Jan Becher Museum
The Jan Becher Museum is dedicated to Karlovy Vary’s famous herbal liqueur, Becherovka. This popular alcoholic beverage is only manufactured in Karlovy Vary because the town’s local spring water is an essential ingredient. Go on a guided tour of the museum, which is housed in the liqueur maker’s factory. Learn how the drink is manufactured and stored and savor a few samples.
Most guided tours of the museum are conducted in Czech and Russian, but there is at least one English tour each day. As you step inside the museum, you will immediately smell the distinctive aroma of the bittersweet liqueur.
The drink’s origins can be traced back to 1805 when apothecary Joseph Becher began collaborating with an English colleague who shared his interest in blending herbs. At the first exhibition area, see portraits depicting six generations of the Becher family and begin to explore the history of this 200-year-old drink. Check out historical equipment once used to weigh and blend its constituent herbs.
The tour continues down into the factory’s underground tunnels. See rows of oak barrels, in which the drink is aged for several months before bottling.
Sip on samples of Becherovka and savor its distinct, cinnamon-like flavor. It is said that the drink’s recipe is a closely guarded secret and is only known by two people to this day. A bottle of Becherovka is a popular local souvenir and you can pick one up by visiting the store attached to the museum. To enjoy it Czech style, mix with tonic and add a squeeze of lemon.
An informative video at the end of the tour provides an excellent summary of everything you will have learned.
The Jan Becher Museum is located in the center of Karlovy Vary, where it is easily reached by public transportation. The museum is open daily, but entry is by paid guided tour only. There are discounts for students, seniors and family tickets. Children under 18 years of age are welcome to tour the museum, although they will not be permitted to drink the liqueur.