The greatest gift ever to bestowed on ...
Trip Start Apr 06, 2001
38Trip End Oct 02, 2001
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With my mother having delusional thoughts that the "tea-houses" were a pseudonym for some hash house in the back blocks of the Czech Republic, how on earth would she comprehend that her eldest son had travelled 189 kilometres, a three and half hour journey by train to be more precise, to the West Bohemian township of Plzen, for no other apparent reason than to visit the finest monument ever to be bestowed on this land, the Pilsner-Urquell Brewery, home of the original Pilsner.....
My diary entry for the 21st September, 2001.
To be brutally honest, what could i tell the folks back home that would have them convinced that i wasn't a roaming alcoholic, who in there right mind would make such a journey, what explanation could i offer, for "i think it sounded like a good idea at the time" would certainly not suffice.
Under bleak skies intermittent rain, i found myself in the holiest of sanctuaries, the breweries waiting room, watching the clock tick by, wanting it so desperately to tell me that it was now half past twelve.
While i anxiously glanced over the surroundings, as other beer devotee's start to stroll in for the daily tour, i catch a glimpse of the Breweries pamphlet titled, "What would you like to know". What secrets would it divulge, mysterious stories passed down through the generations of brewers, unknown to me at the time. Well it contained nothing more than some marketing mumbo-jumbo until i reached point 6.
I quote, "Yes, medical experts have confirmed that drinking Pilsner Urquell beer reduces stress, supports blood circulation and lowers the risk of developing heart disease". Would this be the feeble excuse that i was longing for, or would others read between the lines as i had also done, "After knocking back a few of these suckers, you will know doubt think you are a good lookin bloke, any babe would leap at the chance to rip your clothes off, leave your Viagra at home big boy, the equipment will not miss a beat tonight!"
But it continues..."Pilsner Urquell beer also supports the treatment of digestive problems. It has a beneficial effect on kidney functions and it consolidates bone development". By this time i had burst into bouts of hysteric's, why on earth don't they write what we all know it really means.....if you haven't had a enema lately, you will have done so by the morning. By the way, i hope you didn't expect to get lucky tonight, cause frequent stops to the loo is a real conversation stopper. Finally when you leave the pub in the wee hours of the morning, crash to the ground in a drunken stupor, don't worry about those broken bones, you won't have felt a bloody thing.
Maybe the folks would understand the necessity for such a pilgrimmage, this plonk has alot going for it, nah.....nobody would buy into that, would they now?
So with the euphoria involved with the kick-off to a rugby league grand final (go the eels), the clock struck half past twelve, the beer devotee's jostled for position, as the 60 minute tour of Mecca was about to begin.
Czech, English, Americans, Aussies alike, the devotee's of the amber fluid were whisked away to a place of mystery, not disimiliar to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Short introductory video, copper vats, 160 year old underground cellar, before we finally entered the holy shrine.....a mist hung over us as the temperature hovered around 2 degrees celsius, i could just make out in the distance the hand that unleashed the the beer from the one tonne oak casks, unfiltered Pilsner, made the same way as centuries before, the only place in the world where this ceremonies of all ceremonies is performed, the messiah of the mother's milk, THE ORIGINAL PILSNER!!!!!!!!
It was then that i was to discover the true reason for my journey, for the brewery updated it's brewing techniques in 1992 with the implementation of steel vats, and the way the Original Pilsner trademark had been worded, it was at then made redunant. Unable to lose such a valuable commodity, the brewery must continue to make a small quantity the same way they have done for centuries before, us me the humble beer devotee, who samples such delight, fulfils an unknowing purpose, preservation of the Original Pilsner Urquell trademark.
So as the tour comes to an end and we are shown the front gate, a warm grin passes my face, with the knowledge that i have contributed to one of the noblest acts ever bequeathed on society, the original Pilsner.
Mum would be proud......