The evolution of brewery in Bohemia

Beers in Middle Ages

The very first information about brewing in central Europe is from 1088 AD. Brewing was possible for everybody who had necessary instruments, but just in the few following centuries. This is quite an interesting fact because of the future effort to limit making beer for only specific group of people by laws and privileges.

The first important privilege which was innovated the previous state was called „The mile law“. This privilege forbade brewing in the area of 1 mile around the city gates. „The mile law” was granted to the royal cities from the 13th century. There were several other laws determining restrictions for people who wanted to brew during following decades/centuries.

Even in the Middle Ages there were several beer types. The most favorite one was the „white” beer, which consisted of wheat instead of barley. The second type was based on classical grain (barley) and name for this type was the „red“ beer.

Technical brewery development

There were almost 3000!!! breweries in The Czech Kingdom in the beginning of the 17th century. Unfortunately small breweries were put together because of the royal prescript and the „The Thirty Years’ War“ so the total number of breweries were significantly lower in the second half of 17. century.

There was a huge progress in brewing in the second half of the 18th century because of the development of science. Thermometer was used for brewing process and because of progress of pasteurization it was possible to export the beer to larger areas. During this century term „brewer“ was used for the first time for the man who was responsible for the beer quality.

Decreasing number of breweries during last 100 years

There were „only“ 1100 breweries in the beginning of the 20th century because of the increasing competition in business. On the other hand, the quality of beer was much better. The quantity of the brewing beer was rising steadily before World War II.

The number of smaller breweries were closed after the revolution in February 1948. There were about 300 breweries in 1955 and only 100 breweries in 1990. Many breweries were closed also after the Velvet revolution (1989) because of the bad economic situation. But the number of microbreweries has grown up in the last decade.

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