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October 01, 2007

Comments

RJohnson

Stephen,

Good day! Wanted to take this time to say that first I am an avid fan of your beer publications and your passion for the industry. The Brewpub Cookbook and the Premium Beer Drinkers Guides are excellent reads.

I wanted to clarify a couple of misunderstood opportunities when discussing Pilsner Urquell. I recently spoke to our 3rd generation brewer in Plzen, Czech Republic to be sure on the date in which Pilsner Urquell was first created. It is understood that many private vs. public historical dates are not often kept to complete accuracy. The Brewmaster indicated that the momentous event took place during a couple of days- the 4th and 5th of October, 1842. His best estimate was that the first golden beer was actually completed by Josef Groll on the 5th of October, 165 years ago Friday. The fact that a book may have published that the actual date was the 4th is just a result of the total time estimate surrounding this event.

Secondly, you are absolutely correct in pointing out that Pilsner Urquell was not the first lagered beer. The statement was a simple attempt to connect the creation of the first clear, golden beer to the style that is commonly associated with this class of beer. The comprehension of when lagers first “evolved” from the old world of brewing ales is, as you know, not an exact science and it continues to confuse many. There are many claims that lagering began between the ages of 1100 and 1400 AD in Bavaria. So lagers were certainly around for quite some time before Pilsner (Bohemian) Lagers. I can assure you that this point has been clarified.

To close, I know many people who are very interested in quaffing beer while enjoying a great cigar- however, suggesting the pairing the two was not our intention. Cigars can easily overpower many beer styles and we understand that.

Our intent was merely to celebrate. And what better way to honor a beer so rich with history, than to embrace the longtime tradition of celebrating birth and good fortune with a good cigar!

Ryan Johnson
U.S. Trade Brewer
International Brands Division
SABMiller

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