This summer we had an amazing time in the Czech Republic. We really enjoyed our time in Prague (Praha) and I love seeing the Charles Bridge and the Czechoslovak Hussite Church of Our Lady in Old Town. Sadly we were only there a couple of days and headed south to Germany. However, on our way south we made a detour and visited the city of Pilsner (Pilzen) to tour the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. We have been to quite a few brewery tours, but this one was quite unique.
It is designed to interest and impress both beer fans, as well as history lovers. We knew that it has inspired more than two-thirds of all of the world’s beers, which still today are labelled as “Pils”, “Pilsner” or “Pilsener. However, we also learned that the now famous Pilsner Urquell beer was born 175 years ago, and is still in the same location. I was impressed with the visitor’s center myself. It was really nice.
Eventually we all got on a bus and went to the bottling facility building. The modern facility processes 120,000 bottles and 60,000 aluminum cans per hour. That was also quite impressive . They shared with us the ingredients from which Pilsner Urquell beer is brewed.
No brewery tour is complete without a tour of the brew house. Happily PilsnerUrquell did not disappoint. It was interesting to find out that they actually havethree brew houses from different centuries. Their tops are copper and very shiny. It was a warm day, and the brew houses are warm, so we didn’t stay in them very long, lol. What I did think was cool was the we got to see the brewing kettle in which the first batch of Pilsner Urquell lager was brewed on 5 October 1842. It’s crazy, but wonderful that the historic way of brewing Pilsner Urquell beer remains the same today.
We made it to the end of the tour and what everyone was waiting for – FREE BEER, lol. This was the part of the tour that I found the most unique and different than any other tour we had been on before. They took us down into their historic cellars. We got to view the spillage tubs and learned the term “beer blanket”.
Now the fun part, the beer tasting. We got to taste unfiltered and unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell beer tapped directly from an oak lager cask. It was a HUGE cask and fun watching our beers be poured. We were then able to stand around and talk for a few minutes before we headed back up and back to the visitor’s center. I am so glad we made the time to do this side trip. Here is a link to their website with tour information and directions. It is definitely worth visiting if you are in the area or driving through. Kudos to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery for a great tour and a great visit.