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Pilsner Urquell Launches Major Freshness Initiative Campaign

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

  1. Fred also had the US "Export" version listed, which was made with corn, as a Euro Lager but that was not "Export strength as far as the tax laws were concerned .
    The German version was all barley malt, and was at Vollbier strength, not Export strength.

    I see I can not spell - Ruhrgebeit.
  2. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    That makes some sense too, I remember a lot of discussion at the time (pre-BA, but just about the same sort of conversation) about how much better and different Beck's was in Germany.
  3. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Sounds about like the canned Urquell -- or even bottles from covered cases. Surprise? Of course not, those of us who have been drinking Urquell for over 20 years (and longer) now it's a good beer when treated properly.
  4. I agree beer on the floor is not "killer". From what I have been told the beer will leave Europe cold and will remain cold taveling to local distributors coolers. The beer will be warm on the distributors trucks. Since, it is unpasteurized will the SABMiller ask the retailers to place the beer on the floor? The shouldn't. Why? Unpasteurized does not travel well and more importantly Pilsners can be really fragile. I hope the upper mangament at SABMiller understands what they are going into. They shouldn't want floor displays or they might be sorry. Especially since they raised the prices.
  5. “Since, it is unpasteurized will the SABMiller ask the retailers to place the beer on the floor?” Do you know for a fact that the Pilsner Urquell being imported to the US is unpasteurized? Within this thread I asked/commented on the topic of pasteurization four times.

    For completeness, below from my first post:

    “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.”

    Cheers!
  6. Tenth & Blake apparently brings in unfiltered, unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell kegs for "special events" - you can read about one such event at GoodBeerHunting, but the T&B official quoted in that blog, Ethan Ganot, later said that the standard P.U. imported under this new "Freshness Initiative" will remain pasteurized (I'm guessing flash for kegs, tunnel for bottles?).

    As for only extreme temperatures mattering for beer freshness, that's not the industry's own opinion, based on these two quotes:

    “Shipping and storage temperatures are important to beer flavor. Beer contains a variety of compounds that are capable of autoxidation if temperatures get high enough. In practical terms, beer that has been held at 38° C (100° F) for two weeks will have the same loss of freshness in flavor as beer that has been held for three months at 21° C (70° F) or beer that has been been held for more than one year at 4° C (39° F).”
    --- Handbook of Brewing By William A. Hardwick, 1995
    "For instance temperature extremes during shipping, warehousing and at the retail store you purchase your beer from can double the "aging" of the beer for each increase of 10 deg. F. That means beer with a "shelf life" of 6 months at 40 F will have a "shelf life" of 3 months at 50 F and 6 weeks at 60 F."
    --- Mark Ruedrich, brewmaster, North Coast Brewing Company
  7. Thanks for providing the answer of: “Ethan Ganot, later said that the standard P.U. imported under this new "Freshness Initiative" will remain pasteurized.”

    It is unfortunate that as part of the Freshness Initiative they didn’t eliminate pasteurization. As I mentioned: Pasteurization of beer also impacts beer flavor in a negative way.

    One of the advantages of drinking US craft brewed beers is that the majority of US craft breweries do not pasteurize their beers. Why Pilsner Urquell couldn’t follow suit stinks!

    Cheers!
  8. rebelguy

    rebelguy Zealot (75) Rhode Island Nov 16, 2009

    First taste of a batch dated March 2013. I drink Pilsen regularly and feel there is something slightly better about it, definitely cleaner. I feel it's as if I purchased an enclosed 12 pack that was more like an expiration of 8 months ahead or May of 2013. W/o the pasteurization it can never be same as in the CR now matter how hard they try, but I feel good about the direction there trying to go and again feel it is better. I don't think taste difference was psychological.

    Basically it will probably make the beer just last a little bit longer, but at least six packs will never get skunked. To be honest I never get skunked six packs as I always dig one out deeper in the cooler or just walk in and find one in the case or buy an enclosed case or twelve pack.
    chuckstout and herrburgess like this.
  9. chuckstout

    chuckstout Aficionado (225) Ohio May 22, 2006

    I bought a six today with the new packaging (btw, the price went up a buck, it is now 10 bucks a six) and I just finished a bottle and I taste no difference. It is good, but I prefer Victory Prima Pils. Victory was on sale today at 7.99 a six, you cant beat that price!
  10. Thanks for your report.

    “I bought a six today with the new packaging (btw, the price went up a buck, it is now 10 bucks a six) and I just finished a bottle and I taste no difference.” I suspect that the only genuine ‘benefit’ from the new Freshness Initiative is that with the sealed packaging you are assured that the beer you obtain will not be light-stuck (skunky). I have been pretty fortunate in my past purchases of Pilsner Urquell in that I have never had a skunky Pilsner Urquell. I have increased my luck by buying canned Pilsner Urquell and drinking it on draft and not buying too many green bottled Pilsner Urquell beers. I agree with your assessment of: “It is good”. I suspect that drinking an unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell at a pub in the Czech Republic (or the brewery in Plzen) is a different experience.

    “I prefer Victory Prima Pils” There is indeed something to be said for drinking a fresh, unpasteurized Victory Prima Pils. I prefer Prima Pils over Pilsner Urquell as well.

    Na Zdrowie!
    chuckstout likes this.
  11. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (305) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

    Anyone know if Hospoda in NYC gets the unpasteurized version of Pilsner Urquell ?
  12. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (455) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    Green bottle = Will not buy. that simple
    chuckstout likes this.
  13. With the new packaging the bottles are completely enclosed in cardboard; zero chance of skunking.

    If you are unwilling to purchase green bottles regardless of packing, Pilsner Urquell is available in 16 ounce cans.

    Cheers!

    P.S. Of course there is also the chuckstout ‘solution’: buy Prima Pils instead!;)
  14. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (455) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    Its more of a stand as a consumer. Get rid of green bottles.
    Vav and chuckstout like this.
  15. “Get rid of green bottles.” I understand your position.

    Unfortunately I do not have your fortitude. I purchase a lot of Jever and it comes in green bottles.:(

    Cheers!
  16. chuckstout

    chuckstout Aficionado (225) Ohio May 22, 2006

    If I see Pilsner Urquell in cans, I will buy, but I am about done with green bottles also.
  17. actually, it's not zero chance, just the closest we can get with a green bottle. while very unlikely, it can nonetheless skunk while waiting to get packaged on the bottling line (usually exposed to either indoor lighting and/or sunlight through the windows of the brewery/factory), and afterwards even through the "punch-holes" used for hand-carrying the boxes.
  18. I uh, . . . kind of, . . . well . . . , alright I'm just gonna say it:

    I like the skunky flavors of green bottle lagers. Nothing like a 12er of St. Pauli girl left in a cooler full of ice with the top off left in the sun on a hot summer day.

    EDIT: actually, there's a lot like it. . . Beck's, Grolsch, Heineken etc. . . but you get my drift.
    kingofhop likes this.
  19. Even if it's just a marketing stunt, I'm excited. And if it is a marketing stunt, I guess it's working. . .
  20. In BC we have PU in tall cans which are sold as singles . Much better than the bottles as they taste quite fresh but I am glad to see PU putting some effort into maintaining freshness as it is still a great Pils in my book.
    chuckstout likes this.
  21. Opposite here the pilsner Urquell is 7.99 in the new packages and Prima is $10.
  22. Danielbt

    Danielbt Savant (380) Texas May 4, 2012

    Finally found a place with the new packaging here, and I excitedly bought a six. Holy crap, what an amazing difference. Not a hint of skunk, and I finally tasted the beer as it was meant to taste, pasteurization aside.

    Well done.
  23. The burnt finish still bothers me.
  24. Burnt? Not sure what you mean there. Can you elaborate?
  25. I got all excited after hearing about this new cold shipping, just a day after a long sermon by a beer nerd about how warm shipping damages European beer. So I go to the store, ask for a six pack, and whaddya know, it's sitting out on an open shelf, with an adjacent fridge venting right over it.

    I'd love to see the beer industry crib the pharmaceutical industry and figure out how to operate a cold chain.
    Chaz likes this.
  26. I haven't seen Pilsner Urqull on outside of fridges in my area, I wish they would do the same with IPA's.
  27. syrupjoe

    syrupjoe Savant (275) Minnesota Aug 1, 2010

    I've heard from multiple sources that it doesn't take that long for the beer to cross the ocean, it's the time it sits in warehouses (often around three months) that ruins the freshness. Sounds like a stateside/distrib issue to me.
  28. IceAce

    IceAce Advocate (560) California Jan 8, 2004


    Pete Coors feels your pain...
  29. Bitterbill

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

    I just bought a 4 pack and wow! The freshness! The freshness!! I had to go back and edit my review. Damn good!!
    Spikester likes this.
  30. JimDH

    JimDH Aficionado (215) Kentucky Feb 7, 2011

    I saw it in two stores this weekend. It was stored only on the shelf in a small beer and wine store, and on the shelf as well as in the walk-in cooler at a big-box liquor store chain location.
  31. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Guess he can't. Never had any sort of "burnt" finish from Pilsner Urquell. I'll sometimes get that astringent or medicinal character if I'm drinking a highly-hopped, light lager when it's too cold. Might be the problem here.
  32. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Having a single can from the grocery cooler right now -- missed that the "Best By"on the bottom of the can said June 15, 2012 -- but it doesn't seem to matter...

    Mild DMS in the nose, great balance of lightly bready malts and spicy hops with a bitter finish and that light diacetyl character lingering in the aftertaste. Nothing off, nothing weird, no skunk -- just a great Czech Pils character.

    Does Miller Lite really still advertise as a "true Pilsner?" :rolleyes:;)
  33. I believe the original slogan was "A Fine Pilsner Beer"... but I never heard exactly what the actual amout of the fine for misusing the term was. ;)

    [​IMG]
    Spikester and Chaz like this.
  34. Bitterbill

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

    Try some that are best by April 18, 2013 and get back to me.:rolleyes:
  35. Stopped into a large discount liquor store today and asked about the status of some beers, including cans of Pilsner Urquell since they've sometimes carried them (but never in the quantity they stock bottles), and they had the "new" style sixpack on the shelves. The guy said that last month the local MillerCoors house tried to deliver cases with a "Best Before" date of July 2012! They refused the delivery but it does say there's still a lot of "old" (i.e., pre-Freshness Initiative Campaign) Pilsner Urquell out there, at both the retail and wholesale level.

    I picked up a nice fresh case of Prima Pils ("Enjoy By Jan. 07, 2013" ) and a few sixes of O'fests, so I'm OK...
  36. Bitterbill

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

    I should have mentioned that my 4 pack were bottles in an enclosed carrier. I seriously doubt I'll ever see the cans and after reading what you just wrote, I don't need to.:)
  37. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Let me get this straight... the older stuff tastes pretty good, but you're alluding that the newer stuff won't? This from a guy drinking an IPA from a Bavarian Maß. :rolleyes: ;)
  38. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Yeah, I'm sure that this retailer has had stuff on hand for a while, they always keep singles in their cooler, and I wasn't on the hunt for the "new initiative," just grabbin' a post-work beer.

    And the point that seems to be more important (to me, anyway -- I like beer for beer, not for ticking) -- it was damn good. Makes me think the cans (and keeping them cold) are helping keep the beer fresh.

    Urquell 12 Packs are on sale at a local this week, maybe I'll grab some and taunt Bill.:D
  39. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    [​IMG]

    True, true. :rolleyes:
  40. Really? Four packs of bottles? Didn't realize they'd gone back to that, too- haven't seen 'em since the late '70's...(remember these?):


    [​IMG]

    All the "new" packaging I've seen for the bottles have all been 6- or 12-packs.

    Oh, I would not disregard cans simply because of that one incident. Here on the East Coast I routinely find both the cans and the bottles "only" two or three months after bottling - P/U's "Best by" date is based on a 9 month shelf life - including from that same MC house in the story. (Since I live at the "junction" of 3 different distribution regions, if I go east, north or west beer shopping, I often can get beer from 3 different distributors in the case of AB or MC houses).

    The cans, being 500 ml., are especially nice if one is using a classic European ½ liter glass like a Willi Becher - I hate the psychological reaction I get when I pour a full bottle into a glass and it doesn't reach the top ;).
    Chaz likes this.

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