Wednesday, 5 October 1842 – on this very day in the Plzeň brewery, German brewer Josef Groll brewed the very first Pilsner type beer in the world. However, it should be noted that his success came by mistake, in short thanks to the soft Plzeň water, high-quality Saaz (Žatec) hops and a new English malt processing method. Yet the quality of this new type of beer was unprecedented, and Pilsner Urquell became an inspiration for more than two thirds of the beer produced in the world today.
Plzeň is celebrating the birthday of its beer. Be a part of it!As like every year, all fans of good beer will this year again head to Plzeň in the west of the Czech Republic in early October to celebrate the 175th birthday of Pilsner Urquell beer. The first batch of this golden beverage, or liquid bread, as beer is sometimes nicknamed in the Czech Republic, was brewed precisely on 5 October 1842. And it is just for this reason that the Plzeň brewery will be opening its doors on 7 October and hosting Pilsner Fest. During this birthday party, you will be able to tour the brewery and learn more than just how to pour beer correctly, while also having the opportunity to try out traditional brewery crafts. And of course, excellent pilsner beer and great music on a number of stages will not be in short supply. For this reason, we recommend travelling to Plzeň by train. The organisers of Pilsner Fest have prepared a special train for all visitors, which will depart from the main Prague railway station (hlavní nádraží) on 7 October at 10:25 a.m. and will return after the end of the festival at 11:30 p.m.
Beer is everywhereYou will encounter beer in the Czech Republic almost anywhere you go. Be sure not to miss the Czech Beer Museum on Old Town Square in the very centre of Prague. Here you will learn plenty of interesting facts about the history of beer on the Czech lands and, naturally, you can look forward to a tasting of several kinds of beer. Elsewhere in Prague, you can pay a visit to Břevnov Monastery, the place where the oldest documented Czech brewery once operated, beginning all the way back in the year 993! The Czech Republic, however, is dotted with breweries. In the smallest of these, aside from wonderful beer, you will also find a friendly and often family atmosphere. The largest breweries include, for example, the Budvar brewery in České Budějovice, the Krušovice brewery, or the Starobrno brewery in the Moravian capital Brno.
But the Czech people’s obsession with beer does not stop at drinking. In fact, you can even apply beer to your skin. Today, many breweries not only offer beer for tasting, but also for special massages and baths. And where else should you go to find a beer spa than the town of Karlovy Vary, renowned for its spas, in West Bohemia. The local First Beer Spa offers an hour of relaxation in enormous thousand-litre tubs, where unlimited consumption of beer is assured. You can also try out beer spas in other towns such as Harrachov in the Krkonoše Mountains, Černá Hora in South Moravia, or Kutná Hora about an hour’s drive from Prague.