Although the history of the Velké Popovice brewery is much longer, it started in 1874. This year Velkopopovický Kozel celebrates an important anniversary: 90 years since its official brand registration. The name and the depiction of its typical mascot were officially registered after World War I, on March 1, 1922. The owner of the brewery was encouraged to do so by the rising importance of advertising in a highly competitive beer market. According to legend, the display sign that became the first depiction of the brand was made by an unknown French artist who came across the brewery in Velké Popovice on one of his inspiration–seeking journeys.
The name Kozel is a reference to a common name of strong, dark beers. This particular naming of such beer brands stems from old German traditional beer-making that uses bottom fermentation. That beer used to be brewed very potently to preserve its quality for the duration of long journeys on horse–drawn carriages. The little town of Einbeck in Lower Saxony was especially famous for the use of this technique. As time passed, the name of the town was gradually distorted, so it became known as „ein Bock“ (a billy goat) in many countries.
Kozel (a billy goat) gained significant attention. Mentions of it and references to Velkopopovický Kozel can be found in the humorous novel The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek, for example. A display sign with a depiction of Velkopopovický Kozel held by Czech actress Adina Mandlová played a significant role in the movie Hard Life of an Adventurer, directed by Martin Frič in 1941. In fact, this was the first real product brand placement. At the time, the Ringhoffer family had close ties with Barandov Studios. After World War II, the brewery preserved its tradition, quality, and heritage. During the era of socialism, Kozel was considered a connoisseur’s beer brand. In the nineties, the brand experienced significant success thanks to a cult TV spot, „Look, waiter,“ which became one of the most recognised Czech TV spots of all times.
The depiction of Kozel the billy goat changes with the times. In its 90–year long history, it has been changed several times. Today, Kozel is one of the most popular beer brands at home as well as abroad, and it is the best–selling Czech beer brand in the world. Its fame is spreading further still. It is being exported to 38 countries.
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Notes for editors:
- In the Velké Popovice brewery, the first batch of beer was brewed on December 15, 1874, and just one year later 18,000 hectolitres of beer were brewed and sold. Only a few years later, the brewery became the third biggest brewery in the country. They were famous especially for their dark, heavy beer.
- Velkopopovický Kozel brand is irreplaceable on today’s beer market. It is a brand with the most dynamic rise on Czech as well as foreign markets. Velkopopovický Kozel Dark is the leader among dark–beer brands on the Czech beer market, and the best–selling Czech beer abroad.
- Velké Popovice brewery is a part of Plzeňský Prazdroj Company since 1999.
- With total sales of 9.9 million hectolitres during the calendar year of 2010 (including licensed production abroad) and with export to more than 50 countries worldwide, Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is the prominent beer producer in the region and the biggest exporter of Czech beer.
- Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is a member of SABMiller plc. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship brand of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
- SABMiller is one of the world’s biggest brewing companies, with beer brewing activities or distribution in more than 60 countries across six continents. SABMiller’s brand group include such important brands as Pilsner Urquell, Miller Genuine Draft, Grolsch, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and many other successful regional brands.
- You can find more info about the most recent activities and projects supported by Velkopopovický Kozel at www.kozel.cz.