Czech brewer Plzeňský Prazdroj is investing €4.4 million to upgrade and increase beer production in its affiliate Pivovar Sariš in Veľký Šariš in Eastern Slovakia. The money will be spent for increasing the existing beer canning line, improving the filtration system, and replacing several machines of the bottling line. The brewery, which was bought in 1997 by SABMiller and belongs since 2016 together with Plzeňský Prazdroj and other breweries in Central and Eastern Europe to Asahi Group Holdings (inside.beer, 13.12.2016), is already the biggest in Slovakia. The own brands Šariš, Topvar and Smädný Mních as well as the licence brand Birell are brewed on site.
“The preferences of clients are significantly moving towards flavoured alcohol-free beers,” says Grant Liversage, general director of Plzeňský Prazdroj. “This has become the most dynamically growing category in the last year when it reported an annual 20-percent increase.”
€2.1 million will be spent for increasing the beer canning line by one third to 22,000 hectoliters per month. The new line allows filling 400 ml, 500 ml as well as 550 ml cans because internal surveys have shown that consumers prefer for different products different can sizes. Especially non-alcoholic and specialty beers are sold in smaller cans. In Slovakia about 70 percent of all beer consumed is sold in cans or bottles. Thereof two thirds account for beer in cans which shows the importance of this investment
Another €1.7 million is needed to improve the beer filtration system. The remaining €0.6 million will be spent in several replacements of the bottling line.
Last year, Asahi Group Holdings anounced to invest CZK 280 million ($12.8m) to raise brew house capacity of its European flagship brand Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj ) at its plant in Pilsen/Czech Republic by about one third to 3.5 million hectoliters annually. (inside.beer, 19.10.2017)