Pilsner Urquell unveils ‘user-friendly’ new beer glass

Now, you might not think of beer drinking as a particularly strenuous thing to do, but the brewer Pilsner Urquell has just unveiled a new glass which, it says, makes the whole activity even easier. Over the next couple of years, the brewery expects to distribute more than one million of its streamline new glasses to restaurants and bars throughout the country. Radio Prague was at the launch:

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK There are many more requirements placed upon this humble beer glass than might first meet the eye. Each glass is expected to survive around 100 uses in the most rowdy of the Czech Republic’s bars and cafes. Karel Kraus is a manager at Pilsner Urquell brewery. He explains what he was looking for in this new glass:

“Well, there were two sets of requirements that we had for our designers. The first specifications were rather practical – we wanted the glass to be lighter than its predecessors, to make it more user-friendly for the bar-staff. The second set of requirements was to do with design. We wanted the glass to be in line with the rest of Pilsner Urquell’s glassware, but for it to be interesting in its own way too.”

And will this new glass have any effect on the taste of the beer served in it?

“Well the taste of beer is dependant upon many things, and this new glass has not been designed to change the taste, but instead to preserve the foam on top of the beer for much longer. So that is the main advantage of the new glass from our point of view, and indeed that’s the thing that will improve the experience of our consumers the most.”

Rony Plesl designed the glass. He shows me the durability of the beer mug by banging it several times against the table. He explains the thinking behind his design:

“For Czech people beer is an important part of life and has a long tradition. And so, for Czech customers, it is not possible to prepare some sort of high-tech design. Czech customers are very traditional, and for a designer, this is a big challenge. I am a modern designer, I design a lot of very modern things, but for Czech beer, this is not possible. It must be something in the middle. A modern design, with a traditional face.”

The new glass doesn’t look very different from its predecessors. The base is slightly narrower, which makes the glass look more streamlined, but could mean more crying over spilt beer. Early newspaper surveys seem to suggest, though, that the glass is a hit with the public. So its designers and manufacturers can say cheers to that.