In 1842, Josef Groll brewed the world’s first golden beer and revolutionized an entire industry. Pilsner Urquell, translated as “original source,” remains a revered beer, both for its importance in beer history, as well as its intricate brewing process, including the use of soft water, Saaz hops, pale malts, and triple decoction.

Pilsner Urquell is inviting homebrewers throughout the U.S. to take their shot at brewing a Czech-style pilsner, aiming for the standard Groll first brewed nearly 170 years ago. Three winners have the chance to earn trips for two to Plzen, Czech Republic this fall to tour the historic brewery, as well as attend the International Master Bartender Competition in Prague.

The Pilsner Urquell Master Home Brewer competitions will take place in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago this August, inviting homebrewers from across the country to take on this challenging beer style.

Each competition will feature a panel of experienced judges, including Vaclav Berka, the Pilsner Urquell Brew Master in Plzen. Contestants will need to bring along three 10 to 14-ounce bottles of their home brew. The judges will sample each beer and select winners based on the following criteria:


“Home brewing is becoming more and more popular, and these brewers keep getting more talented, so we’re excited to offer this challenging opportunity,” said Berka, who is only the sixth Pilsner Urquell Brew Master since 1842. “The competitors will need to brew carefully, but the potential prize, including their wonderful batch of beer, should be a strong incentive.”

The dates for the Pilsner Urquell Master Home Brewer competition are:

Pilsner Urquell is limiting the competition in each city to the first 50 home brewers who reserve a spot by emailing their name, phone number and competition city to  Pilsner Urquell will follow up directly with contestants to share the exact time and location of the competitions. More information and official rules are available at

So if you’re one of DC’s extremely talented homebrewers and want to take a stab at a Czech-style pilsner, go for it! And let us know how Plzen is!