Czech state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar sold more beer in 2018 than
in its entire 123-year history, following a 7.3 percent rise in sales to
2.57 billion crowns.
Budvar, which has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. giant Anheuser-Busch over use of the “Budweiser” brand, said output rose 3.6 percent last year to 1.602 million hectoliters. The growth followed a 4-percent decline in 2017, caused by shifting production to a premium brand.
In 2019, the brewery plans to build a third bottling plant. It said its focus on premium lagers is paying off.
The seventh annual Dry February, aimed at highlighting the dangers of
excessive drinking, will begin in the Czech Republic on Friday. The event
is organised by the group League of Open Men but is also encouraging women
to not drink a drop of alcohol during February.
The group has a dedicated website offering tips on exercises and alternative, non-alcoholic drinks, as well as advice from psychologists. Czechs rank among the top five nations in the world in terms of annual consumption of pure alcohol per head.
According to legend, Bohemian hops were so prized King Wenceslas ordered the death penalty for anyone caught exporting cuttings from which plants could be grown. But with beer consumption and pub visits down at home, big Czech brewers rely on exports to make up the difference, while trying to lure locals back with craft-style and limited-run beers.
The best known Czech beer is undoubtedly Pilsner Urquell. Budweiser (sold as Czechvar in the United States and some other countries) is probably the second most prominent. The fame of these two brands outshines many other lagers and other types of beer brewed all over Czechia. And that is a shame, as there is so much more to discover for any beer-loving visitor to this country.
Tuesday saw representatives of the National Wine Centre and a special evaluation committee announce the best Czech wine of 2019. The winner is the Rulandské bílé, a special Czech form of Pinot Blanc from Castle winery Bzenec, specifically the late harvest collection 1508 from 2017. The winning vintage was selected out of a pool of 400 finalists.
The Carlsbad based Jan Becher company, which produces the iconic Czech liquor known as ‘Becherovka’, has announced record export numbers for the fiscal year between July 2017 – July 2018, with eight percent growth. In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it intends to focus more on exports to western countries in the future.
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