Starting in the beginning of February, Miller Brands’ new 4% Czech lager, Kozel, will be available exclusively to the on-trade following sole distribution with leading restaurant and pub company Mitchells & Butlers.
Since its launch at the end of September, the beer, which is available only in draught format in the on-trade, has been successfully flowing in a number of Mitchells & Butlers’ brands including Browns and a number of pubs within its Metro Professionals collection of pubs.
Darren Tendler, Sales Director of Miller Brands said: “We’re delighted with the way that Kozel has performed so far in the UK, demonstrating that there is a clear opportunity in the market for a beer which has all the great taste you’d expect from Czech beer, but with a lower 4% abv.”
“Kozel’s authentic ‘Czech village’ proposition and quirky brand personality has been embraced by both consumers and the trade alike, and so we are now extending the availability of Kozel within the on-trade.”
“We introduced Kozel to our customers shortly after the Railway Tavern had been refurbished,” said Cath Hobbis, Assistant Manager of the Railway Tavern, a Mitchells & Butlers’ pub in Clapham. “This gave us a real point of difference from other pubs in the area – people were asking about the beer and wanted to know more about its taste and heritage. Now, they love the beer and regularly ask for it.”
“Everything from the point of sale to the glassware has been fantastic and really works well with our customer base. The marketing material is really quirky and the promotions have captured our customers’ imaginations.”
Kozel, which has been brewed in the small Czech village of Velke Popovice since 1874, will be offering trade support to all new stockists through staff training, supply of premium glassware, point of sale material and visibility items including stand alone fonts and t-bars. All of the communication will convey Kozel’s distinctive brand personality personified by its quirky goat mascot.
The Czech lager will also be providing in-outlet consumer promotions to stockists every six months with prizes that include a summer road trip to the village of Velke Popovice. In addition to consumer activation, Kozel will also be rewarding excellence in outlets with staff given the opportunity to win various prizes.
The original, then state-of-the-art, brewery was founded by the Prague industrialist Frantisek Ringhoffer. He and the first Kozel brewmaster produced their first batch of smooth Kozel in December 1874. Frantisek selected the village for the outstanding properties the water brought to the brewing process. Since just after World War I, the beer has prided itself in its official trademark and has grown to rank among the largest and most popular beers in Bohemia. Velkopopovick? Kozel has remained one of the best and most popular Czech beer brands through the‘30s and ‘40s – and even after the company was nationalised in 1945. In the early ‘90s, the brewery became a private company once more. Since 1999, it has been part of Plze?sky Prazdroj, a.s., which itself is owned by SABMiller.
About Miller Brands
Miller Brands is the UK and Ireland subsidiary of SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewers. Miller Brands is responsible for the development of SABMiller’s international premium brands across the UK and Ireland; these include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft. Through its consistent pricing and distribution discipline, supplemented by engaging marketing activities, Miller Brands is bringing value back into the beer category. Sales are currently growing in excess of 20% year after year in a declining market and this is increasingly recognised and referenced by retailers. More information can be found at www.millerbrands.co.uk.
SABMiller is one of the world’s largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group’s wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as market-leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie. SABMiller is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
In the year ending 31 March 2010, the group reported US$2,929 million in adjusted pre-tax profit and group revenue of US$18,020 million. SABMiller is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
About Mitchells & Butlers
Mitchells & Butlers is the leading operator of restaurants and pub s in the UK. Its leading portfolio brands includes Harvester, Toby Carvery, Vintage Inns, Premium Country Dining Group, Crown Carveries, Sizzling Pub Co., Browns, Miller & Carter, Metro Professionals, All Bar One, Nicholson’s, Metro Professionals, O’Neill’s and Ember Inns. Further details are available at www.mbplc.com and supporting images at www.mbplc.com/imagelibrary