Brewing-law Burghers – Part 1: History and Legal Development
Keywords:beer, history, law, Czech Lands, brewing-law burghers
The study summarizes the history of the brewing-law burghers in the territory of the Czech lands since the founding of the towns. The author deals primarily with the attendant legal problems; for example, he refers to the brewing law or the mile law which protected the market from competition. The fi rst nobility-owned breweries also appeared at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. The associations of brewing-law burghers arose also in some places on the estates of the nobility. Josef II., who abolished the brewing in turns and the mile law, intervened in the legal conditions in the late 18th century. A community was then formed from the previously independently brewing and managing individuals; this was run by an elected burgher committee headed by a chairman, which was obliged to keep proper accounts. The study then explores the fi rst disputes associated with the brewing-law burghers at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Experts who viewed their position arrived to different conclusions; the view that eventually prevailed saw them as being actually corporations.