Plzeňský Prazdroj’s new line
Czech brewer invests to meet changing tastes
Plzeňský Prazdroj, Czech brewer of the world’s first pilsner, has commissioned a production line in Pilsen that is dedicated to new products such as beers mixed with fruit juices, malt-based drinks and wheat beers.
The line comes with a price tag of CZK 143 million (US $7.1 million) and has an annual capacity of 600,000 hectolitres. The key suppliers include Krones, Centec, Ecolab, the Czech division of GEA and Hungarian company Kontent.
According to Plzeňský Prazdroj marketing director Grant McKenzie, pilsner will remain the core of the Czech beer market but there is a need to satisfy increasing consumer experimentation.
“The market will also see a growth in popularity of less traditional drinks, such as our existing products Gambrinus Juicy Grapefruit, malt-based Frisco, Birell non-alcoholic beer mixed with fruit juice, and Fénix wheat beer,” commented McKenzie.
“We want to offer our consumers the drinks already out there in sufficient volumes and in a wide range of packs but we also want to gain more space for the development of new products and variants.”
The new line also aids parent company SABMiller’s environmental efforts. Previously products such as Frisco, Fénix, and the beer-fruit mixes had been produced in sister breweries in other countries. (All the drinks have been developed by brewmasters in the Czech Republic.) Plzeňský Prazdroj estimates that trucks carrying its products will be able to reduce their travel by 590,000 kilometres annually, reducing CO2 emissions by 620 tons.