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Educational brewery (tour)

Column with malting symbol – limpa Column with the Piety sculpture with a view of the city

Dear visitors, You are about to take our educational brewery tour, where the history of the royal town of Jihlava and the story of one of the many traditional trades – malting and brewing – are mutually intertwined. There are many towns where such symbiosis has survived for ages, yet there are very few (and Jihlava and Pivovar Jihlava are among them), where such continuity has prevailed as a single entity to the present. Generations of people, the stories of their lives, successes and failures, pursuits and endeavors, joys and sorrows. We want to offer all that to you that. Nostalgia for wonderful bygone times and the atmosphere of the past that we yearn to recall, dream about it, and caress it. Picturesque recluses, small local breweries, malt houses and prominent holders of brewing licenses, inns with their unique atmosphere and air satiated with tobacco, beer, spirits, and even the smell of period urinals. We may regard the silver town of Jihlava as an example of brilliant legal standards – its Mining Code has prevailed and confirmed its quality over several centuries. Another significant example of the town’s singularity is good cohabitation of Czech and Germans. Many of Jihlava’s treasures can be viewed in its churches and history has witnessed many spiritual achievements of Dominicans, Premonstrates, Minorites, Jesuits, and Evangelists. The town takes pride in the numerous beautiful heritage sites related to its brewing history. In addition to license burgher houses, small breweries, and inns, there also is the Maltsters’ Altar and tombstones under the floor of the Church of St. Jacob the Greater, as well as various archival materials and documents – e.g., well preserved, generously illustrated guild journals. Beer as beverage has accompanied humankind for approximately 10 thousand years. For a major part of these centuries, beer has formed a common and important part of man’s diet. There exist about 150 beer varieties. Jihlava’s brewing history holds a prominent position among licensed towns, as is documented, e.g., in an essay by Tadeáš Hájek of Hájku in 1585. The town used to produce its own specific beer varieties, such as Märzbier, Altbier, Grandbier. Since the town’s brewing activities are inseparable from the town’s history and life, we have complemented the tour with glimpses into historical events and stories of authentic life of ordinary citizens. It is not feasible to squeeze the history of one trade and one town into a single educational tour. Therefore, we suggest that you take it as a tasting event that will hopefully arouse your desire for more information, which is exactly what the authors are trying to achieve. Let me use this opportunity to express our appreciation to those who participated in the preparation and realization of this path, i.e., this tour, for several months. I take pride in our partnership with the Statutory City of Jihlava and Pivovar Jihlava. Our gratitude is also extended to Muzeum Vysočiny in Jihlava, namely, Radim Gonda – for his scientific research and work on the text part of this guide. God bless everybody! Wishing you a pleasant educational tour of our town’s brewing history, sincerely, Jaromír Kalina, maltster and director of Pivovar Jihlava


1 Column with Piety Sculpture Growing Hops From the column with the Piety sculpture opens a view of the preserved part of Jihlava‘s fortification wall. Although the history of Jihlava’s brewery industry evolved mainly within the town’s walls, it could not be done without provisions from outside as source of raw materials. An indispensable commodity were hops, which used to be grown in the past even in many localities of the Vysočina region (Bohemian-Moravian Highlands). Until recently, archival sources recorded the growing of hops in the 18th century around Rančířov, which was part of Jihlava’s municipal land. Hop fields used to account for most of the green vegetation in Brtnice and around Telč or Měřín. However, new findings made during a study of archival records indicate and document that hops must have been grown in the early modern era directly in Jihlava, too. In legal proceedings entered in the municipal chronicles in 1746, the heirs of Johann Ansel Neumann inherited the estate of this Jihlava burgher and maltster. His daughter, Anna Francisca, named Österreicher by marriage, acquired the malt house with a license to brew beer. His son, named after his father, inherited the hop fields situated “in front of Brtnická Gate.“ The gate guarded the point of entry to the town below the town’s main square, the place of today’s large traffic-light intersection of Znojemská, Brněnská, and Hradební Streets. The inherited hop field was presumably situated in the area south of Brtnická Gate, i.e., somewhere in the sloped part of the first station of the educational path named Pivovarská Stezka. The column in Jihlava is sometimes called maltster column, because its top is adorned with the symbol of malting known as limpa – a wooden


2 scraper that was used for spreading malt and skimming fermented malt yeast after fermentation. The column stands at the cross-section of Křižíkova Street and Dlouhá Stezka.

Former Malting Shredder Mill Making malt The Jihlava brewing guild owned all the equipment and facilities necessary for beer brewing, including a mill for grinding barley for malting, which used to stand near the former Česká Gate. The raw materials for making beer were mostly from local resources. The main ingredient was barley that used to be grown in the Vysočina Highlands. Jihlava benefitted considerably from having a strong backup of numerous villages that used to be part of the municipal property. They supplied the town with all the essential agricultural commodities and simultaneously with the consumers of the products of Jihlava‘s breweries. Barley for the Jihlava malt houses and the shredder mill was also grown in more distant localities, e.g., around Třebíč and Jaroměřice. In the bend of the current Čajkovského Street, there used stand a tower named Katovská (Henkerturm) in the middle ages and early modern era. It got its name after the next-door house that used to be occupied by a hangman. Right next to it, a little farther on Čajkovského Street, used to be a brothel (approximately on the site of house no. 9). Column with the Piety sculpture, detail In the address book from 1834, the shredder mill (Schrottmühle) is recorded in a street near Brněnská Gate (U Brněnské brány)


3 The Former Brewery in Brněnská Street Brewing License The sweet smell of brewed beer used to fill Česká Street as far back as the 15th century, when the town was besieged by the Hussites. The historically oldest owner that we know by name was a burgher named Muckenprunner, who owned it in the years 1425–1438. The very license to brew beer was strictly regulated and guarded. Initially, every burgher who owned a house within the town walls could brew beer. Gradually, however, the privilege to brew beer was limited to the wealthiest burghers living in the houses around the town square and in Jihlava’s main streets. The ownership of such licensed houses was linked to the right to brew beer in one of the small municipal breweries. Thus, in the 18th century, a maltster might produce – at his own expense – three to four 80-bucket batches (approx. 44.8 hl each) of beer annually. The beer brewers would sell the beer they produced in their houses. Eventually, the sale of beer moved to the numerous Jihlava pubs. The number of houses possessing beer-brewing rights stabilized at 123 during the reign of Maria Terezia in 1748. Comparison of recorded expenses and revenues in 1728 tells us that net profit in the brewery industry reached up to 25%. The sale value of houses possessing beerbrewing rights testifies to the range of profitability in this sector. At the end of the 18th century, such a house in Jihlava cost 6–8 thousand gold coins, thereof the beer-brewing license was worth about 4 thousand gold coins and generated 320 gold coins annually. Thus, it was a prospective investment for the owners of this license. Etching of a maltster by Jost Amman from 1586


4 St. Jacob Church Maltsters altar The brewing guild demonstrated its social status by financing the art works in the parish church of St. Jacob the Great. Built in 1513, the altar that is known as the maltsters’ altar was generously gold-plated and adorned with various expensive liturgical objects. Approximately at the beginning of the 18th century, the most prominent Jihlava painter, Václav Jindřich Nosecký, created a painting for the altar. In 1728, the guild commissioned another painting depicting the flagellation of Christ. In 1752, the guild invested into a richly decorated altar dedicated to St. Tekla. The sculpting work on it was realized by a local sculptor, Václav Kovanda, and the painting was created by an artist from Brno named Josef Rotter. In 1706, the guild added a painted wind-vane made of red damask. Maltsters and traders liked to show off their wealth not only during their lives but also after their death. In 2008, dozens of thumb stones were discovered in the church of St. Jacob the Great. Among them were thumb stones dedicated to persons who had been professionally associated with the brewing industry in the past centuries. The inscription on one of them says: ”Longing desire to be fulfilled according to the last testament, in the hope of Maria’s nearest help, that on the day of the Last Judgment, he, the honorable Frantz Joseph Polläy, burgher and licensed brewer, merchant and trader, born here on September 14, 1731, and deceased on December 19, 1770, rises to new life and joyfully steps in the proper direction.“ St. Tekla altar

Thumb stone of Joseph Polläy


Victory of gen. Laudon at Svídnice


Abolition of the Jesuit Order Illumination in the maltsters’ guild journal

Former Small Brewery in Mint Street (U Mincovny) Maltsters Guild Until the 1730’s, beer used to be brewed also in house no. 3 in the former Malá Farní Street. During the first part of the 18th century, the beer-licensed house and a share of the local brewery were owned by a painter named Václav Jindřich Nosecký, who was active in the brewing industry, in addition to his artistic activities. Officially documented to have existed since the 1530’s, according to the Braseatorum Statutes of 1531, the brewers guild must have existed here even earlier, as beer used to be brewed in this town as far back as the 13th century. The oldest written mention of brewing in Jihlava is found in the town’s chronicle from the first half of the 14th century. The respect that Jihlava’s maltsters would attribute to their guild is reflected in the attention they were giving their guild journals. The individual entries in these journals record the annual accounts in the 18th century with illuminated illustrations depicting various allegories, significant political period events, such as changes of rulers or war campaigns. For instance, the coming to the throne of Impress Maria Therezia or the conquering of the Silesian town of Svídnice, in 1761 (during the so-called Seven-YearsWar), by Ernst Gideon von Laudon, the famous artillery general and commanding general of the Bohemian armed forces. Another noteworthy event recorded in it was the abolition of the Jesuit Order by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. A Latin inscription in the maltsters’ journal says: “Slaughtered, destroyed, and dead is the Society of Jesus.


6 The Former “Golden Lion Inn“ (“U Zlatého Lva“) The roots of Jihlava’s hospitality Formerly, the “Golden Lion Inn“ (“U Zlatého Lva“) was operated in house no. 16 from 1796 until 1945. Before the end of the 18th century was operated in the higher section of the town square, in house no. 14, a building whose distinct symbol is a massive stone portal with the relief of a lion. The house bearing the lion symbol is mentioned first as early as 1402. By mid-1400’s, a certain Jiří of Počátky is mentioned as the oldest owner of the inn (Gastgeb). After the closing of Stubik’s inn, situated in the upper section of the town square, which was converted into a Jesuit church in 1626 and later replaced by the church of St. Ignatius, the “Golden Lion Inn“ became the most prominent in Jihlava. Highly distinguished guests would be accommodated here, e.g., various generals on war campaigns in the Jihlava region. One of the most noteworthy personalities in the history and legends of Jihlava was colonel Samuel Österling, commander of the Swedish occupation army in 1645–47. After the departure of the Swedes, the inn accommodated Österling’s adversary, the Austrian general Buchheim and the well-known defender of Brno, general Raduit de Souches. During the reconstruction of the inn in 2012, fragments of papers were found, including a unique document: a brewing license issued in 1740 to a burgher named Johann George Siegel. The document is a proof of the implementation of brewing rights realized by turns in one of the town’s breweries. The “U Zlateho Lva Inn“ in late 1800’s



Excerpts from Hájek’ book where beer brewing in Jihlava is mentioned

Former Malt House Malt processing The oldest depiction of the house at 3 Úzká Street we found in the indicative sketch from 1835, where it is marked as malt house (Mälzhaus). Originally, the malt house was a building in the early-Baroque style that was adjacent to house no. 2 on Brněnská Street. Later on, in the 19th century, the building was used as a warehouse by a Jewish grain trader, Aron Grünfeld. The romantic appearance of Úzká Street is enhanced by strainer arches that connect opposite-facing houses. Generally, the beer brewing process consisted of three basic stages: 1) preparation of malt in malt houses – this was done by maltsters; 2) grinding of barley sprouts in the shredder – which was done by shredders; and 3) the actual brewing of beer – which was done by brewers (maltsters). Beer was mostly made of barley, which would be soaked first and then spread out on the platform, where it would start to sprout, creating suitable enzymes in the process. Subsequently, maltsters would arrest the sprouting process by drying the matter – this process was called kilning, which turned the barley sweet and gave it the color of beer. Jihlava’s beer production did not escape the attention of the author of the first writing about beer brewing in Bohemia entitled “About Beer and Ways of Its Preparation, Substance, Power, and Effects“, written in Latin in 1585 by a nature scientist named Tadeáš Hájek of Hájek. In the manuscript, Hájek mentions Jihlava specifically in connection with a certain type of beer called March Beer (březňák). This type of beer, brewed from barley malt in the Spring, was believed to have healing powers.


8 The Former “Golden Star Inn“ (“U Zlaté Hvězdy“) Social life In 1423, Johann, a parler or builder by profession, owned a house that was to become one of Jihlava’s prominent guesthouses. Jihlava’s inns, including “U Zlaté Hvězdy”, in addition to accommodating important personages, served many other social purposes, such as meetings of the guilds and assemblies of journeymen. Sometimes, as the level of intoxication by alcohol reached their heads, they would instigate various skirmishes, often motivated by pretexts of quasi-cultural nature. One of such incidents happened on December 27, 1660, at the Golden Star Inn. That day, some soldiers stationed in the town asked the innkeeper, Pavel Pindtermichel, to let them stage a comedy in his inn. They were refused, because the place was reserved for the traditional, annual assembly of Jihlava’s master bakers. However, the soldiers were not about to listen to such a reason and started up a fight with the convening bakers and journeymen. The town’s guards had to be called to put an end to the disorderly conduct and take the “culture-loving” soldiers away. The “Golden Star“ Hotel made its mark even in modern history. On October 6, 1992, one of the key meetings between the leaders of the Czech and Slovak governments, V. Klaus and V. Mečiar, took place here. Mečiar agreed in Jihlava that he would no longer pursue the idea of the country’s conversion into a Czech-Slovak union, thus convening the political forces that opted for dissolution of the state of Czechoslovakia. The “Golden Start Inn“ at the end of the 19th century


The Three Counts Inn (U Tří Knížat) towards the end of the 19th century

9 The “Three Counts Inn“ (“U Tří Knížat“) Superregional connection The original name of this inn (used since the 16th century) was far less distinguished – Wild Man’s Inn (“U Divého Muže“). In 1825, the inn was renamed to its current name, which is believed to refer to the stay of marshal Bernadotte, the commander of the 1st corps of Napoleon’s great army, in 1805; his adversary, the Austrian archduke Ferdinand, who took over Bernadotte’s guest room following the victory of Austria in the battle at Štoků; and possibly the stay in Jihlava of the Saxon king in 1815. The inn has a turbulent history. In the 15th century, it was owned by the patrician family of Lidels, which hailed from Silesia, and, since 1540, its owner was Jan Freisleben, apparently a brother of the well-known Jihlava humanist teacher, Leonard Freisleben. During that period, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style after a devastating fire. It was used for multiple purposes. For instance, in 1585, the national convention of the four professional federations of the Margraviate of Moravia took place here. During the years of 1592–1602, when it was used as one of the houses of another prominent Jihlava guild, the drapers guild, it was the seat of a draper company, whose activities represented the peak of the draper profession and practiced more sophisticated production and marketing methods. After the White Mountain Battle, the inn fell victim to the confiscation rage of the recatholization-obsessed royal reeve, Heidler of Buková. In the 19th century, various important social events took place here, such as concerts and dance balls. During the period of 1825–1850, the inn was used as the stage for the performances organized by Jihlava’s theater ensemble.


10 Former Brewery in Palackého Street Wealth and Conflicts The owners of brewing-licensed houses situated at the NW part of the town were affiliated with a brewery that used to be at 19 Palackého Street. The historical continuity of beer brewing reaches extremely far into the past. It is known that the brewery had operated in this location at least from the 15th century until the second half of the 19th century. The oldest known owner of the brewery was Johann Rudel in 1425. Maltsters, who were among the wealthiest inhabitants of Jihlava, along with mining entrepreneurs and merchants, formed the town’s strongest social group, the so-called ruling participate, which had full control over the municipal council. They would pursue primarily their own interests, causing resentment amongst other tradesmen and the town’s poor. Their resentment led to a major civil uprising of Jihlava’s population against the ruling minority in the 1520’s. Even the emissary of king Ludwig Jagellonski, Žibřid of Bobolusky, who sided with the patriciates failed to straighten out the social unrest. The protesting citizens mounted the ruler’s portrait on the pillory in front of the town hall with a derogatory inscription “King of the Maltsters“. It took four years for the social tensions in the town to subside. However, prerequisite to the stabilization process was the adoption of a resolution that reduced the number of the maltsters’ representatives that could be elected in the future to the municipal council to four persons. The brewing industry reached the peak of its development in Jihlava towards the turn of the 15th and 16th century. The brewery on Palackého Street (Richtergasse) is recorded under no. 426 in the Address Book of Brewing Licenses from 1834


11 The Largest of Former Breweries in Husova Street Regression of the maltsters’ position after the White Mountain Battle (Bílá Hora) The site at 3 Husova Street used to be the place of one of the historically longest operating breweries. It was also one of the largest breweries in Jihlava. The oldest mention of it in the municipal chronicles from 1422 associates it with the name of a certain Czecherlin. The brewery was operated here until the founding of the current Jihlava brewery in 1860. Even the street bears its historical name – Mlátečná (Trebergasse). From 1904 to 1905, part of the land was developed to made room for the Art-Nouveau building of Grand Hotel. After the White Mountain Battle, Jihlava’s maltsters were forced to struggle with constantly growing, aggressive competition. Their ancient privileges were infringed not only by clerical institutions and the gentry, but also by the municipal council itself. On the one hand, infractions were committed mainly by Jihlava’s Dominicans, Minorites, and especially the Jesuits, on the other, by aristocratic owners of agricultural estates in the region, specifically, earl Jan Antonín Pachta of Rájov, followed by Filip Ludvík, earl of Sinzendorf. They all violated the maltsters’ Mile Law (approx. 7,5 to 14 km around the town’s vicinity) by producing and tapping their own beer in the territory belonging de jure to Jihlava’s maltsters. The medieval brewing monopoly of Jihlava’s burghers for producing and tapping beer in the town and within designated distance from the town was formally abolished by Imperial decree of Joseph II in 1788. In 1859, the guilds were dissolved and replaced by a new legal system that reorganized trades.


The Building of the Jihlava Brewery today

12 The Historical Building of the Jihlava Brewery The Historical Building of the Jihlava Brewery In 1859, when guilds were abolished, the brewers of Jihlava decided to close down the old breweries and replace them with modern ones. Prerequisite to membership in the cooperative that started this initiative was the ownership of a brewing licensed house. Of the total of 123 owners of such houses, 107 bought the equity shares. Already in 1859, the design of the project was completed and by April 4, 1861, a new brewery was opened with great fanfare. The brewery itself claims the year 1860 as the year of its foundation, as it represents the central point in the two-year interval between the first sketch and final completion. In 1945, the brewery was taken up in the state administration (expropriated) and, in May 1948, it was nationalized. During the socialist era, it went through several modernizations, which enabled the brewery to increase its output to over 215,000 bottles of beer in 1984. In 1993, following the revolution in the later 1980’s, the brewery was privatized. In 1995, a 75% majority share of the brewery’s equity was purchased by an Austrian entrepreneur, Karl Schwarz, owner of a brewery in Lower Austrian Světlá (Zwettl). Thereupon, the brewery’s technology The competitor of Jihlava’s breweries, Filip Ludvík, earl of Sinzendorf (1671–1742), owner of a wood mill estate and the Beran brewery. During the period of 1715–1742, he held the position of the court’s supreme chancellor.


underwent a fundamental reconstruction with implementation of beer production in cylindrical tanks. In 1997, a majority share of the brewery was acquired by a Belgian investor, the Brothers Martens Bochold Co., which thereupon controlled 85 % of the brewery, jointly with Jan Kylberger who owned the remaining 15%. During the following years, the brewery went through a cumbersome period, trying to resume lost markets, which it eventually managed to achieve. In 2008, a majority of the brewery’s equity shares were purchased by a Czech company named K Brewery Group, which consolidates seven established breweries in the Czech market today, e.g., Pivovar Jihlava a.s. It operates in the market under the trademark Pivovar Lobkowicz, a.s. Brewers celebrating presumed 1100th anniversary of the founding of Jihlava in 1899 Letterhead of Jihlava’s brewery


Localities where beer used to be brewed and sold in Jihlava The number of breweries where the owners of licensed houses could take turns in beer brewing varied over the centuries. Usually, each of the four downtown districts had one or two breweries. For instance, in the 15th century, there were four breweries in Jihlava, but in the 16th century (the era of the greatest boom in the brewing industry) we know of eight of them. Five of them were still in operation at the beginning of the 1800’s: a small one (3 U Mincovny) and four larger ones: at 15 Brněnská (demolished today and the street renamed to Mrštíkova); another one at 19 Palackého Street; and probably the largest one at 3 Husova Street. Until the 1830’s, the smaller brewery went out of business. The remaining four brewed beer until the turn of the 1850’s and 1860’s, when they were replaced by a new, modern brewery. Its founding opened a new chapter in the history of Jihlava’s brewing industry.

The malt houses

The small breweries The important Inns around the town Malting Shredder Mill


ů Legi



Jihlava – centre lst




















Cinema „Dukla“


Church of the Holy Spirit



Jihlava Brewery


Dv ořá ko

St. Paul´s Church



Educational brewery (tour)





Gustav Mahler Park

1 Column with Piety Sculpture 2 Former Malting Shredder Mill






k Mat

Matky Boží Gate



Virgin Mary Assumption Church

3 The Former Brewery in Brněnská Street 15


4 St. Jacob Church 5 Former Small Brewery in Mint Street (U Mincovny)

11 The Largest of Former Breweries in Husova Street 12 The Historical Building of the Jihlava Brewery


9 The “Three Counts Inn“ (“U Tří Knížat“) 10 Former Brewery in Palackého Street


8 The Former “Golden Star Inn“ (“U Zlaté Hvězdy“)


7 Former Malt House


6 The Former “Golden Lion Inn“ (“U Zlatého Lva“)




Svoboda square Educational brewery tour Fortification amfiteatr




P Jihlava’s Horácké Theater

Interesting Places



Interesting Places

východ ze ZOO Holy Cross' Elevation church


The regional Gallery The regional Museum

Underground corridors – entrance

o St. Ignatius Hlub of Loyola Church

Plague column Town hall Water fountain

Heulos forest park

5 in UM





WC Water fountain







Gustav Mahler House

2 7 Čajkovského Fortification






The regional Gallery





Brněnská Kosmá




ého ack





Masaryk square


íkov Mršt


á vsk

St. Jacob Church


City Park Jihlava

U Dl






Issued by the City of Jihlava in cooperation with Pivovar Jihlava and Muzeum Vysočiny Jihlava in 2013 Authors: Radim Gonda, Ivan Holub, Eva Vařejčková, Jaromír Kalina Photographs: Photographic archive of the Museum Vysočiny in Jihlava, the Moravian Land Archive in Brno – Government District Archive Jihlava, Ladislav Vilímek’s Archive Graphic layout by Eva Bystrianská Translation: Jitka Píbilová Printed by: Antonín Prchal PROTISK – Velké Meziříčí Printing: 200 pcs.


Educational brewery tour  

Jihlava, Czech Republic, history, Educational tour