Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

Tag: breweriana

More from Prague’s Salesian Beer Museum


Here are a few more photos from Prague’s Salesian Beer Museum, an “accidental” collection of more than 2,000 bottles, 4,000 beermats and the weird, beer-themed collectibles known as breweriana, many of which come from the Czech lands.

Looking through the shelves, I was struck by how much evidence these artifacts provide for the way people here once lived, as well as a contrast to the way we live now. One of the most interesting items in the collection is the advertising placard (above) for the Měšťanský pivovar na Královských Vinohradech, the brewery in the Vinohrady neighborhood which ran from 1893 to 1943, along with scores of other beer makers once working in the Czech capital. In a sign of changing priorities, the Vinohrady brewery has recently been converted into luxury apartments.

So we don’t need historic breweries — we need plush digs. But our old beer culture had at least one advantage: much better graphic design, as witnessed by the museum’s collection of unusual beermats.

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The Salesian Beer Museum


Today’s trash is tomorrow’s treasure, and nowhere is this truism more applicable than in the field of culinary anthropology: if you don’t take your bottles out quickly, they’ll soon form a big, stinking mess. But if you wait long enough, that pile of recycling could become a priceless collection of art, as well as a storehouse of historical information about the way we live and what we consume. This, effectively, is what happened at the Salesian Beer Museum in Prague.

Properly known as the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Salesians are a Roman Catholic religious order known for their work with young people, running community centers and outreach programs around the world. In Prague, they have a youth center at Kobyliské náměstí, a beautiful functionalist complex housing a theater, soccer fields, basketball courts, a climbing wall and rehearsal spaces for young musicians. In the middle of all this is the Salesian Beer Museum, an almost accidental collection of historic bottles, labels, openers, cans and beermats from the Czech Republic and around the world.

Due to a growing interest in breweriana, I made an appointment to visit the collection last week. I was shown around by Brother Antonín Nevola, the center’s director and the founder of the museum.

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