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ONE YEAR OF THE NEW VISITOR ROUTE IN PILSNER URQUELL (Translation)

15 September 2009

In the course of 2008, Pilsner Urquell has introduced several novelties for the brewery's visitors. An important addition was the new sensational exhibition of raw brewing materials, which - processed according to Pilsner Urquell's brewing tradition - have been making its beer unique since 1842. Another highlight of the sightseeing route is the reconstructed boiling plant from the 1930's. The route is aimed at the broadest possible spectrum of visitors and is fully accessible. Those interested in industrial architecture will notice with satisfaction that the brewery has been put on the listing of the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH).

In May of 2009, at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Brewery Museum, the sightseeing offered to visitors was enlarged by the interconnecting of the Museum's building with the historical underground of the city of Plzen.


Extension of the Visitor's Route

- Cinemascope projection with revolving auditorium - introduction of the Pilsner Urquell production process and raw materials.
- Sensational exhibition of raw materials - water, barley, hops, yeasts.
- Historical boiling plant from 1930's.

Since the introduction of the new part of the Route, it has welcomed 183,000 visitors.

Full accessibility

- The Route is adapted to various needs:
    - Sightseeing tour for visually, aurally and mentally impaired visitors.
    - Fully accessible entries, elevators, buses.
    - Trained guides.
- Cooperation with institutions:
   - Several hundreds of handicapped visitors take the sightseeing tour yearly.
   - Intensive cooperation with institutions as well as with paralympians.
- Race for "Paraple"
   - Beneficiary sport and societal event on the brewery's premises.
   - Two successful years (2008, 2009)

ERIH - European Route of Industrial Heritage

- Pilsner Urquell brewery is the first Czech representative in the top category of the so called Anchor Points ERIH.


Visitor rates

The financial crisis has not substantially marked the visitor numbers in Pilsner Urquell brewery due to particularly interesting and variegated combinations of the three sightseeing routes. At the beginning of August the brewery opened its gates to the 100,000th visitor. The largest portion of tourists (67 percent) come to see the brewery, 23 percent visit the Brewery Museum, and 10 percent the historical underground of the city.

In the last year there has been slight changes in the visiting nationalities. The first and second positions are traditionally held by the Czechs and the Germans, but the Russians as number three were replaced by the Taiwanese.

The specific composition of brewery visitors follows the international trend toward increasing percentage of individual tourism at the expenses of organized tourism. Thus the respective percentage on Pilsner Urquell's routes in 2006 was 34 percent vs. 66 percent, whereas in 2009 it has shifted to 41 percent vs. 59 percent.


Traditional brewery sightseeing - what you can see

- Visitor Centre - reconstructed historical industrial building. 
- The most up-to-date bottling plant in the Czech Republic, with an average of 120 thousands of bottles per hour.
- Raw material exhibition - cinemascope projection and a modern revolving auditorium engage not only visitors' eyes, but other senses too.
- Restored boiling plant from 1930's.
- Pilsner Urquell's current boiling plant.
- Historical cellars - showing beer fermenting and aging in oak barrels. Degustation of non-filtered, non-pasteurized Pilsner Urquell beer is offered for visitors of 18 years of age and older.

Programme "Brewing - Successful Branch of Czech Industry"

- The Visitor Centre and a movie theatre - introduction into the history of brewing in the Czech lands, the famous story of Pilsner Urquell.
- Cultural heritage in the brewery - anniversary gate and the water tower that can now be sighted.
- Cooper work-shop - history of crafts employed at the edge of brewing.
- Transport exhibition (output building) - dray-men and dray-horses - historical means of transport.
- Hall of Fame - the jewels of the brewery's history.
- Labyrinth of cellars and the "fridge" - demonstration of cooper craft and the ice-cooling of beer.

Notes for editors:
- Pilsner Urquell's visitor-aimed activities include the Visitor Centre, Visitor's Route, bottling plant and the Brewery Museum in the city centre. The brewery is one of the most favourite tourist destinations in the Czech Republic.
- The Brewery Museum in Plzen is situated in the house endowed originally with beer-brewing rights. It exists in its authentic shape in the Veleslavínova Street. The Museum was opened to public in the year 1959, at the 100th anniversary of the "Pilsner Urquell" trade mark.
- 185,000 tourists from all over the world visit annually the Brewery Museum.

Contact:
Jirí Marecek
Pilsner Urquell
+420 724 617 219

This SABMiller subsidiary news release has been translated from its local market language to English language for publication on http://www.sabmiller.com. We have attempted to provide an accurate translation of the original material but due to the difficulties of translation slight differences may exist.  

Note, the news release was first published in its local market on 10 October.

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