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Brewery Museum Celebrates Its 50th Birthday

4 May 2009

Plzeň - 4 May 2009 - The Brewery Museum in Plzeň, which has a unique concept and scope of the exposition, opened on 8 May 1959. It celebrates its 50th birthday on 8 and 9 May with a specially prepared program. During the celebration, a ceremonial opening of the historical underground of Plzeň which is newly connected to the Brewery Museum will take place, as well as an opening of a new exhibit of the history of all significant breweries in Plzeň. The family program, between May 8 and 9 with a discount admission fee, will be accompanied by demonstrations of crafts, historical fencing and entertaining competitions. Visitors of legal age will be able to taste the beer museum special, brewed exclusively for this ceremonial occasion.

The Brewery Museum, specialized in the history of beer and brewing industry, gets a new "underground" dimension on its 50th anniversary. "The museum tells the history of beer from ancient times to present. The building itself - a licensed brewing house kept in a unique condition - demonstrates this story. During the museum visit, visitors can do a tour of malt house, malt kiln, cold store, drying shed, fermentation cellar and lager cellars - the technological areas that were used for beer brewing. Also in the museum is the last double-walled section of city walls. The most recent innovation is connection to the historical underground of Plzeň - another important part of Plzeň's history," says Markéta Formanová, manager of Plzeňský Prazdroj‘s tourist services.

During the special program on May 8 and 9, the visitors of the Brewery Museum will be able to tour not only the newly attached historical underground of Plzeň, but also a brand new exhibit dedicated to the history of Plzeň brewing industry development at the turn of 20th century. The visitors will find out not only about the history and fame of the Burgess' brewery, but they will also learn much valuable information about the history and present of Gambrinus brewery and former Plzeň breweries Světovar and Prior.

The tours on these days will be accompanied by demonstrations of crafts, historical fencing and entertaining competitions for prizes, and also tasting of a beer special brewed exclusively for this ceremonial occasion. The visitors will be able to have their names engraved on a glass mug and to try some of the crafts. There is a discount admission fee during the days of celebration: adults pay half, children under 150 cm tall have free entry. People born in the year of the museum's founding can also enter for free. For example, this opportunity is available for 3413 citizens of Plzeň born in 1959.

Program of celebrations in Brewery Museum and historical underground of Plzeň
May 8-9, 2009, 10:00-18:00

- visits to the museum and underground with competitions for prizes
- craft displays - coopers, potter
- engraving of own choice into a bought drinking glass
- fencing duels atop the city walls
- refreshments from the Na Parkánu taproom.
- teaching workshop for families - a wooden building set of Plzeň city

Admission fee half-price, children under 150 cm tall and people born in 1959 (like the museum) have free entry.

More about the Brewery Museum

- The idea of establishing the Brewery Museum dates back to 1929, five years later a preparatory museum committee was appointed. This succeeded, through appeals in the press, among other things, in collecting all sorts of items relating to brewing. The basis of today's museum collection thus comprises of documents dating back to the licensed brewers kept in the burghers' houses and the brewery, later Plzeňský Prazdroj.

- The building that houses the Museum was chosen after the Second World War, when it was in a highly dilapidated state. But after being cleared and filled with exhibits, the Brewery Museum was formally opened on 8 May 1959 on the 100th anniversary of the "Pilsen Beer" trade mark.

- Today, the Brewery Museum is the only expert establishment of its kind in Czechia. It documents history of beer from its beginnings in ancient times, but mostly preserves historical objects and visual documentation of Czech brewing history. The concept and scope of the exposition are unique on a worldwide scale.

- Museum's goal is to document and map brewing history without territorial delimitation. The exhibit shows brewing history from ancient to modern times. It describes to the visitors methods of beer preparation and consumption in ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, as well as European cultures of Greeks, Romans, Germans, Celts and Slavs. It also offers information about beginnings and evolution of Czech brewing and associated crafts and technologies.

- The Brewery museum in Plzeň is located in the original licensed brewing house (for details see below) maintained in its authentic appearance.

- More than 40,000 guests from the whole world visit the Brewery Museum each year.

Details about the licensed brewing house which houses the Brewery Museum

- The first written mention of the house's existence dates from 1492, although the remains of the late-Gothic architecture of the malt house prove that the building's foundations were laid much earlier.

- Reports on the house being used to brew beer appear with the arrival of the owner Matúš Sladovník in 1520. In all, the house changed hands fourteen times up to the beginning of the 19th century, with half of the owners having the trade of brewer.

- An important extension to the house was begun at the beginning of the 19th century by Martin Kestřánek, under whom the house still produced malt until 1867. The house was then used for a variety of purposes, for example as a drying-house for pelts. In the first half of the 20th century the house was used for innkeeping.

- Since 1959, the building houses the Brewery Museum in Plzeň.


Jiří Mareček
Plzeňský Prazdroj
+420 724 617 219

Markéta Formanová
Brewery Museum in Plzeň
+420 724 617 455

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