Czech beer habits evolving

Birell, photo: Loomeer, Flickr

For the first time in 10 years, sales of beer-on-tap in the Czech Republic stopped falling in 2016. Year-on-year, they increased by a little less than one percentage point, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday. At the same time, people still prefer consuming beer bought in stores, Martina Ferencová of the Beer and Malt Asociation told the daily. According to a report by AC Nielsen, retail sales for beer in the Czech Republic reached 16.4 billion crowns from June 2016 to May 2017. Year-on-year, it was a one-percent increase.

Photo: gordonwatts via / CC BY-NC
According to Nielsen’s consultant Michal Elšík, the average weekly consumption of beer bought in the store is three half-litres. “The consumption of lager grew the most, more than a tenth,” he told the daily. The average price for a lager in store is 15.70 crowns, while a draught beer costs 9.40 crowns, the report says.

According to Hospodářské noviny, there are currently several new trends in beer production. One of them is dry hopping, which is adding hops to already cooled beer to increase the hop flavour in the final product.

The trend, which has been popular in the UK, has been used by Plzeňský Prazdroj for their Excelent Ice Beer, which has a 4.7 percent alcohol content. As of February, Krušovice have been selling a beer called Ležák za studena chmelený, with 4.8 alcohol content.

According to Hospodářské noviny, the interest in lagers and beers with higher alcohol content has been growing. Pilsner Urquell, for example, reported a 7 percent increase in lager sales compared to the previous year. The growth in lager sales is expected to come at the expense of draught beers, since the overall consumption of beer is expected to remain more or less the same.

Birell,  photo: Loomeer,  Flickr
People are also returning to classic beers, while the consumption of radlers dropped last years after several years of growth, according to figures from the Czech Beer and Malt Association.

The sales of ciders, on the other hand, are still increasing. Plzeňský Prazdroj has recorded a 20-percent increase of its Kingswood brand since 2015, the daily reported.

Non-alcoholic beers have also seen an increase in sales. According to experts, Czech consumers prefer them over the flavoured beer mixes. Plzeňský Prazdroj’s Birrel saw sales increase by 10 percent last year.