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Where better for the Original Collective to start the journey into the world of Pilsner Urquell than where it all began 175 years ago in Plzeň.
The Original Collective left London at the crack of dawn starting the journey to the Czech Republic and (slightly bleary-eyed) they landed in Prague ready to visit the birth place of the world’s first golden lager. As the saying (almost) goes…when in Czech, do as the Czechs do, so naturally after a quick transfer to Plzeň, we kicked off the day with a pint of delicious original Pilsner at the Pivovarský šenk Na Parkánu.
Even after an early start the Original Collective were getting in the Czech spirit and getting tips from the locals. Always keen to gain local foodie knowledge, John of The Edinburgers, learnt to eat Goulash like a proper local. The trick is to cover both sides of the dumpling!
Eager to hear more, the Original Collective arrived at the Pilsner Urquell brewery after a short tour of Plzeň. The first veteran the Original Collective met was none other than Beer Master, Robert Lobovsky. The Czech native is Pilsner Urquell through and through, so there was no better man for teaching the Collective about the iconic beers’ rich history and heritage.
The tour started in the heart of the brewery in Na Splice. Here the team got to see first-hand the Tapsters in training from Albert Schloss, the UK’s leading bar for Pilsner Urquell’s freshest tank beer. Poured by the qualified Tapsters, the Collective sampled another fresh pint, this time paired with the best steak tartare in the Czech Republic, which was a firm favourite with James from Food Feels.
Next, the guys met with the original Coopers, the team responsible for handcrafting the large wooden barrels used to ferment and store the beer. Their commitment to maintaining the tradition and heritage of this artisanal skill shone through as they explained their craft. The Collective also met with the apprentice Coopers, the next generation who will be responsible for ensuring this continues and thrives.
Beer mega fan Crafty Beeress was in her element rummaging through the Archive. Here we met Anna Peřinová, Pilsner Urquell’s Head Archivist, who has access to all of the brewery’s history. The Brewery archive is an extremely special place, housing all the historical information on Pilsner Urquell and a number of other breweries in Western Bohemia.
Over another beer with Beer Master, Vaclav Berka in the old cellars, he regaled the Original Collective with tales of the pride felt by all the workers in the brewery. The Brew Master embodies all that is Pilsner Urquell - the originality, the passion for the craft and love for creating the highest quality beer. For him, this isn’t just a job, it is a vocation.
More on the Original Collectives’ adventures coming soon…
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