New book about czech old and mostly closed breweries written by Pavel Jakl and Miroslav Anger. We are bringing you today samples of three of them.
The world of brewery postcards
The turn of the third millennium has brought, apart from other matters, the feeling and need for balance and the insatiable desire to look back. Nowadays, all kinds of publications in the „retro“ style attract our attention from the shelves of book- shops, as bountiful as the stars in the night sky. Music theorists, sports enthusiasts, military experts and others are rummaging in the distant as well as in the recent past. Naturally, there are also admirers of old postcards among us – people, who have developed a bond with the world of bygone time. People, who are fond of a world portraying places which we are no longer able to set our eyes on, because they have been “washed away” by time which has slipped through our fingers often with a bleak finality.
Miroslav Anger is one of these people, and here you have brewery postcards from his continually expanding collection.
The aim of our brief preface is not to recount the origin and history of the postcards themselves, as there are plenty of such descriptions in every book reintroducing old postcards. The simple fact, that most of the commemorative publications of the present day deal with the landscape or interesting cultural and historical facts in a rather general manner and without any great detail, was the impulse for editing this publication. Such publications as those mentioned above are devoid of any allusion to the world of industrial activity, of which the Czech beer brewing industry is the living evidence.
So let us pause for a few moments, relax and browse through the following pages, picturing the places of our country, where we could have found hundreds or even thousands of breweries at some point in the past.
Regretfully, most of them have disappeared and what is more, they often completely vanished from the face of the Earth without any documentation. They are no longer even a part of the general awareness of the people, who live in these places nowadays. So old postcards are very often the one and only clue that breweries existed in places portrayed in them.
Let us sit down and think for a while, preferably in one of our typical cosy pubs. Let us, while seated comfortably over a foaming pint, filled with our “national beauty”, recall the expanding number of breweries, which used to be here in the times of our fathers, grandfathers and great- grandfathers, and their beer, the inseparable part of Czech history. Since these breweries no longer exist and we can therefore no longer taste their beer, we will have to do with the documents and other props, and the postcards are one of them.
The view of the brewery which belonged to citizens authorised to brew beer in Beroun at the end of the 19th century. After many years of deliberation and planning, the brewery was established in 1871. Its very first production took place the following year. At that time new brewing equipment originated from the long beer brewing tradition of this central Bohemian town. Beer production ended in 1978 and the buildings of Beroun’s brewery were adjusted to the needs of a filling house for the Plzeň´s breweries.
Hradec Králové, a view of the brewery from the park at the confluence of the Labe and Orlice rivers. This is yet another brewery which has definitely disappeared from the list of functional breweries. Hradec Králové has its own one hundred year-old brewing history. However, the brewery, pictured here in a postcard from the first years of the last century, was established near the old malt house as late as 1844. It had ranked among the biggest Czech breweries for many years and its demise in 1999 was like a bad dream.
Now, there is a delicacy from a beer brewing prospectus. A path to a brewery which was certainly a pleasure to tread on. It is still possible to tread along it, only the brewery no longer exists! Parts of the walls and cellars are all that remained. The postcard from around 1910 presents Nový Bernštejn, which is a part of the town of Dubá in the Česká Lípa region these days. The brewery most certainly originated long before it was first mentioned in the middle of the 18th century. It was closed down shortly after the end of the 1st World War, when it was in the possession of the Waldstein- Wartenberg Earls.
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