Czech beer packaging overhauled to preserve flavor
Posted by Jenni Spinner, Senior Editor -- Packaging Digest, 7/17/2012 10:01:00 AM
Beer drinkers lucky enough to enjoy Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic often marvel at the beer's unique, complex taste. Now, Pilsner Urquell enjoyed in the United States will be packaged and shipped to have a taste as fresh and distinct as the beer in the Czech Republic.
Extensive measures, including refrigerated, express shipping and fully enclosed packaging, ensure this is the freshest Pilsner Urquell ever available in the U.S.
"The primary enemies to beer are light, time and heat," said Vaclav Berka, the Pilsner Urquell brewmaster. "Due to these factors, the Pilsner Urquell that people have drunk in the U.S. over the past years simply has not been the equivalent of the fresh Pilsner Urquell available in the Czech Republic. We are changing that."
The beer is now packaged in fully-enclosed secondary cartons that ship from the brewery within 30 days aboard refrigerated containers. This helps stop the aging process of the beer. Distributors also will maintain the beer's refrigeration once they receive it.
"Throughout our 170-year history, Pilsner Urquell has been one of the most respected and influential beers in the world," said Pilsner Urquell Brand Manager Chad Wodskow. "Our goal is to add to this legacy by establishing Pilsner Urquell as the No. 1 import beer when it comes to quality. With these major steps, we believe we're on track to do just that."
The first barrels and packages from the Plzen brewery arrived in the U.S. earlier this month. All of the new Pilsner Urquell packaging will explicitly state "Express Shipped Cold" and will be available in the following packages, in addition to draft:
• 4-pack cans
• 6-pack bottles
• 12-pack bottles
The new quality measures for Pilsner Urquell will be vitally important to the beer drinker's experience, addressing each of the "enemies" of beer.
• Time: Express shipping dramatically reducing transit time.
• Temperature: Temperature-controlled, refrigerated shipping from the brewery, slowing the beer's aging process.
• Light: New fully enclosed secondary packaging, keeping light from striking the bottles.
"I'm so thrilled to know that by diminishing these hurdles, the taste of Pilsner Urquell in the United States will be virtually indistinguishable from the taste of Pilsner Urquell available in the Czech Republic," Berka said.
Pilsner Urquell's commitment to quality also will extend to bars and restaurants that carry the brand. "Embassy Accounts" will maintain specific quality standards in terms of refrigeration, velocity, draft line cleanliness and use of clean glassware.
Throughout Pilsner Urquell's history, the brewery has gone to great lengths to ensure quality and consistency in the beer, which is famous for being the world's original golden pilsner. In fact, an analytical test performed this year by Labor Veritas AG in Zurich, Switzerland found that the current Pilsner Urquell matches parameters set in place in 1897 almost identically.
Source: Pilsner Urquell via PR Newswire
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