Large breweries will mainly invest this year into export and canned beer, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday. Consumption of canned beer saw a sharp increase last year and the Czech Beer and Malt Association says this trend to continue.
An increasing number of people prefer to drink their beer at home rather than in pubs. The trend has been here for several years now, and has recently been fuelled by the introduction of the ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants and the law on electronic cash registers. Consumption of can beer last year increased by nearly 50 percent, which means that every tenth beer consumed came from a can.
One of the major investments for the state-owned Budějovický Budvar will be to increase the capacity of its can filling plant.
One of the Czech Republic's leading breweries, Plzeňský Prazdroj, is currently selling over 10 percent of its beer production in cans. Last year, it invested over 300 million crowns into a can filling line.
It has also invested about the same sum into its premier Pilsner Urquell lager, which is mainly destined for exports to western European and Asian markets.
The Heineken-owned Krušovice brewery also plans to invest in canned beer this year. “One of our main investments this year will be a new can-filling machine,” Heineken’s spokeswoman Jana Austová Pikardová told the daily.
The Staropramen brewery says it will mainly invest this year in exports and into promoting pubs.
“We expect the negative effect of smoking ban in pubs even to continue this year,” the brewery’s spokesman Pavel Barvík told the daily.
The brewery, which runs a successful network of restaurants under the banner Potrefená Husa, plans to increase beer consumption in pubs by launching special beer editions that will only be available on tap.
The Czech Beer and Malt Association also expects a continuing boom of mini breweries this year. At the moment, mini breweries make up about two percent of overall beer production and the figure could reach three percent this year,” the association’s head Martina Ferencová told the daily Hospodářské noviny.