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Pilsner Urquell Launches Major Freshness Initiative Campaign

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Jason, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Press Release:

    CHICAGO (July 12, 2012) – Beer drinkers lucky enough to enjoy Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic often marvel at the beer’s unique, complex taste. Now, Pilsner Urquell enjoyed in the United States will be packaged and shipped to have a taste as fresh and distinct as the beer in the Czech Republic.

    Extensive measures, including refrigerated, express shipping and fully enclosed packaging, ensure this is the freshest Pilsner Urquell ever available in the U.S.

    “The primary enemies to beer are light, time and heat,” said Vaclav Berka, the Pilsner Urquell brewmaster. “Due to these factors, the Pilsner Urquell that people have drunk in the U.S. over the past years simply has not been the equivalent of the fresh Pilsner Urquell available in the Czech Republic. We are changing that.”

    The beer is now packaged in fully enclosed secondary cartons that ship from the brewery within 30 days aboard refrigerated containers. This helps stop the aging process of the beer. Distributors also will maintain the beer’s refrigeration once they receive it.

    “Throughout our 170-year history, Pilsner Urquell has been one of the most respected and influential beers in the world,” said Pilsner Urquell Brand Manager Chad Wodskow. “Our goal is to add to this legacy by establishing Pilsner Urquell as the No. 1 import beer when it comes to quality. With these major steps, we believe we’re on track to do just that.”

    · 4-pack cans
    · 6-pack bottles
    · 12-pack bottles

    The new quality measures for Pilsner Urquell will be vitally important to the beer drinker’s experience, addressing each of the “enemies” of beer.

    · Time: Express shipping dramatically reducing transit time.
    · Temperature: Temperature-controlled, refrigerated shipping from the brewery, slowing the beer’s aging process.
    · Light: New fully enclosed secondary packaging, keeping light from striking the bottles.

    “I’m so thrilled to know that by diminishing these hurdles, the taste of Pilsner Urquell in the United States will be virtually indistinguishable from the taste of Pilsner Urquell available in the Czech Republic,” Berka said.

    Pilsner Urquell’s commitment to quality also will extend to bars and restaurants that carry the brand. “Embassy Accounts” will maintain specific quality standards in terms of refrigeration, velocity, draft line cleanliness and use of clean glassware.

    Throughout Pilsner Urquell’s history, the brewery has gone to great lengths to ensure quality and consistency in the beer, which is famous for being the world’s original golden pilsner. In fact, an analytical test performed this year by Labor Veritas AG in Zürich, Switzerland found that the current Pilsner Urquell matches parameters set in place in 1897 almost identically.


    About Pilsner Urquell
    Created in Plzen, Czech Republic in 1842, Pilsner Urquell revolutionized the brewing industry as the world’s first golden beer, creating a new style of beer that became known as pilsner, named after its city of origin. For more than a century and a half, Pilsner Urquell has been offering discerning beer drinkers a balanced and refreshing beer that has become the standard against which all others are compared. Nearly 90 percent of the world’s beer is a variation of the original golden beer, making pilsner the most popular beer style in the world and further establishing Pilsner Urquell as a true original. For more information visit www.pilsnerurquell.com.

    ###
  2. Firstly, I applaud the efforts that are being taken to ‘improve’ the freshness of Pilsner Urquell exported to the US.

    The press release states: “I’m so thrilled to know that by diminishing these hurdles, the taste of Pilsner Urquell in the United States will be virtually indistinguishable from the taste of Pilsner Urquell available in the Czech Republic,” Berka said. Does this mean that the Pilsner Urquell being exported to the US will not be pasteurized?

    The press release is correct that time, temperature and light can indeed negatively impact the flavor of beer, particularly a beer like a Bohemian Pilsner. Pasteurization of beer also impacts beer flavor in a negative way.

    One of the ‘highlights’ of US craft brewed beers is that they are rarely pasteurized which is a definite plus!

    Cheers!
    paulys55 likes this.
  3. Argenuvian

    Argenuvian Aspirant (25) Jul 12, 2012

    Pilsner Urquell has a specified minimum level of Diacetyl that they desire in their beers.... I dont see how that could EVER become a hit in the US. I recently toured their facility and have to say that I prefer their unfiltered beer out of the barrel that they only give to guests. The reason being is because there is zero diacetyl in the beer.The presursor to diacetyl has not been given the chance to turn into the butter-like taste that we all love to hate.
    TheSarge likes this.
  4. Shipyard keeps growing year after year - and are even expanding production to Memphis. Many have a higher threshold for noticing diacetyl. And if you drink it cold enough right out of the bottle, its hardly noticeable as diacetyl levels seem pretty low and doesn't ruin the beer (and I'm very sensitive to noticing diacetyl).

    I hope more import lagers, hefeweizens, and makers of other delicate beer styles follow suit.
  5. Speak for yourself, not every beer geek hates diacetyl. Personally, I feel it to be an enhancement to certain styles, particularly English, as long as it doesn't become overwhelming.
  6. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (545) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    I applaud this. I'm a fan of Pilsner Urquell.
    TheSarge, Mandark and chuckstout like this.
  7. I welcome this, too. Bodes well for getting more delicate German/Czech styles here in better shape. And the slight diacetyl in Urquell doesn't bother me either.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  8. I took the tour and agree with you that the openly fermented, unpasteurized beer served on the tour is far superior, but I don't understand your logic concerning the development of diacetyl. Production time for commercial Pilsner Urquell is 5 weeks, the pilsner served out of the wooden cask aged for 3 months.

    The reason for the enhanced quality is most likely a combination of lack of pasteurization and subtle flavors contributed from the open fermentation/oak cask.

  9. “lack of pasteurization” is a real plus.

    Do you know from your tour, does Pilsner Urquell pasteurize their packaged beers that they sell in the Czech Republic?

    Cheers!
  10. Does anyone know what the bottling date its on this new packaging? Theres just a best by date
  11. MillerCoors was using a 9 month shelf life period - too long, but better than most other Euro imports that use 1 year. Don't know if the new packages (are they on the shelves already?) and the emphasis on freshness have changed that. Try calling the M-C toll free number- they've always been very helpful.

    1-800-645-5376 during "regular business hours" - tell em "Jess Kidden" sent you. Nah, better not.
    Chaz likes this.
  12. Googled it right after you posted this, but wasn't sure if they changed their policies with this new freshness initiative. PU I saw in the shelf last week with the new packaging was "best by FEB-2013", I assumed one year so I didn't bite........the new packaging was attractive. Definitely picking this up this weekend though, that's bottled in May!
  13. I only bought the cans anyways, so the sealed outer container isn't such a big deal, but the cold shipping sure is
  14. dedrinker

    dedrinker Initiate (0) Kansas May 13, 2006

    blah blah, who cares. SAB-Miller corporate take-over beer.
  15. chuckstout

    chuckstout Aficionado (225) Ohio May 22, 2006

    I have always wondered why P. Urquell does not come in BROWN BOTTLES! I would like to find this in cans though.
  16. Argenuvian

    Argenuvian Aspirant (25) Jul 12, 2012

    I apologize for the mix up... I meant to say that Diacetyl has enough time to be reabsorbed and turn into Acetoin and 2,3-Butandiol (which has a much higher threshold in most people).
  17. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    You cared enough to reply to the post ... ;)
  18. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Ditto this, and I never found the diacetyl in Urquell to be so distracting as to make me pour it out.
  19. PhilLesh

    PhilLesh Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jul 30, 2007

    Pilsner Urquell is doing their part but will the Coors/Miller network do the same ? Typical salesman "Hey Mr. Retailer do you need any
    1. Coors Light ect.....
    2. Miller Lite ect.......
    3, 4 skip some more

    48. Oh by the way we have Pilsner Urquell.

    When fresh great, but no focus from a sales staff does not bode well for the brand. Plus with these added features would most likely jack up the price.
  20. That's interesting. Diacetyl is usually created during primary fermentation. So you drank wort? Or was it so fresh you didn't notice the diacetyl you were actually drinking. Unless this unfiltered version is different from what they bottle.
  21. Vav

    Vav Savant (475) Illinois Jul 27, 2008

    To be fair, that's why Tenth & Blake was created, to have people actively selling Pilsner Urquell, Leine's, Blue Moon, & Peroni.

    As for the brown bottles, i had this same argument with one of the suits from SABMiller a few weeks back, and Vaclav himself in January. The big barrier is the marketing people (see: Bill Hicks.) They're afraid people wont buy it and/or wont think special/imported/premium if it's in a brown bottle. I basically said the new packaging, with green bottles, was lipstick on a pig, and i'd continue to suggest other, brown bottle pilsners to customers until they fixed that.

    Still, it's a step in the right direction. If anything, this once again proves that pressure from the market (e.g you, the drinker) is affecting the large breweries in bigs ways, and to rethink their strategies (e.g spending more to get you fresher beer in packaging that's better for the beer.)
    chuckstout likes this.
  22. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Gawd, I hate that thinking -- get the marketers away from the product until they learn it, not the perception of it.

    Never mind that every craft-brewed U.S. micro comes in a brown bottle?
  23. Do you have any idea what is the ‘best’ strategy to get non-pasteurized Pilsner Urquell exported to the US?

    Cheers!
  24. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (545) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    Unfortunately, this argument from them makes very little sense. Brands like Pilsner Urquell and Peroni sell well not because of the green bottles, but they're generally pretty easy to find for people seeking imported beer. Of course, you do have some issues with marketing image as well, but that's easily resolved. Boston Beer ran tv ads years ago to inform people of the superiority of brown bottles over green and clear bottles.
  25. Argenuvian

    Argenuvian Aspirant (25) Jul 12, 2012

    I was a bit tipsy when I wrote that and have already restated what I meant to say... read the entire conversation before responding.
  26. So instead of getting rid of the "old" stock and pushing Pilsner Urquell through the stores SABMiller decide to go in my opinion the wrong route! Why did they raise the price on old stock before the new and improved stock comes into stores? Why not a re-launch? IMO, this was the way to go. Oh, since Urquell needs to be cold from the brewery to our area liquor store do you kind folks want displays? Because if Miller Brewing does want displays then whats the point of paying more money for better product only to purchase the beer from the floor. I am going to be mad if I see Urquell on the floor.
    chuckstout likes this.
  27. “I am going to be mad if I see Urquell on the floor.”

    In all fairness, beer sitting in a room temperature (e.g., 70° F) store is not a ‘killer’. It is extreme hot temperatures which can be at distribution/customs warehouses and being shipped by ship during the warm times of the year are what really ‘damage’ beer.

    The press release stated “refrigerated, express shipping” which I am interpreting as meaning being shipped in a refrigerated container (a.k.a. a reefer). This will go to significant lengths to ensure that the beer is arriving in relatively good shape.

    Cheers!
  28. Mandark

    Mandark Savant (305) Illinois Apr 8, 2008

    I've been seeing cans of Urquell in the Chicagoland area for months now, often at the bargain price of $3.99/4 pack. I did notice the taste was brighter, more complex, then the bottles I've had in the past, but I don't these were part of the efforts described in the OP. Still, good to hear shipping/storage will be handled better as I've always had a soft spot for this beer.
  29. dirtyfab

    dirtyfab Aficionado (225) New York Oct 21, 2004

    I can't wait to try it. The can 4-packs, are they half-liters?
  30. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,125) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    New Glarus Belgian Red is in green bottles.
    dbossman likes this.
  31. chuckstout

    chuckstout Aficionado (225) Ohio May 22, 2006

    3.99 a 4 pack? I could only wish!
  32. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Can't wait for the four pack cans.

    The new Beck's 4packs tallboys are $3.78 at Wal-mart so we'll see...
  33. The new closed in packages are rolling out now, got some at my store this week
  34. Mandark

    Mandark Savant (305) Illinois Apr 8, 2008

    Seriously---Binny's and most other stores I went to had the 4 pack tallboy cans for that price for months. Not sure what they cost now that this special pricing seems to have ended.
  35. Vav

    Vav Savant (475) Illinois Jul 27, 2008

    Well sure, Draft only, refridgerated containers, and a distributor network that was refidgerated warehouses & trucks, and knows what they're doing.

    But you and i both know nothing's perfect: containers get held up at docks all the time, blowers burn out, etc, not to mention just how much a fleet of refridgerated trucks costs! There are a million little things.

    As i said, it's great they're making these strides. Pilsner Urquell is an amazing beer, and i'm glad people will finally be able to taste that. I just dont understand why they'd do all this and STILL put it in a green bottle.

    $5.99 now.
    Mandark likes this.
  36. The majority of US craft brewed beers which are bottled/canned are unpasteurized.

    Why can’t Pilsner Urquell in bottles/cans be unpasteurized?

    The pasteurization process can effect beer flavor in a negative manner.

    Cheers!
  37. Vav

    Vav Savant (475) Illinois Jul 27, 2008


    ...what? I never said it couldnt be.
  38. You stated: "Well sure, Draft only"

    Cheers!
  39. Vav

    Vav Savant (475) Illinois Jul 27, 2008

    o_O

    You asked for the "Best" strategy, so i gave it to you. Draft is the absolute best way to have a brewery fresh taste for a multitude of reasons.

    Obviously, that's not practical for all (or even most) scenarios, so packaging is the next logical step. How the package is handled (e.g. transportation factors, etc) and the physical package (e.g. bottle color, headspace, etc.) will have an impact on the beer.

    As i said...i think twice now, i think this is great for Pilsner Urquell, people are going to be able to drink fresher product.

    However, i stand by my stance that going to all these measures and then continuing to use green bottles is foolish. It takes less than 2 minutes for the light struck reaction to occur.
  40. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Okay... one... (and I think that's trying to match the same lame marketing from Belgium, isn't it?)

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