast and the same soft Plzen water as the first brew. They still use traditional open fermenters and wooden barrels.

Shipping the beer in chilled containers, he says, means the beer will be delivered “the way it tastes in the Czech Republic. It is as fresh as it gets.” It will usually only take the beer 50 days to travel 18,000km to New Zealand. Petr notes that Pilsner Urquell will be training bar staff on serving the beer because how it is poured can have a quite profound difference. He wants service to be up to Czech standards.

It is Petr’s first time in New Zealand and he is enjoying it. He is here, he believes, because Pilsner Urquell is “taking the New Zealand market more seriously. We have seen the explosion of interest in craft beer. People appreciate authenticity.”

As for the beer itself, he argues it “tastes very different from other lagers.” Pilsner Urquell uses 100% classic Saaz hops, has a relatively low ABV (4.4%) but high bitterness (39 IBU). Asked for a food match, he immediately says “meat – particularly roasts, pork and sausages. We like sausages in the Czech Republic!”