Monday, September 07, 2015

Pilsen Urquell Brewery, Czech Republic

A couple weeks ago, after our trip to Norway Drew and I took advantage of the Czech Vignette we had to purchase when we headed to Prague, and decided to head to the Pilsen Urquell Brewery. The brewery is located in Pilsen, which is about 1.5 hours away from where we live in Germany. Since things are open on Sunday's in the Czech Republic we decided to save the trip for Sunday when things are closed in Germany.

Today, around 70% of beer brewed worldwide can trace its origins back to Pilsner Urquell. Beer has been brewed in Pilsen since the 1200s, but for centuries this was dark beer. In 1842 Pilsner Urquell changed the beer world forever, producing the world's first golden lager. This was achieved through a new technique of fermentation and by storing the beer in cold cellars cut into rock.

When my brothers were here we stopped off in Pilsen on our way back from Prague, we had just missed the English tour so we decided just to eat then headed home. This time, I got the time wrong and we were early for the tour.

The tour is 199 CZK ($8) for the English. If you have a student ID, its only 104 CZK. ($4) I've noticed that if you have a student ID things are just a little bit cheaper! Every little bit helps. Tickets  sales are only available in person. It was simple enough to buy it. You walk right in and purchase it at guest services.

Since we were early for the tour, we decided to get some food. But the restaurant was packed and there was no space for us to sit, so instead we sat outside and had a drink before the tour started!

According to the Pilsen website, 
"The Pilsner Urquell brewery offers tours, which will impress beer fans and history lovers. You will view the original locations where the famous Pilsner Urquell beer was born 170 years ago, and whose story continues even today. From the Visitor Centre, we will travel in a brewery bus to one of the most modern bottling facilities, which processes 120,000 bottles per hour. You will learn about the ingredients from which Pilsner Urquell beer is brewed. We will also show you the heart of the brewery, three brew houses from different centuries. The culmination of the tour is a tasting of unfiltered Pilsner Urquell beer in the historical cellars."

The tour of the Pilsner Urquell brewery begins with a film showing the evolution of Pilsner Urquell, followed by a visit to the brewery museum, which is full of historical beer brewing equipment. 

From there, we tour the modern Pilsner Urquell brewing plant to learn how science has transformed the process, before heading off into the vast cellars to explore the malt house and the traditional art of barrel making.

The tour was pretty interesting. I'm not a big fan of beer, but to hear that they have been brewing beer in the same place since 1200!

By the time our tour was over, the restaurant had emptied out and we were able to grab some food. Czech food is amazing! Last time I went to Pilsen my brothers and I had an early dinner at the restaurant, the food didn't disappoint. I had the pork shoulder with bread dumplings and spinach, Drew had a pork dish as well with sauerkraut and bread dumpling.  Amazing food!
 I'd go back again just for the food!

We had a nice day in Pilsen.  It was nice hearing about the history of the Brewery. We even got to taste some of the unpasteurized beer. If you ever get the chance I would definitely suggest heading to the Pilsen Brewery.  Maybe next time we'll spent time in the actual city!

Pilsner Urquell Brewery
U Prazdroje 7
304 97 Plzeň
Czech Republic