Expand your imagination
Founded on the grounds of a resurrected 16th-century brewery, Švabín embodies a blend of history and fantasy. Revived not just to brew beer but to offer a taste experience that fuels imagination, creativity and unique lifestyle. We celebrate ways of self-expression and stimulate imagination.
14th Century: First Mention of Brewing in Zbiroh
In 1379, the first mention of brewing in Zbiroh can be found in the inventory book of the Rosenberg goods from 1379. However, the exact location of the brewery at that time remains unknown.
16th Century: First Mention of the Švabín Brewery
In 1567, the Švabín Brewery was first officially mentioned in the Pilsen Brewery Museum documents. This was during the period when the Zbiroh estate was under the ownership of the Lobkowicz family.
17th Century: The Era of Prosperity
1600-1650: Following the conclusion of the Thirty Years’ War, the Švabín brewery became the exclusive brewer in Zbiroh, as local inhabitants lost their brewing rights. Unfortunately, the town and castle suffered significant damage during the war, including a devastating fire in 1634.
1650-1700: The brewery expanded by adding a distillery, utilizing waste for additional production.
1697: The Švabín brewery became a significant source of revenue for the Zbiroh estate, amassing a total of 13,759 gold pieces and outperforming the Zbiroh railroads.
1698: Italian architect Antonio de Mago Crag led a significant reconstruction of the Švabín brewery, introducing Italian design elements that continue to be its characteristic feature until today.
18th Century: The Expansion
In 1710, the brewery achieved a milestone by producing 1638 barrels (3997 hl) of beer. This achievement was followed by the production of 1,533 barrels (3,740 hl) a year later and 1,449 barrels (3,556 hl) in the subsequent year.
19th Century: Ownership Transitions
1868-1875: The estate, and consequently the brewery, was owned by Henry Strousberg “Král železnic”.
Henry bought the estate in the 19th century and then initiated another very important reconstruction. Traces of his innovations can also be found in the nearby Zbiroh castle. During his tenure, the brewery’s yield reached its historical peak of 17,000 hectolitres.
1879: Brewery ownership was transferred to the Colloredo-Mansfelds.
By the end of the 19th century, the brewery was annually producing 6,600 hl of beer, and it also owned 118 hectares of land.
20th Century: The Modernization and Struggles
The early 20th century started with the construction of a new wood shed, hotel, and remodeling of the existing brewhouse on the brewery grounds.
Before World War I, the brewery was producing high-quality Czech beer, with an annual output reaching nearly 12,000 hl.
In the early 20th century, during the war, the brewery faced challenges due to the lack of raw materials, resulting in minimal production.
In 1919, the Švabín brewery was leased to “Brewery Industry” Ltd., which also managed the Colloredo-Mansfeld breweries in Dobříš, Točník, and Švabín. The company was later registered in Prague under the name of “Průmyslový pivovar v Dobříši” (“Industrial Brewery in Dobříš”) with Václav Palivec as its chief.
By 1923, beer production had rebounded, reaching 10,065 hl per year.
In 1931, the brewery was repurchased and reconnected to the large Zbiroh farm. The new management made efforts to increase beer production, which had declined due to the economic crisis. The production for the following years was as follows:
1933: 6,790 hl
1934: 6,881 hl
1935: 7,237 hl
In the 1930s, further modernization efforts included the installation of new Švabín brewing vats and malt elevators. The brewery also owned four pubs, including “U Labutě” in Zbiroh.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the Švabín brewery faced competition from the Pilsen and Smichov breweries.
WWII: During World War II, the Švabín brewery was requisitioned by the German Empire.
1945: After the war, the brewery returned to the ownership of the Colloredo-Mansfeld family.
1948: Nationalization occurred, and the brewery became part of the West Bohemian Breweries based in Pilsen.
1952: Production ceased at the end of 1952, and the original Švabín brewing equipment was transferred to the Gambrinus brewery. Some of the brewery staff transitioned to the Gambrinus brewery as well, while the original brewing equipment was dismantled, and the brewery buildings were primarily used as warehouses.
After 1989, a recreation and health center with a mini-brewery and restaurant were planned to be opened on the residential property, but the plan fell through before the redevelopment itself was completed.
21st century: A new life
In 2018, the Švabín Brewery was acquired by the private equity company. The owner, a history enthusiast, initiated a project inspired by the French “Puy du Fou” theme park, making the craft brewery Švabín to aim at selling its beer not only in Zbiroh and the Czech republic, but also across Europe.
Due to various challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, renovations began in January 2022 and are scheduled to be completed by early 2024.
In May 2023, even before the renovations were finished, Švabín launched its products on the Czech market, partnering with the contract brewery and brewer Jakub Rendl. Shortly after, they also introduced their first line of non-alcoholic products.