Plzeň or Pilsen is a city in western Bohemia in the Czech Republic. It is the capital of the Plzeň Region and the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic. It is located about 90 km west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers—the Radbuza, the Mže, the Úhlava, and the Úslava—which form the Berounka River. The city is known worldwide for Pilsner beer. Plzeň was in September 2010 selected by an official jury to be put forward to join the Belgian city of Mons as the European capital of culture in 2015. Pilsner Beer The officials of Plzeň founded a city-owned brewery in 1839, Bürger Brauerei (Citizens’ Brewery – now Plzeňský Prazdroj), and recruited Bavarian brewer Josef Groll (1813–1887) who produced the first batch of modern Pilsner beer on 5 October 1842. The combination of pale colour from the new malts, Pilsen’s remarkably soft water, Saaz noble hops from nearby Žatec (Saaz in German) and Bavarian-style lagering produced a clear, golden beer which was regarded as a sensation. Improving transport meant that this new beer was soon available throughout Central Europe and Pilsner Brauart-style brewing was widely imitated. In 1859, “Pilsner Bier” was registered as a brand name at the Chamber of Commerce and Trade in Plzeň. In 1898, the Pilsner Urquell trade mark was created to put emphasis on it being the original brewery.
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