Thursday 27 July 2017

A visit to Černokostelecký brewery

I organised a trip to Prague for the Brewery History Society last week. Thanks to a suggestion from Max Bahnson, philosopher and fellow pisshead, Černokostelecký pivovar was the first brewery we planned to visit.

It's a nineteenth century brewery that as left intact when it was finally closed in 1986. A wood fired copper, two large coolships, open fermenters, and traditional lagering cellars are just the sort of thing to get beer history geeks excited. And when you hear that with Pattinsonian levels of obsession the current owners have spend the last 15 years restoring the brewery to a state where they've managed to do test brews it sounds almost too good to be true. As it turned out there was even more to see!

We're getting closer

I can see the door

There's a bar and restaurant so we had lunch in before Milan from the brewery showed us round:

The lunch wasn't all liquid

An impressive looking building in the grounds of the brewery is the old horse driven mill.

The mill

The pillars and floor were added later.

The intricate roof had to be built with so many beams to hold the building up without any pillars.

Considering the size of the mill building the mill stone here looks surprisingly small.

The brewery had it's own maltings:

The wood fire under the copper:

The copper and mash kettle (well that's my guess anyway)

Which makes this the lauter tun:

The open cooling trays:

They're big.

And this one's ready to use:

There's a radiator type cooler too:

And open fermenters with new attemperators:

Wooden casks:

My feeling that the one true living beer is trinitarian not binitarian is getting stronger

In the cellar:

Max in his classic pose

Ať žije První Máj!

As the old brewery is not yet in production they have a smaller microbrewery on the premises:

Still with open fermenters though:

I've no idea how the beer will turn out when it's brewed on the big kit, though I'd love to try it. But meanwhile they're doing a good job on their 5hl plant. 


  1. Just to add a couple of figures: The brewhouse has a 160 hl capacity and each of the coolships holds 80 hl. It's likely the world's largest brewery of its kind in operation (or will be once they finish tightening the last few screws)

    1. Thanks Max, I may in touch for more details later.

  2. I want to go there and drink the beer; once everything is up and running. How far from Prague is the brewery?

    1. It was over an hour (a train and a bus) from Prague but no problem for a day trip.

    2. Sounds good. I'll put it on the list for my next visit to Czech.

  3. Beautiful looking Brewery, I wish them all the best with their plans for the future.