Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

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Real Horse Power: Beer Deliveries from the Brewery in Plzeň

Believe it or not, the Burghers’ Brewery, which was founded in 1839 as the precursor to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň, was created to brew beer for the town itself. And ever since the first batch of Pilsner Urquell went into kegs, we’ve delivered our beer to nearby pubs on the back of a horse-drawn wagon. 

It didn’t take long for word to spread about the world’s first golden lager. The brewery produced more beer each year, and within a couple of decades, we were already exporting to the US and other countries. But in Plzeň, we didn’t even have trucks until 1913. There wasn’t really a need for them because horses were simply the best way to get our beer through the narrow winding streets and alleys of Plzeň Old Town. We still keep up this tradition today, and several of the pubs we deliver to today have been around just as long as our brewery.

Our horse-drawn deliveries are a family affair. Jan Šuša, who began working with his horses at the brewery in the early 1990s, recently hand over the reins to his daughter, Jana. The horses live on the Šuša farm not too far from the brewery and come into town early in the morning. On delivery days, they carry up to 25 kegs of fresh beer. 

The day starts at 9:30 am in the courtyard of the brewery. The horses pass through the Jubilee Gate and turn right toward the city centre. The delivery takes about three hours and includes some of the oldest and most beloved Pilsner Urquell pubs in the city, including U Mansfelda, U Šenku and Na Parkánu. The horses take a break at some of Plzeň landmarks, like Town Hall, before heading back to the brewery. Jana and her horses are a familiar sight amid cars, trucks and traffic lights in the bustling city streets. 

You might say we’re always looking for ways to keep tradition alive at the brewery, but actually our traditions have maintained themselves. Our heritage remains relevant because we’ve always been dedicated to one thing: making great beer and getting it to our drinkers as fresh as can be.