The Staropramen brewery, the second largest beer producer in the country, is toasting 150 years since it put out its first batch.
The first batch of Staropramen beer was brewed on May 1, 1871 by brewer Petr Quaiser. The brewery was located right in the heart of Prague's industrial district Smíchov, where there was a big demand for good beer. A district of factories and workshops, Smíchov was also dotted with pubs.
In addition to the favourable environment, Staropramen was perceived as a Czech brewery that brews good Czech beer. And that counted among Czech patriots. In 1880, Staropramen was honoured with a visit by Emperor Franz Josef I. An entry in the brewery guestbook of the time shows that he had high praise for the Smíchov brew.
The brand name Staropramen, which translates as “old spring" was registered in 1911.
After the First World War, the brewery saw a period of sustained growth, and by the 1930s Staropramen was the largest brewery in Czechoslovakia.
After the communist takeover in 1948 all Czechoslovak breweries were nationalised, including Staropramen. However the high standard of production was maintained and together with the Pilsen brands Prazdroj and Gambrinus, Staropramen was perceived as one of the best Czech brews.
In 1992 Staropramen became part of the Prague Breweries group (Pražské Pivovary).
Staropramen has seen steady growth and is currently the Czech Republic's second largest beer producer with a 15.3% share of the domestic market. Today it is owned by Molson Coors and its beer is exported to 37 countries, mostly in Europe and North America.