Pilsner Urquell

Link to the Pilsner Urquell video clip.

Plzen and beer. Two words that go together.

Not a surprise - the brewery tradition of this town dates back to 1307, and beginning with the 14th century every owner of a house in the town could even brew his own beer. History of the town tells us that since the end of the 15th century the town itself has been brewing beer. The town's brewery was founded well before 1842. The right to brew beer was viewed as a top privilege at that time. For example, at the end of the 15th and the 16th centuries the town was fighting for this right with a local nobility who started running his own breweries on his properties.

The brewery tradition in Plzen, the drive towards a better quality, and the manufacturers' struggle to advance their businesses resulted into a foundation of the Burgher's Brewery in 1842. The unique Brewery Museum vividly documents the long journey of beer from the home products of the burghers owning the brew right, up to a top quality drink. The Museum was established in 1559 in an historical building which as early as the 15th century was housing a malt-house, and later, in the 19th century, a popular beer hall.
The museum has gathered into its collections a number of exhibits for malt, brewery and catering crafts. Numerous visitors can see, besides the original interiors and a lager cellar carved in sandstone bedrock, also a cooper's workshop, an old-bohemian construction for drying malt, a rental delivery wagon, and even a model of a steam brewery capable of operation.
The museum collections contain over 18,000 exhibits. Over 1000 additional items enrich the museum's funds every year. From a professional standpoint, the museum ranks among the top in the world; evidence of this position is represented by the fact that the museum was one of the finalists of the European Museums Contest.

A city with such a famous brewery history has to present its world top quality product. Numerous cozy pubs and restaurants, well know for their excellent cuisine, genuine "Pils" and especially their hospitality, provide Plzen with that feature.
Therefore, visit the oldest beer hall in Plzen, the recently reopened restaurant "U Salzmannu", offering accommodation in 6 baroque and Art Noeveau style apartments, or the restaurant "Pilsner Urquell" next to the brewery entrance gate. 560 seats of the restaurant "Na Spilce", which was built directly in the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in a former fermenting cellar make the restaurant the largest one in the Czech Republic. An inseparable part of the restaurant's offer represents excursions which take you daily between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to some of the brewery production areas, such as the brewing house and cellars.

Restaurants "U Bileho lva", and wine bars "Kajetanka" or "U okouna" feature a special comfortable atmosphere and cuisine.
Restaurant "Parkan" was founded on the location of former town walls, near the Brewery Museum.

Plzen has also already established its tradition of beer feasts. Every year in fall, "Days of Beer" is organized on grounds of the Brewery and the Brewery Museum.
Come to visit and taste. You are cordially invited.

This page is available in both English and Czech versions.

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Milos Wimmer May 1997

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