Price of beer to go up

Czechs will soon have to fork out more for the nation’s most popular alcoholic beverage. Large breweries have announces a rise in beer prices as of October and others are waiting for the price of hops and malt to stabilize before making a similar announcement.

Photo: archive of Plzeňský PrazdrojPhoto: archive of Plzeňský Prazdroj The Plzen Prazdroj brewery has announced a 3.7 percent increase in the price of some of its bottled brands as of October 1st. The price of barrel and tank beer sold on tap should stay the same, as should the company’s ten-degree beers Gambrinus and Radegast which have been somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of 11 and 12 degree brands. According to the company’s spokeswoman Jitka Nemečková the hike is due to higher production costs.

The Bernard family beer company and the Primator brewery in Náchod have also announced price hikes in the coming weeks and the famous Budvar brewery has indicated a likely price increase as of next year. Some of these breweries are waiting for the price of malt, hops and other ingredients to stabilize before specifying the extent of the hike.

A drought in central Europe this summer has seen the production of the famous Czech hops that give local brews their distinctive flavours drop by around 30 percent. To what extent this may affect the price of hops is not yet clear. The Staropramen brewery which alone has not announced a hike says that the situation on the market could change its decision.

According to a member of the board of Czech mini-breweries Radovan Koudelka an increase in beer prices across the board is inevitable since the current prices are ridiculously low. Meanwhile Martina Ferencová, head of the Czech Association of Breweries and Malt Houses has rejected the idea of a cartel agreement which would push up the price of beer nation-wide.

The Czech Republic has topped the per capita beer drinking ladder for 24 consecutive years. Czechs annually drink on average 143.3 litres of the golden brew per person.