Then in 1838, the enraged beer-drinkers of Pilsen / Plzen (W Bohemia) stormed the only brewery in town to protest against the too sweetish top-fermented "moonshine" beer the brew-masters had been able to produce at that time. In a quite revolutionary mood, Bohemian citizens rolled out the barrels and spilled the beer over the market-place or into the nearby river.
The city's senators hired a Lower Bavarian brew-master, Josef Groll, who got his reputation by the beer he had produced in Vilshofen, Lower Bavaria. The main task was to calm down the beer-drinking people and make them happy citizens who can enjoy their "after work" beer again.
A new production facility was built, and the promise was given that only beer experts would take care of the new brewing copper in order to make "quality beer".
When Josef Groll (then 31) first used the brewing copper at his new brewing facility on October 5th, 1842, he revolutionized the brewing culture. He used his domestic Lower Bavarian "Saatz hops" and only slightly roasted barley malt. The Bohemian water was soft and low on salt, so his bottom-fermented beer, he produced, was clear and yellowish in color, with a "crown" of foam and a slightly bitter taste by the hops taken.
This method made the ultimate hit; words and recipes spread, and since 1863 the Pilsner-type beers have been domestically and internationally produced for the big markets in North America, Great Britain, Germany and beyond with unimaginable success.
The brand "Pilsner Urquell" has been belonging to the South African brewing company SAB Miller since 1999. The brewing location is still at Plzen, Bohemia, Czech Republic. The facility there has 2.500 employees, and it churns out about 10 millions of hectoliters annually.
(adapted from a respective German article of Bild-online services and transferred into English)