Pivovar Eggenberg beers can be found both in the town itself and villages within the surrounding area.
Many commentators have described the beers as nothing to get excited over, and whilst that description may apply to the company’s Světlý ležák 5.0% light lager, but the 4.2% Tmavý ležák dark lager was eminently drinkable, and reminded me of an English Porter. Eggenberg also produce several other beers, primarily in bottle form, but a draught, unfiltered version of the light lager is available in a few outlets, and also at the large beer hall, attached to the brewery.
A recent addition to the range is the Nakouřený Švihák, a 5.2% smoke or "Rauchbier". I enjoyed a bottle with my meal in a restaurant in the centre of the historic town, and have also brought a bottle home. Whilst not as smoky as the classic Schlenkerla beer from Bamberg, the Eggenberg version is still very drinkable, and is well worth looking out for.
|Brewery Beer Hall|
The Eggenberg Brewery in Česky Krumlov should not be confused with the Austrian brewery of the same name. As mentioned earlier, the brewery dates back to 1560, when a new brewery was built in the town to satisfy the demands of a growing population. In 1622 the Eggenberg family gained control of Krumlov and between 1625 & 1630, they relocated the brewery to where it is today. The town remained in the possession of the Eggenberg's until 1717 when the last male heir died aged only 13. The Eggenberg’s Bohemian possessions then passed to the House of Schwarzenberg which began modernizing the brewery in 1719.
|Brewery shop & bar|
Adolph Schwarzenberg, the last owner, had been an outspoken critic of the Nazis but managed to escape occupied Czechoslovakia. Fully expecting the return of his property after the war, he found himself on the wrong side of the notorious Beneš decrees of 1945, which led to the expulsion of around 3 million ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia. This was despite his strong anti-Nazi stance and his record of being a loyal Czechoslovak citizen. Back in 1937, he had even donated a million crowns towards fortifications for the defence of Czechoslovakia against invasion by Germany!
|The brewery from across the river|
Today, the brewery is again privately owned, with its new owners naming it after the Eggenbergs; the founders and first aristocratic owners. Look out for their beers if you are visiting the Czech Republic, especially if you are fortunate enough to visit Česky Krumlov.