Český Krumlov and beer

The tradition of brewing beer in Český Krumlov is very much connected with the establishment of the town since the 13th century – undoubtedly the town has been brewing beer since the 14th century. 

In 1347, Petr of Rosenberg granted the Krumlov people the right to establish pubs and a brewery, and in 1388, the town also received a permit from noble lords for the sale of beer.

In the footsteps of beer

We have put together a short two-kilometre walk through the city. You can follow the suggested route, or simply draw inspiration for wandering around Český Krumlov and its beer history.

Route: IV. castle courtyard → I. castle courtyard Monasteries → Monasteries of Český Krumlov → Český Krumlov historical brewery → Náplavka → Brewery garden → Náměstí Svornosti 7 Square → Prelature in Horní Street → Egon Schiele Art Centrum → Hradební Street

1.The original manorial brewery – IV. castle courtyard

The brewery and malt house stood until 1560 on the IV. courtyard of the castle, in front of the Plášťový Most Bridge on the side to the city. It brewed beer from barley and wheat malts, diluted and inferior varieties for Franciscan friars, servants, peasants and others.

2. Manor Brewery – I. castle courtyard

Its origin dates back to 1560, when William of Rosenberg had a new manor brewery built in the forecourt. The building of the former brewery (Castle house No. 65) was completed in its present form around 1561, and the burgrave of Krumlov and later the regent of the estate Jakub Krčín z Jelčan, who had a water supply system built for the new brewery, are also mentioned in connection with the construction.

3. Brewery of the Order of Saint Clare – Český Krumlov Monasteries

Beer was also brewed in monasteries in Krumlov, in the place of today's Řemeslná Street (from the entrance from Latrán to the right – today you will find craft workshops here). The Convent of the Order of Saint Clare was most likely founded in 1350. The first nuns came here in 1361 from Silesia. However, the Josephine reforms in the 18th century resulted in the abolition of the Convent of the Order of Saint Claire, and the brewing of beer therefore came to an end there as well. Monastery Museum

4. A new manorial brewery – today the Český Krumlov Historical Brewery

It is one of the first original breweries in Český Krumlov, where beer is still brewed to this day. Due to the increasing consumption of beer in the years 1625-1630, the new lords of Eggenberg had the former widow's residence of Anna of Rogendorf, mother of William of Rosenberg, and the Rosenberg armoury rebuilt into a new manorial brewery. After the manorial brewery passed into the hands of the Schwarzenbergs in 1719, in 1837 it began to brew beer using the bottom fermentation method.

Today, the historical tradition of the Schwarzenberg Brewery in these places has been passed on to the Historical Brewery of Český Krumlov, whose effort is to restore the fame of Český Krumlov beer from the times of its greatest glory during the reign of the Rosenbergs and Schwarzenbergs. The brewery offers top and bottom-fermented beers, lagers and seasonal specials, which can be tasted directly in the brewery restaurant and in selected Český Krumlov pubs. You can also buy beer from the Český Krumlov mini-brewery in the brewery shop and take it away as a souvenir from your visit to Krumlov. Krumlov Brewery

5. Brewery garden, originally called Novoměstská

The garden had no other connection with the brewery as such, other than that it was adjacent to it. Together with the castle garden, it was used to supply the princely court with fruit, vegetables and flowers. Later, however, mainly due to its remoteness from the castle, it began to lose its importance, and after 1870 the lands of the former princely garden were leased as garden plots until the early 1990s. Today, the garden is part of the brewery complex and is mainly used in the summer months for concerts, festivals and other cultural events.

Brewery garden, originally called Novoměstská

6. Formerly the inn U Podlahy – Náměstí Svornosti 7 Square

One of the most famous and quite possibly the largest inns from the time of the last Rosenbergs (1551-1611) was Náměstí house No. 7 in Český Krumlov, which was called "U Podlahy" regardless of the name of the real owner. A plethora of noble visitors from the ranks of diplomats, nobles, artists, adventurers and alchemists took turns staying here. In addition to the pub, it also had 10 beds and stables for 40 horses.

7. Prelate Brewery – Prelature

In 1596, a prelate's brewery was established in the left wing of the Horní building, house no. 155, which belonged to the Archdeaconry of Český Krumlov, whose brewing rights were managed by the Rosenbergs. During the imperial administration of the manor in 1602, it was partially curtailed and later completely destroyed. Under the Eggenbergs, the prelature was given back the right to brew beer for its domestic use, and at the beginning of the 18th century, it gained it back completely. At that time, there were already four breweries in the city – prelate, manorial, burgher and that of the Order of Saint Claire.  In 1897, the operation of the prelate brewery was terminated.

8. Municipal brewery in Široká Street – today the Egon Schiele Art Centrum

In 1605, the village built a new burgher brewery in Široká Street on the site of the original four medieval houses (today house No. 70 and 71). In 1898, the brewery became steam-powered and began another gradual modernisation process of its machinery. In all its further development, however, despite considerable efforts, it remained behind its Schwarzenberg competitor – the manorial brewery, in terms of the scope of production. In January 1949, its operation was terminated.

Today, it is home to the renowned Egon Schiele Art Centrum, which offers exhibitions of 20th century and contemporary art throughout the year on an area of ​​3,000 m². There is also the Egon Cafe. Egon Schiele Art Centrum

9. The new Municipal Brewery building in Hradební

When the building of the Municipal Brewery was rebuilt in the second half of the 19th century, several other related industrial buildings were added to the park area in Hradební Street in the back of the brewery, which we can admire in Krumlov as an example of industrial architecture. Today, they house studios and suites for contemporary artists and writers managed by the Egon Schiele Art Centrum.

  • map
  • walks/hikes
  • easy
  • 3 km
  • 2 hours
  • sights
  • gastro-tourism
  • architecture
  • history
  • refreshments en route

Points of interest

Production of Český Krumlov breweries in the years 1710-1712 (Brewery – Quantity of beer per brew – Average annual production)

  • Municipal Brewery – 105.4 hl – 6,070 hl
  • Eggenberg manorial brewery – 79.4 hl – 7,400 hl
  • Archdeaconry and Prelature Brewery – 24.8 hl – 844 hl
  • Brewery of the Order of Saint Claire – 29.8 hl – 58 hl

Pubs and taverns – A pub used to be an integral part of the household and its privacy, and "going to the pub" basically meant making a neighbourhood visit. This custom has persisted in some villages to this day. Having a drink not only took place inside the house, but also in front of its doorstep – in a kind of "front garden". The pub staff mostly consisted of household members, and the tavern was often led by the owner of the house. The spectrum of visitors used to be very diverse – from the lower nobility, through the clergy, burghers, peasants to people on the very edge of society, who often-times found suitable shelter in some pubs.

Hop gardens – Until 1788, hops for the manorial brewery were grown on their own hop gardens around the town (Kvítkův Dvůr, Vlaštovičník, Nový Dvůr, Dobrkovice, Křenov and Červený Dvůr). After the abolition of these hop gardens, quality hops were imported from the Schwarzenberg estates in northern Bohemia.

Brewing festivities in Český Krumlov – On the last weekend of September, the annual St Wenceslas festivities are held in Český Krumlov, paying homage to St Wenceslas, the patron of not only the Czech lands, but also of all brewers and winemakers. The festivities also include the Brewing Festival in the Brewery gardens. Lovers of golden ale can taste beers from the production of the Český Krumlov brewery, including specials and novelties, which the brewery prepares for this holiday every year.