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15 September 2009


Velké Popovice, September 14, 2009 - The brewery in Velké Popovice has been quite successful with its new sightseeing tour that offers more insight into the history and production process. Since its opening in the spring of 2009, it has attracted higher numbers of visitors than last year, so that the 10,000th brewery visitor entered its gates already on Friday, September 11th. This means many weeks earlier than in the last few years. The increase in visitor numbers within one year time amounts thus to 30 percent. It follows that the entire 2009 year will bring record visitor numbers.

Since last spring, the traditional Czech beer brand Velkopopovický Kozel has been presenting itself in its home town in quite a novel way: visitors can now linger along the new sightseeing tour that includes a fully accessible visitor centre and a souvenir shop. A part of the new tour is the current boiling plant accompanied by an exhibition on the history of the brewery. Furthermore, it shows interested visitors the current brewing processes employed in the modern production of beer. Thus the new sightseeing tour interconnects the past with the present, and, since its opening, it could contribute to increased visitor numbers. In the year 2007 the 10,000th visitor came in December, in the last year in November, and this year it has already occurred in early September.

On Friday, September 11, 2009, the 10,000th visitor entered through the brewery gates.  It was Tibor Keresztesy, arriving with a travel group from Hungary. "I like Kozel at home in Budapest, too. But not without responsibility, as I work as a public transit bus driver," smiles the awarded visitor. "We all liked the brewery tour very much, and I am glad to have seen the home town of my favourite beer. Tonight we will toast to it in Prague, of course with Kozel," adds the brewery honour guest. As of Friday and for the rest of his life, he can visit the brewery in Velké Popovice for free.

Compared to the past years, there has been an increase in visitor numbers, especially from Hungary, Russia and Great Britain. "Whereas in the year 2008 we welcomed 11,132 visitors, this year we are confident to surpass the 13,000 bar. The praise we read in the visitors' book confirms our hopes," says Eva Kršňáková, manager of the visitor centre in the brewery in Velké Popovice. It would be a nice gift for the approaching 135th anniversary of the first beer brewing, which occurred in Popovice on December 15, 1874.

The season is still far from being over. On Saturday, September 19, from 12 p.m. through 5 p.m. the brewery opens its gates for the traditional OPEN HOUSE DAY.   This year the excursion tour will show visitors a newly opened space featuring an innovative and interactive exposition on the key phases in the development of the brewery and the brand Velkopopovický Kozel. Another focus of the exposition is the entrepreneurial story of Baron Ringhoffer and his family, who created and shaped the brewery and the surrounding region in a decisive way. To round out the brewery tour, the new gift shop offers many souvenirs with beer thematic.
Open House Day, September 19, 2009

12:00 - 17:00   Guided brewery sightseeing tour
09:00 - 15:00   Ice-hockey tournament KOZEL CUP (indoor rink  Velké Popovice) featuring teams: For Velké Popovice: Team Kozel, Team Premium; Further: ODC Jihlava and Mars ČR

 Notes for editors:
- With the total amount of 10.7 million hectolitres (235.4 million gallons) sold in 2008 - including licensed production abroad - and exporting to over 50 countries world-wide, Pilsner Urquell Ltd. is the leading beer producer in the region and the biggest exporter of Czech beer.
- Velkopopovický Kozel is an indispensable brand name in the Pilsner Urquell portfolio. It is one of the most rapidly growing brand names both on the national and international markets. At the same time, Velkopopovický Kozel Černý is the leading brand name among the dark beer products in the Czech Republic. In the last year, the brewery Velké Popovice celebrated 134 years since its foundation in 1874.
- Current information on the activities and projects supported by Velkopopovický Kozel can be found at:
- Pilsner Urquell Ltd. is a member of the global group SABMiller plc, one of the largest beer producers in the world whose brewing and commercial activities spread over more than 60 countries across six continents.

Jiří Mareček
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 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 14 September.

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