Josef Groll (21 August 1813,
Vilshofen an der Donau
Vilshofen an der Donau – 22 November
1887, Vilshofen) was a Bavarian brewer, best known for his invention
Pilsener beer, is known by some as "the Father of the Pils".
The world's first-ever pale lager, his
Pilsner Urquell was highly
successful, and served as the inspiration for more than two-thirds of
the beer produced in the world today.
The citizens of Pilsen,
Bohemia (today in the Czech Republic) were no
longer satisfied with their top-fermented Oberhefenbier. They publicly
emptied several casks of beer in order to draw attention to its low
quality and short storage life. It was decided to build a new
brewery capable of producing a bottom-fermented beer with a longer
storage life. At the time, this was termed a Bavarian beer, since
bottom-fermentation first became popular in
Bavaria and spread from
there. For bottom-fermentation it is necessary to keep the
fermentation tanks cool between 4 and 9 degrees Celsius. The climate
Bohemia is similar to that in
Bavaria making it possible to store
winter ice and sustain bottom-fermentation year-round.
Joseph-Groll-bust in Vilshofen an der Donau
Bavarian beer had an excellent reputation, and Bavarian brewers were
considered the masters of their trade. Thus, the citizens of Pilsen
not only built a new brewery, but also hired Josef Groll, a Bavarian
brewer. Josef Groll's father owned a brewery in Vilshofen in Lower
Bavaria and had long experimented with new recipes for
bottom-fermented beer. On 5 October 1842, Groll produced the first
Urquell beer, which was characterized by the use of soft
Bohemian water, very pale malt, and Saaz hops. It was first served
in the public houses Zum Goldenen Anker, Zur weißen Rose and Hanes on
11 November 1842, and was very well received by the populace.
Josef Groll's contract with the Bürgerliches Brauhaus (citizens'
brewery) in Pilsen expired on 30 April 1845 and was not renewed.
Groll returned to Vilshofen and later inherited his father's brewery.
The Pilsen brewery was directed by Bavarian brewers for nearly sixty
years until 1900.
Josef Groll died on 22 November 1887, aged 74, of a heart attack in
the house of his daughter Kathi Hutter in Vilshofen.
The Groll brewery no longer exists. Parts of the brewery, however,
were acquired by Wolferstetter, another brewery located in Vilshofen.
Wolferstetter still produces a
Josef Groll Pils.
^ Weyermann, Sabine (2009). "On the trail of
Josef Groll –
Rediscovering authentic bohemian malt and beer" (PDF). Scandinavian
Brewers' Review. Vol. 66 no. 6. pp. 12–13. Retrieved
15 December 2011.
Josef Groll – Vater des Pils" (in German). Archived from the
original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
^ Brewery tour of
Pilsner Urquell University of Economics Prague
^ a b c "Pils". Beer Styles. German Beer Institute. Archived from the
original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
^ "Pure Heritage". Pilsner Urquell. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
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