Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Original Happiness

A good friend recently sent me an article documenting the continued gratefulness of the citizens of the city of Plzen in Czech republic to the American soldiers who liberated them at the close of World War II. It's an annual celebration and the article closes with an invitation to visit Plzen in May. I'd love to visit Plzen in May or any other time of the year. Plzen -- English spelling Pilsen -- is where they invented the beer called Pilsner, and where they continue to brew it today. In German, the word Ur means original, as in "original recipe". The word "Quel" means source, as in source of a river. Urquel therefore means "Original Source". So Pilsner Urquel is the original recipe Pilsner from the original source, the Pilsner Urquel Brauerei in Pilsen. I am a long-time fan of Pilsner Urquel. In Germany, I sought out establishments with signs advertising "Pilsner Urquel vom Fass", that is "from the barrel" or on tap. That sign has been the source of very many very pleasant evenings. Germany boasts many excellent beers, and among them many Pilsners or Pils. More than a few called Ur or original Pils. Some, like Kirner Pils and Alpirsbacher Klosterbrau, are excellent, but there is only one Pilsner Urquel, and it's the best. If you find yourself in Pilsen in May or any other time of the year, please consume at least one Pilsner Urquel in my honor. Or, if you can't make to Pilsen, feel free to consume one purchased locally. Benjamin Franklin once said that "Beer is God's way of saying He loves us, and wants us to be happy." Ben was right. Pilsner Urquel proves it.