We walked around until 10am before we headed towards the brewery. We thought the tour was 10.30 but were told on arrival the English one wasn’t until 12.45pm, we got our ticket and explored the city further. 12.45 rolled around and we meet the guide, her first time taking an English tour as she normally did German or czech. We were also told at this point no photos allowed inside unless you had paid extra 5 euro, shame nobody told us....Grrr
. We started at the new packaging plant, it could produce 120,000 bottles an hour & 40,000 cans an hour which ran 24/7 by only 20 people. We proceeded from there to a movie about the history of Pilsner Urquell & how its made which hasn’t changed its process since it started. Then into the old brew house which was last used in 2006 and now just a museum. Next was the new brew house, this is fully automated & produces 120,000 litres of beer a day. The last stop was the old cellars where the fermentation & storage used to be before the new brew house was constructed. Before closure the cellar had expanded to around 9km’s long at 12-20m below ground, only a small area is still used to produce beer in the barrels which can only be tasted at the brewery tour or the on site restrauant. Before we left the cellars we sampled the final product...... Mmmmmmm beer is good.
We finally left the brewery and headed towards Prague, an hour later we were at our hostel. From our window it was approx 3.0m to the goal line of the closest football pitch.
After taking advantage of the hostels all you can eat breakfast we spent the morning exploring the city of Plzen. The only reason we came here was to see the Pilsner Urquell Brewery so we thought we would see what else was on offer. I originally thought Plzen was a small town but appartently not, around 170,000. Besides the brewery it also has a large Skoda factory, we found out later that Skoda was Czech for "shame"........ makes sense really.