Exhibition from the Great World War: when the brewery was requisitioned


This June will mark the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of the “Great War” known today as World War I. To commemorate this anniversary, the Beer Brewing Museum in Pilsen is offering an exhibition called “Remembrance of the Imperial Soldiers from the Lands of the Czech Crown from 1914 to 1918”* and calls specific attention to the war’s impact on both soldiers and the Burgess Brewery in Pilsen.

The travelling exhibition will be available to spectators at the Pilsen Beer Brewing Museum from June 5th to June 28th, 2014. Of particular note is the exhibition’s attention to soldiers’ lives on the southwest front, their everyday lives and their fates after the war. To date, the exhibition has already visited several cities at home and abroad. For the first time, the Beer Brewing Museum will also present visitors with facts about the war years in the Burgess Brewery in Pilsen where they stored war provisions and housed soldiers.

“In 1914, the war offices requisitioned the brewery’s cars, waggons and horses. All copper and brass artifacts were removed and taken. The original brewing pan was spared only thanks to the brave efforts of local beer brewers. This pan was used by Josef Groll in 1842 to brew the very first batch of Pilsen Urquell.” Anna Peřinová, director of the central archives of Plzeňský Prazdroj, further details the difficulties at hand noting, “Because of the shortage of materials for brewing beer and subsequently of financial resources, the brewery sought alternative methods of survival, seeking to rent unused storage spaces, vegetable-dehydration facilities and soda-manufacturing plants. The brewery’s administration also planted hundreds of fruit trees on the premises of the brewery during the war, including cherry, pear and apple trees.”

A substantial portion of the exhibition is dedicated to Pilsen’s 35th Infantry Regiment, which engaged in important battles in 1915 near Mangore, Slovenia. Additionally, the largest weapon-producing facility, the Skoda factory of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, is included in the scope of the exhibition. Other exhibition highlights discuss the potential for war in the lands of the Czech Crown, paying special attention to the participation of Czech regiments in the 10th and the 11th battles of Sochi. Pilsen explorer, Arthur Rehberger, is the mind behind this exhibition, which is finally returning to the Czech Republic after well-received tours in Brussels and Slovenia, the settings of some of the most important battles near the river Sochi.

The exhibition will be available daily to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and lasts from June 5 th to June 28 th in the Beer Brewing Museum on Veleslavínova Street 6.

* The historical state of the Lands of the Czech Crown was established by Charles IV. It survived, slightly varied over the time, until 1918, the year Czechoslovakia was established. It existed as Bohemia, Moravia, Opava Region and Silesia and as Lusatia, which endured the longest.

Plzeňský Prazdroj press contact Kateřina Krásová is available to media at:

Mobile: +420 724 617 219

Notes for editors:

  • With its total sale of nearly 9.7 million of hectoliters during the calendar year of 2013 (including licensed productions abroad) and with its export to more than 50 countries worldwide, Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is the preeminent beer producer in the region and the biggest exporter of the Czech beer.
  • Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is the member of SABMiller plc. group. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship brand of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
  • SABMiller plc is one of the most significant world beer companies with 70 thousand employees in 75 countries around the world. It offers more than 200 beer brands including the world renowned brand such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft a Grolsch, as well as important local brands such as Aguila (Columbia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia), and Tyskie (Poland).