Beer is one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world, brewed for more than 12,000 years. Made from water, hops, malt and yeast, the beverage has provided humankind with pleasure and refreshment, delicious flavours and inspiration, and quenched people’s thirst. Songs, poems, folk wisdom and legends have been written about beer. Historical documents show that beer has also been used to pay people’s wages.
The history of beer develops in a time tunnel, which takes the visitor on an exciting journey through the development of humankind. Comparing pivotal events of the past with the history of beer, you can see and experience how beer has changed over time – listen to the beer hymn of the ancient Sumerians, guess the weird ingredients of ancient beer, consider the benefits of beer and attend a packaging masterclass.
History of brewing industry and production equipment
In the Beer World, you can take a close look at each ingredient of beer and observe the process of beer brewing from start to end. The exhibits provide an in-depth look at the development of brewing, from home brewing to the modern brewing industry. In the Beer World, you can also see rare production equipment that has been in the brewery since its inception. The heart of the Beer World is the historic Tartu Malt Tower. It is one of the most unique production buildings in Europe still standing today and a monument to the industrial production of beer.
One of the most important ingredients in beer – malt – gets special attention in the historic industrial building. Malt drums dating back to 1898 tell the story of the science of malting: barley is sorted, washed, soaked, germinated, dried and cleaned, and only then does it become an ingredient in beer. Malt of different types and degrees of roasting have been exhibited for viewing and tasting in the exposition of malt growing.
History of A. Le Coq
In the Beer World, the more than 200-year history of A. Le Coq, Estonia’s oldest beverage producer, unfolds layer by layer. The history of the company established by Albert Le Coq, a merchant with Belgian roots, in 1807 entails a journey from Belgium to London and London to Tartu. The incredible stories of a family’s ambitions and aspirations to further the beer culture and market the English-style stout throughout the Russian Empire over two centuries. It’s a story of perseverance, good salesmanship and hard work that ended in the coveted title – in 1912, A. Le Coq was crowned the official supplier to the imperial Russian court and the Imperial Extra Double Stout, brewed in Tartu, was sold throughout the Russian Empire. The compelling story gives visitors an insight into the turbulent years, the ups and downs of A. Le Coq and the company’s development into the most modern drinks industry today.
The oldest beer in the world
The room with one of the oldest preserved beers in the world offers a lot of mystery. The centrepiece in the room is a bottle of A. Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout, produced more than 150 years ago, which has survived a shipwreck and survived to the present day. The drink, sent in 1869 from London to the Russian Empire, passed an incredible journey before it arrived at the Beer World. This story is worth discovering!
Experience and tasting
At the pub of the Beer World, you can say “cheers” in 16 languages and explore the diverse world of beer types. Light beer, dark beer, strong beer, red beer, unfiltered beer, kriek, stout, bitter, bock – every beer has its place on the beer tree.
The visitor’s journey naturally ends with a refreshing beer, which can be enjoyed at the end of the visit in the bar of the Gift Shop. The selection includes A. Le Coq Premium and A. Le Coq Premium 0.0. Younger visitors of the museum can enjoy the legendary Traditional Lemonade.