SABMiller logo


Vatican Accepted The Blessed Pilsen Beer And The Chrystal Chalice For The Pope (Translation)

6 April 2012

Vatican/ Plzeň, April 4, 2012 - Today, at the Vatican, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone accepted a special batch of Pilsner Urquell beer from the hands of Czech ambassador Pavel Vošalík and Jan Šolta, Manager of Pilsner Urquell brand. Former Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, was also present at this festive occasion. The gift, in the form of 2012 bottles of Pilsen lager sent from Pilsen, Czech Republic, was accompanied by a Certificate of Origin as well as by an original beer chalice made especially for Pope Benedict XVI.

The shipment of the blessed Pilsner Urquell beer sent to The Holly See counts 2012 bottles symbolising this year. The gift was submitted today, April 4, 2012, right before noon in The Palace of Apostles. Representatives of the Vatican government Tarcisio Bertone, State Secretary and Msgr. Dominique Mamberti, Minister of Foreign Affairs, were there to accept the gift. By submitting this gift, Pilsner Urquell continues the tradition established last year, when they sent a gift of 2011 bottles of blessed Pilsen beer to the Vatican to celebrate the beatification of John Paul II.

"Our Pilsen beer appeared at the Vatican sporadically in the past, and we are now trying to revive this tradition and to build a new tradition of sending blessed beer from Pilsen to the Vatican every Easter. For example, in 1890, Pope Leo XIII regularly drank Pilsen lager as a remedy during his recovery," Jan Šolta, Pilsner Urquell brand Manager said, and added: "I have to admit that the Easter spirit is present at every step here, at the Vatican, and the ceremony accompanying the acceptance of our premium lager itself was very impressive."

The second part of the special Easter greeting is an original, handmade beer chalice. It was made by designer Lars Kemper in collaboration with the master glassblowers of Lasvit Comp. in Nový Bor. The production of the 0.3l glass was very elaborate and took 20 days. The designer, inspired by the Pilsner Urquell lager itself, steeped the chalice in long-lasting tradition while also incorporating more modern designs. The chalice is hand blown from sodium potassium crystal.

"As a very nice tradition, many countries like to present themselves at The Holly See by sending a gift representing the best of their national treasures. With pride, we have presented the gift of the blessed Pilsen beer to the Vatican this year again. It gives me much pleasure to know that the gift also represents an organic symbiosis between the church and our society in everyday life," Pavel Vošalík, Czech Ambassador at The Holly See said.

The gift, together with the Certificate of Origin, ceremonially left the Pilsen brewery on April 26 when it was sent on its way by František Radkovský, Bishop of Pilsen, and Václav Berka, Senior Master-brewer of the Pilsen Urquell Company. The blessed batch was prepared according to the original recipe, and the beer matured for about 5 weeks. Symbolically during this year's Lent period. Samples of blessed ingredients and a copy of the beer chalice made for the Pope are displayed in the Beer Brewing Museum in Pilsen.

For more information:
Vladimír Jurina, Plzeňský Prazdroj, phone: +420 724 617 886


Notes for editors:

- With total sales of nearly 9.9 million hectoliters during the calendar year of 2011 (including licensed production abroad) and with its exports to more than 50 countries worldwide, Plzeňský Prazdroj Inc. is the preeminent 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. The SABMiller portfolio includes important international Brands such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and Pilsner Urquell, as well as almost 200 successful regional and national brands.

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 [04/04/2012].

Back to news index