About the beginning of beer brewing in Tartu
Tartu (Dorpat, Дерпт, 1893–1917 Jurjev) became the centre of an agricultural region and trade routes already during the second half of the first millennium. People have probably brewed and drunk beer here as long as they have baked bread.
In the 13th century, a town sprang up next to the Episcopal stronghold where in the breweries that were situated near the houses of German tradesmen and artisans their favourite drink was fermented. Everything related to beer as the source of income was strictly regulated in towns. Used malt had to be grinded in the malt mill belonging to the town (Meltsiveski, Malzmühle). According to the privileges given to the town by bishops and later by kings, the right to brew beer for sale belonged for a long time to the Great Guild tradesmen. Small Guild artisans could brew beer for their own needs. The rules for brewing for sale were established by the Tartu Great Guild brewing regulations (Brauerschragen) that are mentioned for the first time in 1462.
Industrial manufacturing of beer grew out of the skill to brew homemade beer – in 1783, the Tartu Brewing Company was established by the imperial order where the widows and orphans of the citizens of both guilds and the guild brothers who had become bankrupt without their fault could belong to who earned maintenance for town taverns by brewing beer and profit for the town in the form of taxes.
Such system lasted until the end of regency when it became clear that the simple brewery of brewing company and the quality of its production had ceased to meet the citizens’ increasing demand long ago. Better-quality beer was transported from neighbouring manors and such a situation was painful for the city treasury. As a solution it was found that in the future the company would lease its brewing right to tradesmen entrepreneurs.