Second half of the 19th century was a time when many breweries begun their work, but only one of them was a game changer.
The period of Czech renaissance brought, among other things, increased popularity of Czech beer.
In the second half of the 19th century, the population of Prague rose, industrial companies were built up and the capacity of existing breweries was just not sufficient.
At that time Jan Kohout and Vilem Pick had the idea to build a brewery to meet the growing demand, but they also firmly believed that they could brew beer that was better than the beer served at that time.
They dreamed about making a perfect beer by using nothing but the best ingredients, and after a few attempts they managed to create something truly special. By using authentic Saaz hops, special sorts of barley and yeast, they created a beer known today as Staropramen.
Subsequently, a corporation was formed, and its first General Meeting was held on September 6, 1869. By October 23, construction plans drawn up by Gustav Nobacek had already been completed and construction of the first complex of brewery buildings commenced on the property referred to as “the pit”, with an area of 18 000 m2.
The newly opened Shareholders’ Brewery Staropramen had a huge customer base (consisting mainly of workers from the surrounding factories), strong capital background and was proud of being an all-Czech company.
The first beer batch was festively brewed by the brewer Pavel Quaiser and blessed by chaplain Láska. By the end of 1871, the brewery achieved a volume of 9,648 hl of produced beer.
Six years later, the brewer’s position was taken over by Michael Trnka. It was then that a fundamental change for the brewery took place. The main benefits brought by the new brewer were two new things important for the brewery as well as for the Czech brewing in general.
Michael Trnka came up with a new recipe, 10-degrees of Czech type and the recipe for the first semi-dark beer, Granát. That these were revolutionary new innovations was confirmed by the growth of the brewery in his era. In the course of 28 years of heading the brewery, Trnka increased the output tenfold to over half a million hectoliters of beer, which was an exceptional result.
Further innovations were connected to the rapid rise of technical inventions, which were embraced by the brewery. The main representative of these changes was the head brewer Josef Paspa, who was responsible for extensive modernization from 1933 to 1937. During the period of his governing, the new brew houses (five in total) were enlarged and built up, the boiler room with the engine room, the fermentation rooms with cooling vessels and large wooden barrels were replaced with modern steel tanks. In 1933, thanks to its volume of 800,000 hl of produced beer, the brewery became the biggest brewery in Czechoslovakia.
In 1953 Staropramen began brewing beer for export. Distribution started in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland and then in the USA. The popularity of the beer grew, and so did production, which in 1960 exceeded an important milestone of 1,000,000 hectoliters.
For the next couple of decades, during the socialist period, Staropramen brewery shared the destiny of all Czechoslovakian breweries, meaning nothing new had happened in terms of innovation or development. Still, the love towards beer in local society remained strong and Czechoslovakia stayed the world’s number one nation in the category of beer consumption per capita.
Economical changes that took place in 1989 were embraced by Staropramen brewery and once again the company became innovative and daring, always one step ahead of the competition.
In 1992, Staropramen was the first to change its packaging for draught beer to today’s modern KEG type. It was the first in 2006 to stop using unified NRW bottles. As far as packaging goes, in subsequent years, Staropramen enriched the Czech market with the first multipacks of beer and self-cooling barrels.
The current Staropramen brewery production is based on traditional beer production and original formulas. Staropramen repeatedly wins beer competitions and consumer awards. The quality of the beer is appreciated in more than 38 countries all over the world and the brewery is going confidently towards future, following its own path to make a perfect beer by combining tradition, modern technologies and innovation.
In every glass of Staropramen lies the free spirit of Prague. The pleasantly smooth taste and well-rounded flavour rewards your palate with a soft malty flavour, before finishing off with gentle bitterness. Staropramen lager agenuinelegend of Prague.