Brewery built in town | Prague Underground Czech Pilsner –

We were recently able to try a Czech pilsner from Brewery built in town out of Grand Rapids, MI called Prague Underground. We believe this beer is brewed true to style and is worth a try if you like good tasting beer.

Pilsner is a lager beer that was originally brewed in 1842 by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll in the town of Pilsen in Bohemia which is now the Czech Republic. Legend has it that beer was brewed in this part of the country as early as 1307, but the quality of beer brewed until the late 1800s was so inconsistent that locals threw barrels of beer to show their disgust! They brought in Josef Groll to implement a new style of beer focused on local ingredients and paler malts, and as the old saying goes ‘the rest is history’.

Asked about the inspiration for brewing this style of beer for City Built Brewing, head brewer Rob Qualls said it was his love for Czech pilsner that really inspired this beer. Rob explained that “Czech Pilsner is one of the best beers in the world and it’s a very difficult style to perform,” and an even more difficult task to perform well. Rob says the ingredients are simple, Pilsner malt, Saaz hops and yeast. That is really all there is also when it comes to the ingredients. Brewing and execution is where it gets a bit tricky and requires a seasoned brewer to brew a beer of this style that is of exceptional quality. You would think that with simple ingredients this would be a simple style to produce, but that’s why it’s so hard to do. Without any other ingredient or hop variation, any beer flaw is noticed and you can’t just mask it with extra hops or additives.

Photo courtesy of City Built Brewing

The Prague Metro is hopped with Saaz hops, which can also be used in Italian-style pilsners, but is usually not made that way. Rob explained that for the most part, the Czech Pilsners are skipped with Saaz and Tettnage. While Italian pilsners are traditionally hopped with Hallertau and Spalter. Some of these are drums and Rob said that a real Czech pilsner is drums as well. “While Italian Pilsner takes a lot of inspiration from Czech Pilsner and can use Saaz hops to balance the flavor, Czech Pilsner’s Saaz hops are there to really punch the nose,” said Qualls.

Photo courtesy of @Georgia_Beercraft

When asked what sets Prague Underground apart from other beers of this style, Qualls said that “It’s very accessible for those who dip their toes into craft beer,” “Prague Underground is not so bitter. than a normal Czech Pilsner, because I wanted this beer to be an accessible beer that really delivered the flavor of the Saaz hop profile. As for the flavor profile that Qualls wanted this beer to provide, we think it hit the nail on the head with this one. Prague Underground is a stellar example of this very clean and crispy drinking style. It has a touch of sweetness across the front and ends with a small amount of bitterness at the end. that lets you know you’re still drinking a beer. To say that this clean, crisp beer is an understatement on how good the Prague Metro is, but yes, it’s that simple and that’s what Qualls wants this beer to do , but get her out of the park with c this beer is quite an achievement. While it may have Underground in the name of beer, we believe this beer deserves a place above the ground in your fridge, cooler, or anywhere you keep your beer cool. Qualls noted that this beer is his baby and he is very proud of it. It really is a difficult style to achieve and Qualls and the team at City Built were certainly able to produce this masterpiece of a Czech Pilsner for everyone to enjoy!

So if you find yourself near Grand Rapids, or know someone who has access to this beer, do yourself a favor and get your hands on City Built Brewing Prague Underground, you won’t regret it at all!

Berta D. Wells