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Classic Pilsner Pours: Hladinka

One of the most unique characteristics of Pilsner Urquell is the way that it’s poured. In the Czech Republic the most classic Pilsner pour is the Hladinka, which roughly translates to “flat head.” When you ask for a beer in a good Czech pub, this is the pour you’ll get.

For drinkers in other countries the appearance of the Hladinka – which has a lot of wet foam – might be a little surprising, but Czech lagers aren’t supposed to be poured the same way other beers are, especially English and American ales. Pilsner Urquell tastes better with foam, and the half litre measure line is below the rim of the glass, which leaves room for more tasty foam on top. Don’t forget, this is wet foam, most of which turns into beer as it settles.

When a Tapster pours a Hladinka, they first create a layer of foam and then fill the beer beneath it, which preserves freshness and flavour. The result is a perfectly balanced beer that’s neither flat nor over-carbonated. The foam is rich and creamy and should leave rings on the glass as you drink it.

The different Pilsner pours are mostly variations on the amount of foam in the glass, which affects the texture and the flavour of the beer. So remember, to enjoy fresh Pilsner Urquell the way we have for more than 170 years in the Czech Republic, you should get it with a thick layer of foam on top.