|European Beer Guide|
|A visit to the Oslavany Chateau brewery|
|Zámecký pivovar Oslavany|
Oslavany Chateau brewery reportDear Dutch readers, dear beer lovers, I am back here. This time we will take a different direction. To south Moravia.
Hidden in an ancient castle, in a place where you wouldn't expect beer to be brewed, in the small town of Oslavany, located upon the …….. river, you'll find a small brewery called Zámecký pivovar Oslavany, which translates as Oslavany Castle (or Chateau) brewery. I've noticed a direct relationship - the more difficult a brewery is to find, the better its beer!
Where's the brewery?At the chateau's main entrance, you're greeted by a welcoming sign (see picture above) , but when you progress into the main courtyard (see picture left) , the microbrewery is impossible to spot.
So …… you have no alternative but to ask. Someone happensto be passing by (probably an employee) and points with his finger to one of the castle´s many arcades ………… I knock on a solid wooden door, and because I've been announced, I take hold of the door handle.
Here it isA typical and beautiful smell , hardly described, but very familiar to all beer lovers will let you surely know where you are. Yes, we are inside of Chateau brewery of Oslavany. I shake hands with mr. Petr Zak (see left) who is the head brewer, and this jovial, helpful and kind man, who can´t deny inside him his interesting and honest craft, starts introducing me to his brewery.
Every small and microbrewery is totaly different. Every one has its own spirit. Also this one. But there is one thing you can't help but note in this brewery: absolute cleanness and order. It almost dazzles your eyes, so you start to search for some small sign of "moderate working mess“. But you won't find it here. Everything in this brewery has its place, the floor is clean and you can´t find a single small grain of barley or tiny flake of hop.
Inside the breweryLet´s continue and move further on. In the "kitchen“ you see one stainless steel brewing kettle in which 1000 litres of our famous, legendary and sacred liquid which we all love, can be made in one time. And, if God gives you luck (a Czech brewers' proverb "Dej Bùh ©te¹ti"), 2 to 3 brews a week will be made.
According the brewer, brewing Began in Oslavany castle in 1623, when a Feudal brewery was founded. It closed in 1863. As I'm not a historian (and have no ambition to be one), I don´t what happened to the brewery after that date …. What I do know for sure, is that the private company G+C Pacific joint stock took possession of the brewery in 2003. Since then, beer has been brewed once more. ….…….
We pass an interesting grinder (see picture right ) and we shift to the lager cellars (see pictures below).
The Lagering Cellar
Now is no time for history nor meditation, as the master brewer offers me a glass full of Franti¹ek´s (Frank´s) 13° amber lager.
I expect only the highest quality, because that's the standard in small microbrerweries such as this one ….. and I'm not wrong. Perhaps it can't be otherwise, right? How can a small brewery get away with bad beer, anyway! Only giant breweries, owned by multinational companies, can afford themselves the luxury of brewing crap beer. Because I'm decent guy, I won´t name any names (but I would like to tease a little) .
(I would suggest thinking of the start of the alphabet. R.P.)
Nevertheless, the beer that I hold now in my hand (and photograph) is beautiful …… the head stays as if rooted to the spot ……. eye-catching colour …… ruddy, dim …… perfect flavour. Unfiltered , of course, what else ? Because my collegue is driving today, I have no reason to hesitate.
Before I finish my glass, the brewer offers me another beer, this time a pale 12° lager . I can't find the slightest mistake in this, either.
Beside those two types described above, other beers are brewed. Pale 10° and occasionaly also a Pale 15°. Also the names of beers sound interesting and even a little magical : Novic, Templar, Komtur … Velmistr. By my subjective opinion (it doesn´t have to be right) I dare to say that the best was "Frank“. He stole my heart because of his colour !
Franti¹ekBy the way : by that time imaginary Franti¹ek is not any kind of virtual man. He's a real beer lover living in the neigbourhood. He once met one of the brewery's co-owners while he was on his daily walk in the countryside. The men met each other, they stopped and they exchanged a couple of words together and they enjoyed their talk so much that from then on the face of Frantisek Vrbas has decorated the brewery´s beer glasses, coasters (see picture right) and labels (see picture above) of Oslavany beer. Let´s say that Franti¹ek is just a simple and right Czech beer patriot. Nothing else.
(He looks a bit like Rudi Voller to me. R.P.)
The RestaurantNow a little bit from technical side. The brewery is not carrying bottled beer. Whole production is designated mainly for own brewery pub (see picture left) , which is located not even 25 metres from the brewery . Also a couple of pub houses in near vicinity are supplied.
I can really recommend a personal visit to Oslavany castle and local brewery. In summer, the experience should usually be magnificant. A lot of history around, nice castle ….. they match well together : history, castle , perfect beer ………. what else could you want???
Take a look at the official brewery website on www.zamek-oslavany.com (unfortunately in Czech only) . So don´ t forget , take exit number 162 if you are on highway D1 from Prague to the Moravian metropolis of Brno. The city can wait ……. But Franti¹ek might lose his head (foam) !!
The AuthorMy name is Libor Vojacek (pictured right), and you can find me under my nickname written above. I am, just like you, a simple beer lover. I will bring you, in future months, some more articles from my country.
I am saying Godd Bye for now. But CzechBeerMan (see picture right) will be back. And he will be again right in the epicentre ! Watch my next story from Beroun´s Bear brewery (www.berounskymedved.cz).
Note: if any beer Dutch collector is interested in getting coasters or beer labels from the Oslavany Chateau brewery, just contact me. I will be happy to make your wish come true.
664 12 Oslavany.
Tel: 6027 39122
Fax: 5464 25460
Oslavany is about 30 km from Brno. To find bus connections between the two, you can use this journey planner (in English). The journey takes just under an hour. There's a service about every 30 minutes.
© Libor Vojacek & Ron Pattinson