As brewing technology enabled the creation of beers without wild ale yeast, brewers began catering more to consumer preferences. Light bodied pale ales from Britain became popular in the whole of Europe as an alternative to heavier Belgian and German styles. The citizens of Plzen, Czech Republic noticed consumer preferences and took advantage.
In 1842 the townspeople of Plzen opened a large brewery on the banks of the Radbuza River. The brewers set out to make a light and refreshing beer that could be enjoyed in large quantities, and did just that. The brewers combined the local soft water, pale barley malt, and Saaz hops with lager yeast and created Pilsner Urquell. Lager yeast varies from ale yeast in numerous ways, fermenting at a lower temperature (approx, 55 degrees), and creating a clear crisp beer with a subtle biscuit flavor
Pilsner Urquell was a sensation. The light, clear, and refreshing brew quickly gained popularity throughout Europe and spawned limitless copies. Consumers demanded, and continue to demand, the pale straw color, clarity, and subtle malt flavor of the original light lager.