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Pure Water In Velké Popovice Attracts Endangered Kingfishers (Translation)

17 October 2011

Velké Popovice, October 12, 2011 - Kingfishers, distinctly coloured birds with long pointy beaks, are rare in the Czech Republic. One of the places where you can spot them is a town called Velké Popovice. Thanks to a costly reconstruction of a water treatment plant, which took place in Velké Popovice beer brewery in 2005, the water in the area is so clean that this highly endangered species can be found there.

Bio-indicator of pure waters

In the Czech Republic, the kingfisher is a highly endangered species, and is therefore strictly protected. It likes to nest by the slow flowing streams abundant with fish, which comprises a major part of its diet. This bird, just a little bit bigger than a sparrow, lives on smaller fish. It must eat 60% of its own weight a day. Flying, Kingfisher can reach speeds up to 28 mph.

Because of its sensitivity to its living environment, we can consider the kingfisher to be a bio-indicator of pure waters. In recent years, the kingfishers population in the Czech Republic has declined as a result of water pollution. There are just several hundred pairs left here.

Encouraging discovery

In case of Velké Popovice, the situation has changed for the better. It was therefore a very joyful moment when local ecologists discovered the birds. "They probably come to fish here all the way from Sázava river, and last year they were even nesting here," said Jaroslav Hacko, Manager of Velké Popovice brewery.

Kingfishers were discovered on the banks of two purifying ponds that are part of the water treatment plant of Velké Popovice brewery. It is a part of the natural preserve Velkopopovicko, which is distinguished for its unique scenery and untouched, undisturbed countryside that also inspired famous Czech painter Josef Lada.

The water treatment plant

The water treatment plant was built in 2005. It uses the latest bio-technologies. As a result of the modernisation, the water that drains back to the environment is much purer. Organically polluted water is driven through purifying tanks that contain special methanogenic bacteria that eliminate pollutants and converts 90% of them into biogas. This process increases the purity of the water before it is emitted back to Mokřanský creek. It is on the banks of these purifying ponds where kingfishers are located.

"We are pleased that kingfishers were spotted right on the banks of our purifying ponds. For us, it is proof that environmental investments, such as the costly reconstruction of the water treatment plant, do pay off," added Jaroslav Hacko.

Environmental protection is one of the priorities of the local brewery. Besides the treatment of the water emitted from the brewery, they are also trying to lower the consumption and use of water used to produce one hectoliter of beer. While the world wide average is 5 hl of water to produce 1 hl of beer, Velké Popovice brewery uses only 3.64 hl, which places them among the most economical and the most ecological breweries in the Czech Republic.

Notes for editors:
- The Velké Popovice brewery brewed its first batch of beer on December 15, 1874, and just one year later, 18 000 hl of beer were brewed and sold. Only a few years later, the brewery became the third biggest brewery in the country. They were famous especially for their dark, heavy beer. Velké Popovice brewery is a part of the Plzeňský Prazdroj Company.
- Visitors to the brewery will enjoy a barrier-free tour where they can learn about the history and the present of the brewery and its surroundings in a fun and interesting way. Live billy-goat Olda is part of the tour.
- In 2010, the assortment of products and number of visitors to The Little Brewery Goat Store with memorabilia greatly increased.
- The signature restaurant "Velkopopovická Kozlovna" was opened in the area of the brewery last year. Already sixth "Kozlovna" with attractive interior and unique, unfiltered Velkopopovický Kozel beer on tap, the restaurant symbolically concludes the first part of the new visitor tour of the brewery.
- Visitor turnout is also supported by a number of cultural events that take place at the brewery every year.
- In 2010, 19,000 visitors came to the brewery. That is a 40% increase compared to visitor turnout in 2009.
- With a total sale of 9.9 million hectoliters during the calendar year of 2010 (including licensed production abroad) and with exports to more than 50 countries worldwide, Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is the most prominent beer producer in the region and the biggest exporter of Czech beer.
- Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is a member of SABMiller plc. group. Pilsner Urquell is the international flagship brand of the SABMiller brand portfolio.
- SABMiller plc. is one of the world's biggest beer brewing companies with beer brewing activities or distribution in more than 60 countries across six continents. SABMiller's brand group include such important brands as Pilsner Urquell, Miller Genuine Draft, Grolsch, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and many other successful regional brands.

For more information contact:
Vladimír Jurina, Brand PR manager, e-mail:
Lucie Andrýsková, Ogilvy Public Relations, phone: +420 221 998 242, +420 777090 586, e-mail:

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 [12/10/2011].

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