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The very beginning of brewing in Benešov and especially its ancient roots will probably stay a mystery. This originally feudal right was gradually transferred to the hands of local citizens and from the end of the 14th century it became a burgess–ship. The following era brought a narrow specialization in brewing connected to the transferring of the process of beer production from individual households, where beer had mostly been brewed, to special rooms modified and equipped for the production – called “breweries”.

pivovarIn those days, breweries were named after, names of streets, houses or the surnames of individual families. Some of them – such as the name of a small village on the outskurts “Na Sladovce”, the name of a street “Na Chmelnici” or others – have been maintained till today. The first written right to brew beer was given to the locals by Archleb of Kunovice in 1595. This right guaranteed the privilege for brewing “for now and forever, freely and with no obstacles…for the owners of the Konopiště domination to make black and wheat malts and out of these brew and offer black, light or bitter beer …” In times of establishing the private breweries, hop was grown in Benešov, as it is noticed in 1569.

Unfortunately, the expansion of the brewery in Benešov was violently interrupted during an unlucky attack of the Swedish army to Benešov. The brewery experienced a huge decline and noblemen required returning all rights connected with brewing to their hands. A renaissance of brewery in Benešov came in the second half of the 19th century when Benešov became a part of a newly built railway. In 1872, local people established a joint-stock company, which later established a joint-stock malthouse and crops market place.

New premises of the brewery were built on the outskirts of the town in Táborská Street. The new company had to overcome quite serious financial issues at the beginning and in 1873 the establishers were already forced to lessen the malthouse and create a brewery from the second half. Lasting financial problems forced the burgess to sell the whole company in the spring of 1887 to the new owner of the Konopiště domination - František Ferdinand d´Este. In 1897, large reconstruction of the brewery was finished and this grounded the recent brewery in Benešov. After this reconstruction the brewery produced 50 000 – 60 000 hl of beer annually until the start of World War I. The state, as a new owner, put the brewery through a thorough reconstruction. The output then grew again and finally reached the production of 80 000 hl annually. In 1938, “The First National Conference of Brewers” was held in Benešov and Konopiště.

The output of beer had been on the increase until 1944 reaching 120 000 hl annually, but the post-war period noticed a remarkable decrease and very slow development in terms of investitions. In 1956, the brewery in Benešov was put under the control of a national company with the seat in Velké Popovice. Until the 70th, the output gradually went up together with extensive reconstructions. The beginning of the 90th meant unique development for the brewery. The management of the company started a new era of the expansion based on high quality of the products.

The new brandmark “Ferdinand” together with new business and marketing strategy brought a record-breaking annual output of beer in 1992 – 233 712 hl. 12% beer Ferdinand was rewarded the second position in the national ČOI (Czech Business Inspection) competition. In 1994, Benešov started to produce 10% and 12% beer under the name “Old Czech Beer” (Staročeské pivo) and it enriched its product line by another type, besides traditionally produced lager and bock beer under the name Ferdinand.

In 2004, the legal form of the company was changed from Ltd. to a joint-stock company.

Recently, the brewery has been producing five types of beer. These are 10%, 11%, 12% lagers; then 11% dark lager and 13% semi-dark lager under the name “Sedm kulí”. This is a type of beer with addition of herbs.
The brewery has also been producing orange and raspberry lemonades, which are sold in KEG barrels; plus non-alcoholic beer, which is distributed in 0,5 l bottles. Current annual output is approximately 50 000hl.

As a part of the brewery there is a back-yard malt house, which produces about 2000 tons of malt per year.

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3. - 23. 12. 2018