A world map that has been making the rounds on social media recently features the oldest companies still in operation for most countries across the globe. The nature of the Czech Republic’s longest-surviving company will surprise few familiar with the Czech lands.
Naturally, it’s a brewery.
Pivovar Broumov was founded in 1348, and has been brewing in the Czech town of Olivětín, near the Polish border, for nearly 700 years.
Originally, the brewery was located inside a Benedictine Monastery that burned down multiple times over the course of its history. In 1712, the church moved the brewery to a separate site where it still stands to this day, after many renovations and modifications.
The brewery is best known for their Olivětínský Opat beer; it might be an unfamiliar view for Praguers do to the competitive Czech beer market, but it’s a hit in nearby towns in Poland.
If you can’t make it out to Olivětín, you can also sample Broumov’s Olivětínský Opat on tap at Restaurant u Opata in Pardubice, which is a bit closer to Prague.
The Czech Republic isn’t the only European country on the map to feature a brewery as its oldest company.
Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Belarus Latvia, and Serbia all claim a brewery as their oldest company still in operation, though you won’t see many countries outside of Europe that list a brewery as their longest-surviving business.
In the UK and Scotland, banking institutions The Royal Mint and The Bank of Scotland are the country’s oldest companies; the same is true of Czech neighbor Slovakia, where the Kremnica Mint is the longest-surviving company.
The oldest business in the world still in operation is Japan’s Kongō Gumi, a construction company that dates back all the way to the year 578.
Oldest company in the US? Virginia’s Shirley Plantation, which was founded in 1614 – and used slave labor for much of its history.