Staropramen celebrates 150 years

The brewery plans an anniversary beer, new labels and a book

This year Prague’s Staropramen Brewery marks 150 years since the brewery’s cornerstone was laid in Smíchov.

Celebrations will begin in April with a new advertising campaign and will also include a special-edition beer for pubs and restaurants, packaging and labels with a new anniversary logo, and the publication of a book, among other things. Staropramen is the second-largest brewer in the Czech Republic.

The advertising campaign will feature the brewery, with its iconic chimney, and 40 members of the staff.

The special edition beer for pubs and restaurants will be delivered in barrels starting in May. Chief brewer Zdeněk Lux said they exact type of beer and what makes it different will be revealed closer to the delivery date.

The new book will be presented on June 8 at a ceremonial celebration at the brewery. “It will not be a dull historic treatise. The book will attract readers into the Staropramen Brewery story,” Staropramen brand manager Petra Chovancová said. The June 8 celebration will also include tours and a cultural program.

The brewery began at the start of this year to supply unpasteurized barrel beer to pubs and restaurants under three of its brands. A new Kč 15 million microfiltration device made this possible.

In mid-March, the brewery entered into a partnership with the Czech national football team that will extend to the 2020 European Championships and 2022 World Cup.

There will also be celebrations in foreign markets where Staropramen expects exceed sales of 400 million half-liters. “Staropramen is the second best-selling Czech beer brand in the world, and we are number one in many European markets. In recent years, foreign sales have been growing significantly, and last year, they grew by about 5 percent,” Pivovary Staropramen CEO Petr Kovařík said.

Staropramen has two other anniversaries this year. Twenty years ago, the first Potrefená Husa restaurant opened in Prague's Vinohrady district. The restaurants combine Staropramen beer with Czech cuisine.

It is also the 15th anniversary of the Staropramen tank system in the O2 Arena in Prague.

A 2-kilometer distribution system allows fresh beer to be sent to all the arena’s taps.

During a hockey match, the average pour is about 12,000 half-liters of beer, and up to 20,000 half-liters during a concert.

The brewery is investing Kč 80 million this year into new technology and new barrels, including environmental efforts.

The brewery is also investing Kč 100 million into new crates for bottles, as they see reusable bottles as the best option for the environment, rather and single-use packaging. The project began last year, and some 950,000 crates are being replaced.

A further Kč 57 million will go to a new bottle washing system and boiler, which are also meant to be environmentally friendly.

Since its foundation, the Smíchov brewery has brewed 130 million hectoliters of beer, adding up to 26 billion pints.

Over 1.95 million hectoliters of Staropramen were sold abroad last year, or over 390 million pints. This figure includes both export and licensed production abroad. The biggest markets are Slovakia, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, Croatia, Ukraine and Russia.

The brewery was established in 1869. The name Staropramen, meaning old spring or old source, was registered in 1911.

By 1932 it was the largest brewery in Czechoslovakia and third-largest in Europe. Exports began in 1953. An era of modernization started in 1996. Staropramen is currently owned by Molson Coors.

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