Czech Premium Pale Lager

3B. Czech Premium Pale Lager
Overall Impression:
Rich, characterful, pale Czech lager, with considerable malt and hop character and a long, rounded finish. Complex yet well-balanced and refreshing. The malt flavors are complex for a Pilsner-type beer, and the bitterness is strong but clean and without harshness, which gives a rounded impression that enhances drinkability.

Aroma:
Medium to medium-high bready-rich malt and medium-low to medium-high spicy, floral, or herbal hop bouquet; though the balance between the malt and hops may vary, the interplay is rich and complex. Light diacetyl, or very low fruity hop-derived esters are acceptable, but need not be present.

Appearance:
Gold to deep gold color. Brilliant to very clear clarity. Dense, long-lasting, creamy white head.

Flavor:
Rich, complex, bready maltiness combined with a pronounced yet soft and rounded bitterness and floral and spicy hop flavor. Malt and hop flavors are medium to medium-high, and the malt may contain a slight impression of caramel. Bitterness is prominent but never harsh. The long finish can be balanced towards hops or malt but is never aggressively tilted either way. Light to moderate diacetyl and low hop-derived esters are acceptable, but need not be present.

Mouthfeel:
Medium body. Moderate to low carbonation.
Comments: Generally a group of pivo Plze?ského typu, or Pilsner-type beers. This style is a combination of the Czech styles sv?tlý ležák (11-12.9 °P) and sv?tlé speciální pivo (13-14.9 °P). In the Czech Republic, only Pilsner Urquell is called a Pilsner, despite how widely adopted this name is worldwide. Kvasnicové (“yeast beer”) versions are popular in the Czech Republic, and may be either kräusened with yeasted wort or given a fresh dose of pure yeast after fermentation. These beers are sometimes cloudy, with subtle yeastiness and enhanced hop character. Modern examples vary in their malt to hop balance and many are not as hop-forward as Pilsner Urquell.

History:
Commonly associated with Pilsner Urquell, which was first brewed in 1842 after construction of a new brewhouse by burghers dissatisfied with the standard of beer brewed in Plze?. Bavarian brewer Josef Groll is credited with first brewing the beer.

Characteristic Ingredients:
Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content, Saazer-type hops, Czech malt, Czech lager yeast. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates. The bitterness level of some larger commercial examples has dropped in recent years, although not as much as in many contemporary German examples.

Style Comparison:
More color, malt richness, and body than a German Pils, with a fuller finish and a cleaner, softer impression. Stronger than a Czech Pale Lager.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.044 – 1.060
IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.013 – 1.017
SRM: 3.5 – 6 ABV: 4.2 – 5.8%

Commercial Examples:

Bernard Svátecní ležák, Gambrinus Premium, Kout na Šumave Koutská 12°, Pilsner Urquell, Pivovar Jihlava Ježek 11°, Primátor Premium, Únetická 12°