Pilsner Urquell will open an interactive beer center near Prague’s Wenceslas Square

The center will take up three floors of a historical building and include a beer hall, a restaurant, and a shop.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.07.2022 15:00:00 (updated on 15.07.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

As of next year, people won’t have to go to Plzeň to take a tour to find out about Pilsner Urquell beer. An interactive exhibit will open next year in Prague in the City Palais building at the intersection of Wenceslas Square and 28. října Street.

Pilsner Urquell: The Original Beer Experience will guide visitors through the story of Pilsner Urquell beer, the flagship brand of the Czech Republic’s largest beer producer. The center will be a joint project of Pilsner Urquell’s parent company Asahi Europe & International (AEI) and The Original Experience Company.

City Palais. Photo: The Original Experience Company.
City Palais. Photo: The Original Experience Company.

The Original Experience Company, which is backed by local investors, was established for the sole purpose of implementing this project. The total investment is in excess of CZK 400 million, according to a press release. The grand opening is planned for the start of the tourist season in spring 2023.

The Prague center will be spread out over three floors with a total area of more than 3,000 square meters and will employ roughly 100 people. The entire first floor will be dedicated to the story of Pilsner beer. On the other floors, people can find a multifunction beer hall, a beer tapping school, a premium tasting bar, a restaurant, and a shop.

The large-scale interactive exhibition will “engage all senses in an entertaining way,” The Original Experience Company said. Visitors will be able to learn the history of the company that is credited with inventing modern Pilsner-style lager beer, which now accounts for 75 percent of all beer made worldwide.

The first Pilsner-style beer was made in 1842 at a new brewery in Plzeň that had been established by the city in an effort to ensure good beer quality. That brewery eventually became Plzeňský Prazdroj.

“Prague has become an important tourist destination. As big fans of Pilsner Urquell beer, we decided to show the world what the Czechs are rightly proud of by means of this concept. We believe that everyone who comes here to have a good time will appreciate this world-class attraction,” Ondřej Veselý of The Original Experience Company said.

Grant McKenzie, chief marketing officer at Asahi Europe & International (AEI), said Pilsner Urquell is one of Asahi’s most valuable brands. "We have long been striving to further strengthen the good name of this exceptional beer in numerous countries. We are therefore pleased that Prague, which is visited by millions of foreign tourists every year, will have a space where we can tell the fascinating story of Pilsner Urquell in an attractive and modern way," McKenzie said.

Entry gate to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň. Photo: Prazdroj.cz
Entry gate to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň. Photo: Prazdroj.cz

Pilsner Urquell already has a visitor center and museum in Plzeň, which offers tours of the brewery. But most tourists come to Prague and spend the majority of their time in the capital. Pilsner Urquell says the new center in Prague will not compete with the one in Plzeň. On the contrary, the organizer hope to address a new target group in Prague and also offer them a chance to go to Plzeň to see the brewery in person.

Pilsner Urquell is part of the company Plzeňský Prazdroj, the leading beer producer in the region by volume and the biggest exporter of Czech beer. It has been owned by Japanese brewing conglomerate Asahi since 2017.

The Art Nouveau-style City Palais building was designed by Czech architect Matěj Blecha with décor by sculptor Celda Klouček and built in 1900–02. It originally served as the Prague Credit Bank (Pražská úvěrní banka) and the letters PÚB as well as the date 1902 can still be found on the facade. The building has been listed as a cultural landmark since 1964. Most recently, it was home to an exhibition of steel sculptures. 

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