New head of Budvar named

Petr Dvořák will replace Jiří Boček, who stepped down after 26 years

The new director of state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar will be Petr Dvořák, the current global brand director of rival brewery Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj). The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL).

Dvořák as of May 1 will replace the long-time director Jiří Boček, who led Budvar since 1991 but stepped down at the start of the year due to health issues. Boček started at Budvar in 1984. Budvar's economic director Petr Žáček has been leading the firm since Boček stepped down.

Jurečka praised Dvořák. “He is a man who has experience from both the Czech Republic and abroad with the production and sale of beer, as well as its marketing. I think he can complement the quality management team that Budvar now has,” Jurečka said.

Dvořák was selected by a five member panel that included Boček, Czech National Bank Deputy Governor Pavel Kysilka, University of Chemistry and Technology (VŠCHT Praha) Rector Karel Melzoch, EGAP head Jan Procházka and Deputy Agriculture Minister Zdeněk Adamec.

Dvořák's previous accomplishments include coming up the idea for the Potrefená husa restaurant chain, which is run by brewer Staropramen. He was manager of the Staropramen brand and marketing manager for the brewery.

He was also marketing director for Central Europe at brewing conglomerate InBev and was brand and marketing communication director at Telefonica O2 before becoming global brand director for Pilsner Urquell, one of SABMiller's four global brands. He held the latter position for more than seven years.

Budvar is the fourth largest brewer in the Czech Republic and exports to 76 countries. It was founded on April 15, 1895, and has used the name národní podnik Budějovický Budvar since 1967. It sold 1.61 million hectoliters of beer last year, the most in the history of the company. In the past 11 years, brewery output increased by 40 percent, and year-on-year it grew by 0.8 percent. Further expansion of output will not be possible without an investment in new infrastructure, which should be completed by 2020.

Budvar is is the last Czech brewery owned by the state. One reason the state has held onto it is to protect the name Budweiser, which have been caught up in international disputes with Anheuser-Busch InBev, which also uses those names. Lawsuits have been ongoing since 1907 and have involved over 100 court cases worldwide.

Budvar is made in České Budějovice, South Bohemia. The historical German name of the city is Budweis, and the name Budweiser means something from Budweis. Beer has been made in České Budějovice since the 13th century.

Budvar has been largely successful in its claims to the name in the European Union. In some other markets, including the United States, Budvar beer is sold as Czechvar.

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