Prazdroj calls for a tightening of the Czech beer definition

31.3.2010 Company

“We are alarmed by the current trend. The Czech beer industry is seeing an increasing number of breweries using nonstandard raw materials, such as unauthorized hop substances and food additives, which have no place in traditional Czech beer. These practices enable brewmasters to substitute high quality raw materials and to “improve” beer characteristics,for example the foam stability. This is a threat to Czech beer’s good reputation around the world, to the reputation of the protected geographical indication “Ceske pivo” as well as to the trust shown by local consumers”, says Vaclav Berka, Plzensky Prazdroj´s Senior Trade Brewmaster.

Plzeňský Prazdroj brews its brands Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Velkopopovický Kozel and Radegast brands are brewed using only three basic ingredients – water, barley malt and hops, with the addition of brewer’s yeast. Adding any other substances to beer is in breach of the traditional Pilsner-type Czech beer and brewing process first used to brew beer in 1842 in Pilsen.

“The Ceske pivo indication should be a clear indicator to consumers that the beer has been brewed according to traditional recipes with the best intentions led by professional integrity. In the letter to the Czech Beer and Malt Association and to the “Ceske pivo” (Czech beer) Association we expressed our request that the  “Ceské pivo” definition must be tightened as the current definition does not sufficiently address the issue of unauthorized substances,” says Jan Hlavacek, Head Brewmaster of Gambrinus. 

A group of five brewmasters from the Plzensky Prazdroj company (namely Vaclav Berka, Jaroslav Hacko, Jan Hlavacek, Ivo Kanak and Pavel Semik) have, at the same time, announced a public appeal, called Zijeme ceskym pivem ” (We live Czech beer). This appeal is addressed to those who care about the future of traditional Czech beer; it invites them to support the demand from PPAS to tighten the “Ceske pivo” definition by joining the initiative on

Notes for editors:

  • With total sales of 10.5 million hectolitres in the calendar year 2009 (including licensed production abroad) and exports to more than 50 countries around the world, Plzeňský Prazdroj is a major beer producer in the region and the largest exporter of Czech beer.
  • Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s. is a member of the group SABMiller plc. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
  • SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers, with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents.

Jiří Mareček
Manager external communication
+420 724 617 219