Distilling for 500 years

500 YEARS STORY of distillery with czech origins

Distilling for 500 years

The history of Europe’s oldest distillery started on July 4, 1518, when Vilém from Pernštejn and Helfštýn granted the brewing right to Jež from Seloutek, who owned the house Palírna U Zeleného stromu in Prostějov. From the beginning Palírna U Zeleného stromu Distillery was devoted to the production of rye distillate.

Thus began the era of a distillery with purely Czech origin, which remains in the hands of a Czech owner even after 500 years.

Vilém of Pernštejn and Helfštýn

The Important Men who built the brand

In addition to the mentioned people who were there from the beginning of the distillery itself, the later fame of the Old Hunter’s Rye was mainly due to the successful businessman Luis Eckelmann and also to the Prostějov pioneer in distilling rye distillates, Jakub Vojáček.

The common legacy of these main men of the brand is connected in the story of the  Old Hunter’s Rye.

The period of advertisement of the Eckelmann Brothers

Each property manager contributed his personal work to improving the quality of the unique distillate. The progressive Jakub Vojáček produced rye schnapps using a new technique in an improved distillation apparatus.

Jakub Vojáček

A chance meeting between Jakub Vojáček and the well-traveled entrepreneur and passionate hunter Luis Eckelmann brought about the spread of fame of the original Old Hunter’s Rye recipe throughout the Czech Kingdom. Eckelmann, based on his experience in Scotland, was the first to let rye distillate mature in wooden barrels in the newly built distillery in Krásné Březno.

In 2011, production moved with all its technology and all its barrels to Prostějov to Palírna U Zeleného stromu Distillery.

Period engraving of Krásné Březno Distillery

Proud stewards of our ancestors' legacy

The Old Hunter’s Rye has been part of many historical milestones and turning points in our country. We have always been and still are an integral part of the Czech nation. For us, five- hundred years of continuous history is a symbol of quality and at the same time a commitment to responsible and conscientious work.

It was our ancestors who created the magnificent history of the Prostějov distillery, and we are extremely proud not only of this legacy, which is unique in the world, but also of the skill of every individual who helps Palírna U Zeleného stromu Distillery maintain the reputation and quality of the Old Hunter’s Rye and pass it on to future generations of satisfied customers.

Period photo of the distillery yard (logistics of goods at the time)

Major historical milestones


The owner of the house „Palírna U Zeleného stromu“, hunter Jež from Seloutek, obtained the right to brew on July 4, 1518.

An entrepreneur joined Palírna U Zeleného stromu Distillery, Pavel Zoubek, under whose management the best quality schnapps in the entire wide region was produced here.



The year 1610 is the time when Prostějov was rightly referred to as the city with the best brandy. Palírna U Zeleného stromu house had been distilling since its very beginning (1518), however, it was only Karl 1st of Liechtenstein who expanded the monopoly on distilling or, as it was called at the time, “burning”.

A devastating fire engulfed Prostějov. Palírna U Zeleného stromu house miraculously remained undamaged.



A period of boom and prosperity.
Prostějov becomes the number one distillery in Moravia.

Jakub Vojáček, who bought Palírna U Zeleného stromu house, is an important property manager who enters the history of the distillery. With his entrepreneurial acumen, he took care of the development and modernization of the distillation technology. Under his leadership, the rye distillate was produced using new technology in an improved distillation apparatus. As a good businessman, Vojáček expanded his paper empire and the distillery expanded outside of the Czech Republic.



Entrepreneurs Ludwig Bramsch and Louiss Eckelmann started a completely new technology for the production of baker’s yeast in Krásné Březno. The company under the name Bramsch and Eckelmann – Production of alcohol, pressed yeast and liqueurs,  was registered in Krásné Březno on March 15, 1848, and thus became the first company in Bohemia to produce baker’s yeast. At the same time, the Old Rye, which has a rich tradition dating back to the beginning of the 16th century began to be produced here in large amounts.

The drink was originally called Alter Korn/Old Rye.
In the 1930s, it was renamed to the
Old Hunter’s Rye.



The war years presented production restrictions.
The distillery faces Gestapo accusations of concealing liquor stocks. However, thanks to the teamwork and courage of the employees, danger is averted.

The business is nationalized.
The production still maintains its high quality.



Post-revolutionary privatization means the return of production to private hands.

The merger of Starorežná Prostějov and Granette a.s., the original producer of the  Old Hunter’s Rye brand.



The company returns to its original name
Palírna U Zeleného stromu Distillery from 1518 and so continues
on the tradition of distilling in Prostějov, which now
continues for more than 500 years.

On the occasion of the celebration of 500 years since the founding of the oldest distillery in Europe, the annual limited edition of the Old Hunter’s Rye Single barrel was hand-drafted for the first time. This established the tradition of hand-drafting the collector’s edition with a limited number of bottles during each year‘s anniversary, which expresses the number of years since the founding of
Palírna U Zeleného stromu Distillery.



The Old Hunter’s Rye consistantly confirms its quality at international tasting competitions.

Learn more about the story of our distillery