Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

The quest for the perfect beer

StarBev eyes the Eastern hinterlands with Staropramen

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StarBev has announced a multi-Euro in investment its Staropramen brand, as it looks to grow a range of beers discarded by AB-InBev.

CVC Capital Partners, the equity company, which bought Staropramen for US$2.2bn in 2009, and formed StarBev, has invested €1.2m in a new visitor centre at its Prague, Czech Republic, saying it will kick-start its international growth.

The company has also launched its first television commercial, called Prague Legends, which is currently being shown in Romania

However, some commentators have raised concern about Romanians’ ability to pronounce Staropramen, saying this could hinder its consumer acceptance.

StarBev CEO Alain Beyens says his ambition is for the beer, which is on sale in more than 30 different countries, and is number one beer in Prague, should become the number one Czech premium beer in key international markets.

The company has locations in nine countries and breweries in seven – including Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Its brands include Borsodi, Kamenitza and Bergenbi.

Beyens refused to discuss any financial or production figures, beyond the investment in the visitor centre, despite asserting the brand was experiencing double digit growth – financially and in volume.

If so that would be quite a turn around , as according to Just Drinks, Staropramen, with a 15% share of the Czech beer market, sold 3.02m hectolitres of beer in 2009, down 7% on 2008. Export volumes fell by 11% for the year,

The new visitor centre, which is a worthwhile addition to the Prague beer experience, features a holographic image and video of its renowned brewmaster Josef Paspa. However, it is likely fans of craft beer will seek out some of the city’s new wave of beer bars.

StarBev recently signed distribution deals with Spaten in the US and Carlsberg in the UK.

There are currently three types of Staropramen available to the international market – lager, dark beer and Paspa’s original recipe Granat.

In the Czech market, StarBev has recently launched Staropramen Cool Lemon – a 2% abv lemon-flavoured beer, as well as a wheat beer.

Written by timhampson

August 31, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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