Ringnes Pilsner celebrates 130th anniversary

RignesAt Ringnes' laboratory scientists succeeded in producing a pure brewer's yeast - perhaps the most important event in Norwegian brewery history.Photo: Ringnes

In 24. July 1886  the first bottle of Ringnes Pilsner was sold in Norway, which means that today  is the 130-year anniversary day of the company !

According to Tore Hage, Development Manager at Ringnes, the launch of Ringnes Pils  was almost like a beer revolution to work, both in Norway and internationally, since it most likely was the world’s first pilsner produced with pure yeast.

Hage, who has a huge interest in brewer’s yeast and have researched this for many years, believes that the pure yeast probably was precisely the reason why Ringnes Pilsner was a success.

– A pure yeast strain is a prerequisite for a controlled production of a good and durable pils with greater predictability and with the same result each time. The trick  to isolate a single yeast cell so that it can be used for brewing, could be termed as one of the largest and most important event in the development of brewing technology, says Hage.

Until the knowledge of pure yeast was discovered among breweries taste and quality in the beer that was sold could vary wildly – even if it came from the same brewery and had the same name.

– That Ringnes could deliver a beer which tasted as good every time, and in addition was a new and exciting, light beer among the many darker beers that were common at the time, were probably the main reasons why Ringnes Pilsner grew in popularity, Hage says.

Dark and light trends

After Ringnes launched its Pilsner in 1886  the beer market in Norway started to change, but it was not until the 1960s that the pilsner overtook bayer beer as the most preferred beer brands among Norwegians. Today, approximately 90% of all the beer drunk in Norway is lager or light lager which it also known as internationally.

In recent years, specialty beers and microbreweries have received much attention, both in the market and in the media. The attention given to them has increased the  repute of beer , aroused the interest of many consumers and stimulated new use situations and ,especially, introduced many new beers to Norwegian beer drinkers. But even if the market has swung back slightly towards the darker beers, the pilsner beer remains the favourite of both Norwegian and international consumers fixed.

Tore Garden now believes the trends will turn back once more, so that the pilsner beer will increase in popularity.

– We now see that several microbreweries have started to create more balanced products. This might indicate that there is a trend change back to light beers, such as pilsner. This is probably partly because of micro breweries now  are starting to aquire the required experience and expertise  to brew pilsner, which is one of the hardest beers to brew,  Hage says.

And precisely the traits that have made the pilsner beer popular, are also those which make it challenging to brew for the brewers.

– Because beer is a light, transparent product, it is difficult to hide so-called beer flaws and bad taste. Lack of brewing knowledge and process errors are revealed more easily in a lager. Norwegian brewers are trained thoroughly and a  possess a high level of knowledge, and  Norwegian beer drinkers have been able to benefit from this for 130 years,  Hage says.

Understanding the pilsner:

The term pilsner comes from Plzeň in the are which was then known as Bohemia, which now is a part of the Czech Republic. 5th October 1842 is considered the magical date of the birth of the pilsner beer, but the whole story behind  the pilsner beer  actually starts in Munich and dates back to the 15th century. At that time  Monks engaged in cold fermentation and cold storage of beer in mountain caves and this generated a process that was quite unique. Over the years, this brewing-technique has been further developed, but the basic principles remain the same.


Source: Norway Today