The large „salanda“ in the brewery cellars is a novelty. It opened in September of this year. Thanks to its size of 70 square yards, the „salanda“ offers more entertainment possibilities for about 50 people. Even though the temperature in both „salandas“ does not exceed 40°F, the ideal temperature for beer storage, it is very pleasant inside thanks to economical floor based heating. Because of its size and capacity of about 26 people, the small “salanda” offers a space more suitable for smaller parties.
The unique experience from time spent in both „salandas“ is enhanced by their location in the centre of the historic cellars of the Pilsen brewery, the corridors of which used to be up to 6 miles long, and in which beer used to mature in hundreds of oak barrels. There, Pilsen brew masters mature several rows of beer barrels in the same fashion as it used to be done in 1842, and they make sure that Pilsner Urquell tastes as good as ever.
The authentic beer brewing equipment used to prepare beer in the past complements the pleasant atmosphere of the interior of both„ salandas“. The benches are made from scratch by the brewery’s team of coopers who also adjust the tables and chairs so they can be used in the space. The metal containers used to transport Pilsner Urquell beer from oak barrels to the “salandas” are made from copper or stainless steel, and they can hold up to 3 litres. In the past, these containers were used to serve the beer to guests at their table.
„Salandas“ were used as places of rest and entertainment for brewery and mill workers. They were equipped with several wooden beds. „Salanda“ users had a simple stove and a few dishes at their disposal so they could cook or warm up their meals. They also had a sink to wash the dishes. Tables were in the middle of the room, and the walls were lined with wardrobes and cabinets in which to store dishes and the workers’ clothes.
Today, the two newly built „salandas“ in the historic cellars of the Pilsen brewery are solely for entertainment purposes. Some very interesting visitors, such as Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, famous movie director Miloš Forman, actor Jaromír Hanzlík, „Moliere of Pilsen“ Antonín Procházka, and members of Pilsen’s top sports teams (FC Viktorie, and HC Škoda Plzeň), have come to spend time with their friends in the small „salanda.“
The first „salanda“ in the town’s Meeting House was built in 1844, very shortly after the establishment of the brewery in 1842. Many new „salandas“ were built at the beginning of the 19th century, for example the malt house „salanda,“ and boiler–men, machinists, and coopers also had their own “salandas.” “Salandas” were last mentioned in about 1946.
Václav Suchý* says the following about the practical use of the„ salandas“ in the town’s Meeting House: “It is a tradition for all malt house employees to be offered a bed by a beer master directly in the brewery. This tradition is well observed, and workers from the brewery and malt houses, as well as coopers, are offered special rooms, so called „salandas.“ Each of the „salandas“ is connected to a dining room, and in some cases to a telephone room. These „salandas“ serve as living quarters for single workers. Married employees live on their own. In the evening, after work, these rooms are filled with entertainment and merriment that has a very positive effect on the mood of all the workers. This increases the enthusiasm of all workers so they are all very happy to start their work in the morning. It is true that work done with a smile on the face is twice as valuable.”
*Václav Suchý, Town Brewery in Pilsen: 1842–1892: Commemorative writing to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Town Brewery in Pilsen
Notes for editors:
- With total sales of nearly 9.9 million hectolitres during the calendar year of 2011 (including licensed production abroad) and with exports to more than 50 countries worldwide, Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is the preeminent beer producer in the region and the biggest exporter of Czech beer.
- Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is a member of SABMiller plc. group. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship brand of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
- SABMiller plc. is one of the world’s biggest beer brewing companies with beer brewing activities or distribution in more than 60 countries across six continents. The SABMiller portfolio includes important international Brands such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and Pilsner Urquell, as well as almost 200 successful regional and national brands.
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