Our plant is located in the center of the town of Rakovnik and occupies the territory of 2 hectares.
The plant's capacity exceeds 300 000 hectoliters a year. Total storage capacity of cellars exceeds 250 000 hectoliters. Depending on the sort of beer, the manufacturing process continues from 28 to 45 days; technology of classical upper fermentation is used.
All electronic equipment is supplied by the SIEMENS Company. Its main advantage lies in the implementation of the most up-to-date and science intensive technologies. The equipment of the German KHS Company is used for pasteurization; all pipes and equipment are made of stainless steel. Uniqueness of our plant arises from the use of copper boiling. Production process is automated to the maximum extent (which does not exclude supervision on permanent basis); it also complies with high international standards of brewing. Availability of our own wells and malt-houses contributes to the maintenance of the products' high quality taste.
We use the foremost production, marketing, logistics, management technologies and methods. Therefore, the most qualified specialists of any profile from various countries are employed in our plant.
We demand a lot of ourselves and aim at the highest quality standards. Basic incentives of ours are our customers' taste satisfaction and the almost six hundred year history of our brewery, as well as centuries-old international recognition of Rakovnik beer.
We do our best and even more to justify the 15-th century slogan - “UNUS PAPA ROMAE, UNUS PORTUS ANCONAE, UNA TURRIS CREMONAE, UNA CERES RACONAE” - “The only Pope is in Rome, the only port is in Ancon, the only tower is in Crimon, and as for the beer, only from Rakovnik”, which told everything about Rakovnik beer.
History of Rakovnik brewers
Beer in Rakovnik had been brewed since 13-th century whereas the first literary record refers to 1341, within the governing years of Jan from Luxemburg. He had legalized brewing privileges for the town of Rakovnik in 1319.
According to historical sources, Rakovnik brewery was established in 1454. Successful brewing in Rakovnik existed due to the town’s location. On the town territory, excellent sort of hop was cultivated that was also purchased by guest brewers. Nevertheless, maltster barley was the main brewing raw material in Rakovnik, and local water was significant, too. These were the reasons for Rakovnik beer to be appreciated by the royal aristocracy and served of the gentry dinner tables all over the country. Rakovnik beer became the most famous. None of the Czech beers won such recognition. Emperors Maximilian and Rudolph II, under whose aegis the beer was supplied to Prague, enjoyed it immensely.
Rakovnik and its brewery houses concentrated around the market, attracted beer-lovers and travelers who could not stop enjoying the drink, and thus stayed in the town much longer than necessary. They used to take what was left to Prague thus causing Prague brewers' resentment. They lost their customers. Moreover, they lost income from the Prague beer own sales. That was the reason of the Prague brewers' complaints to the highest royal authorities.
Rakovnik beer was supplied all over the Kingdom; its perfect quality gained enormous demand. Nevertheless, only Ferdinand II permitted beer deliveries to Prague and other towns under Prague's jurisdiction thus recognizing the true service of Rakovnik.
In 1578, disputes as to the beer delivery to Prague popped up. Upon the request of local brewers, the authorities of towns under Prague's jurisdiction ordered to beer stores owners not to buy the beer from Rakovnik and to sell all off-the-shelf beer within the two-weeks period. Those who disobeyed and went on selling Rakovnik beer, were penalized by all beer supplies expropriation.
The letter was sent to the burgomaster of Star? M?sto, where the Rakovnik bourgeoisie asked whether their application on the beer deliveries was handed over to the King. The letter also said the beer had been supplied to Prague towns for ages, moreover, Rakovnik beer being pleasant by taste and healthy for people, as compared to the beer sold by Prague brewers in Prague.
Prague citizens did not like this sort of criticism. They had an audience to King Rudolph due to beer kegs. The King promised to assist but promises remained promises.
At last prospective decree of Emperor Rudolph that was expected highly by the Prague brewers was issued. But they were disappointed very much and returned to the starting point. At the same time the Rakovnik representatives were recommended again to send to the royal chancellery petition in which they had to prove that they possessed the King’s permission for beer supply.
Finally, the Rakovnik representatives achieved by means of monetary and in-kind gifts the decree of Rudolph II, issued on Thursday on the Saint Maria Magdalena's holiday in 1579 and presented to the Prague brewers. Struggle of “beer against beer” was completed by decision that said: Deliveries of Rakovnik beer to Prague are prohibited with the exception of those who ve a permit from the King or Czech Royal Crown". Sales of beer were very profitable and the chamber allowed importing beer to everyone who paid. As a result, the volume of beer deliveries from Rakovnik increased as compared to that before the battle.
Rakovnik beer had never left the Prague brewers in peace, as a lot of Rakovnik beer was exported to Prague. Each complaint of Prague producers was accompanied by barrels of the best white beer, while Rakovnik paid the rest by the best classic bitter beer. So petitions were written, and quality beer from Rakovnik was drunk.
The quality of Rakovnik beer was guaranteed by a ban against low-grade beer or so-called “freiberk”. That was the worst grade beer. Owners of beer stores could use it for dilution of first-grade beer thus reducing its price.
There were eight breweries in Rakovnik in that golden age. One hundred one brewers were employed here according to the established order. Strictly speaking, Rakovnik was one big brewery at that time.
Brewing conformed to the established rules. Everybody had to follow those rules, being subject to control by the town authorities. The rules issued in 1571 emphasized: water for barley was to be always fresh, the barley to be cleansed, the piles to be interlaid, and the young malt to be brought to proper scent. Malt was not to be burnt, but to be dried and then stored properly. The rules issued in 1571 read: "As for brewing good beer, each batch is to be brewed for an hour". Brewers were penalized for violating this.
The brewers’ apprentices were selected thoroughly, not to dishonor the craft. Nonresidents were to produce references. No one had a right to keep an apprentice without a helpmate. The best of apprentices or helpmates was appointed as a brewing master. For this he paid 15 krejcars to the cashier's board. Anyone who had wicked wife or whose wife was in bad relations with anybody could not be engaged as a master.
There was an important resolution against beer peddlers who provoked indignation of people by their misbehavior and intemperate drinking. The resolution comprised seven sections about span, beer and draft peddling.
Malting was an honorable craft and most of rich townsmen had their own malt-houses. As a rule, they were located in the yards, but later the malt-houses were built behind the town walls because of frequent fires.
In 1867, the decision was made on erection of new modern brewery on the territory of dragoon barracks left by soldiers. According to the project of Prague constructor Jan Kuli?, malt hothouse, leaven hall and American cellar were built first. In 1868, an agreement was reached with a miller as to water delivery. Water conduit of 5 cm diameter wooden pipes was laid, and on the path, the purifying reservoir was constructed.
In 1885, "Czech hop fair" was established solemnly in Rakovnik. Administrative Council comprised 37 members from cultivating hop landowners and merchants. There were seven representatives of brewing branch, too. In that fair, Rakovnik placed first, and Zhatets second. In 1891, district of Rakovnik was rewarded for presented hop with the highest premium "Honorable Exhibition Diploma". The town and the brewers’ society gained the diploma granting right to stamp golden medals.
Due to Rakovnik beer raising popularity, the brewery started to develop rapidly. The reconstruction of the malt-house was performed already in 1871. The year of 1882 was significant for the brewery, as a steam engine was installed and main processes were modernized. The brewery of primal manual labor turned to the streamlined, mechanical plant. Two years later, the machine for ice production was installed.
Expensive reconstruction of plant, including administrative building erection, had been completed in 1892-1895. The new two-storey malt hothouse, fermenting houses and refrigerator were built. Brewing shop was extended and equipped with new baking tray of copper bottom for preparation 100 hectoliters of beer.
To stand competition with other breweries, they implemented equipment for beer bottling into 1L bottles in 1900. Meanwhile, the bottling was carried out in a primitive manual way. Academic painter V. Kraal made the label. The machine to for the production hereof was purchased in 1907.
In April 1906 it said in the brewery's magazine "Kvass": "On April 1. 1906 it was decided on the extraordinary general meeting of brewers of Rakovnik, that the brewery is going to expand due to the productivity growth". In view of it, a new brewing shop is to be erected with twofold equipment set for preparing 100 hectoliters by means of steam on two baking trays with plain bottom, as well as big new boiler and machine shops.
In 1906, the plant was modernized, new brewing equipment is installed with two trays from Novak & Jan Company for preparing 100 hectoliters. In these years, the brewery reaches the capacity of 30 000 hectoliters.
In 1920, the plant was transformed into the firm "Rakovnik Brewery with the malt shop, joint-stock company". That year meant the brewery's further development and modernization. The steam machine for 15 GP, and two boilers were acquired, bottling shop was erected, and other processes improved. In 1923, these arrangements were met with approval. Despite the possibility of significant increasing beer production, it happened so in five years only, in 1928, when the output of 63 000 hectoliters was reached.
In 1974, the new bottling shop of 10 000 bottles/h output was set into operation. Brewing shop was set into operation in 1980 with the capacity of 350 hectoliters.
Brewery prepared production of near-beer called PITO. Pasteurizer was installed with the capacity of 12000 bottles/h; and in 1977, they managed to purchase powerful siliceous filter SCHENK to increase the beer quality. In the same year, PITO was produced in the amount of 7500 hectoliters.
In 2001, the plant was acquired by International Brewery Company Canada and fully modernized. Since then, the history of famous Rakovnik beer and 13th century Czech brewers is being reconstituted.