The Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Pilsen is a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours at. Pilsen is pretty close to Prague and many visit it as a day trip, either by bus or by train. The bus takes about 1 hour to reach, while the train takes 1.5 hours to reach. Taking the bus might be faster, but the bus station in Pilsen is about a 25 minutes walk to the brewery while the train station is about less than 10 minutes walk. Both options may take more or less the same time though I found the train way rather easy as I didn’t have to orientate myself too much to get to the brewery when I reached Pilsen.
The majestic gate is the main entrance into the brewery.
Tickets can be purchased on the spot at the lobby. There are three English tours daily at 12 45 pm, 2.15 pm and 4.15 pm. The tour is also available in Czech, German and Russian. The fee for the guided tour is 190 KC (about 7 Euros). If you are interested at other brewery related tours like the Brewery Museum or Pilsen’s Historical Underground, a combination ticket would be a good choice as you’ll get a 25% discount. See more info on ticket price at Pilsen Urquell Brewery’s Official Website.
A mini bus picked us up to get to the modern section of the production plant.
The state of art facility costs a whopping 1 billion KC (about 37 million Euros) and was built in only 7 months !
We started off with the packaging hall that’s the size of 5 soccer fields.
There are two production lines – the bottle Line, which has the capacity of 120,000 bottles per hour,
and the can line has a capacity of 37,000 cans per hour for 0.5 l cans.
The Pilsner Brewery also has Czech’s largest personnel lift, which brought us to the exhibition center, displaying two important ingredients of beer making – barley and yeast.
Some of the more exclusiveyeast strains are stored carefully in a yeast bank.
The Pilsner Urquell brewhouses are unique because the copper brew kettles are from different eras and are all located in the same vicinity. The older ones are longer in use.
The latest copper brew kettles built in 2004 are the one that are currently in use. Looking at the 10 brew kettles, I asked the guide about the capacity, and she said it is 11 hectare liters daily – a number I couldn’t even fathom !
While beer is brewed with a whole lot of advance and modern technologies, the traditional ways of brewing in underground cellars is still practiced at Pilsner Urquell Brewery. We traversed through a few tunnels to get to the underground brewery.
The cellars have an inherent lower temperature, which were the traditional places to keep the beers cool during fermentation in rows and rows of uncovered giant wooden tubs.
The unpasteurized and unfiltered beer straight from the barrel was fantastic !
I enjoyed the brewery tour tremendously even though I am not a beer fanatic; I can’t imagine how thrilling the tour would be for beer buffs !
Pilsner Urquell Tour Official Website
Address: U Prazdroje 7, 304 97 Plzeň