The following is a series of photographs from the Bohemian city of Pilsen where the world famous Pilsner beer was born. To read a complete history on the beer (which we think is very interesting – including a view of the famous ‘Devil in the Cellar‘, we suggest you also read this page.
This segment focuses on the history of beer coopers. For hundreds of years, wood was the material in which beer was universally stored and served from. It was the job of the coopers to make and maintain the barrels needed in breweries. Coopers also had the job of making and maintaining the many thousands of barrels needed in breweries as they turned staves of wood into water-tight casks ready for beer. And it was from these casks that beer was served until metal kegs began to replace them in the 1970s.
The original ‘Coopers House’ was opened in 1842, the year the brewery was founded. Coopering originated much earlier, in the eighth century. The coopers create each barrel using traditional methods preserved and passed on from generation to generation. These photos tell the story…
Wooden barrels have always been an important element of the brewing process at Pilsner Urquell, and while steel has replaced those wooden casks, they continue the coopering tradition and continue to train the next generations of craftsmen.
There is no denying that there is something very special about beer aged in wooden barrels and despite the spread of steel, Pilsner Urquell has continually employed coopers for over 170 years and they continue to mature and serve some of the world’s best beer from these wooden barrels.
Want to see what the modern day coopers look like?
If you are interested in the coopers today, read this.
If you are interested in the full history of Pilsner Urquell beer, read this.
Meanwhile – go grab yourself a beer.
Source: Pilsner Urquell.