23rd May, 2013 by Andy Young
SABMiller has seen its UK subsidiary, Miller Brands, deliver lager volume growth in the 12 months to 31 March 2013, despite an overall decline in the UK beer market.
Despite the poor weather over last summer Miller Brands saw 4% lager growth, driven by “a continued focus on its portfolio of imported lagers”.
In particular Czech beer, Pilsner Urquell helped the company with a 10% increase in volume over the year. The company said that interest in world beers is continuing to grow among British drinkers, which is why “Miller Brands developed a campaign around Pilsner Urquell’s heritage and its taste profile”.
Miller Brands’ portfolio of imported beers also includes Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft, St Stefanus, Lech and Tyskie.
Miller Brands Managing Director, Gary Haigh, said: “Beer drinkers in the UK have the luxury of thousands of brands to choose from and hundreds of thousands of pubs, bars and restaurants in which to enjoy them.
“To stand out in a noisy market, we must respond to consumers’ demands as they are increasingly looking for brands with a story, heritage and interesting provenance. Each of the beers we import to the UK has these qualities in abundance but as the original pilsner, none more so than Pilsner Urquell.”
Over the course of the year Pilsner Urquell was made available to consumers as it is served in the Czech Republic – unfiltered, unpasteurised and direct from the brewery – at a series of events and venues.
At the 2012 Taste of London Festival 4,700 pints of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell were served from a giant wooden barrel which was brought across from Czech.
Around 150 traditional oak barrels, each serving a limited brewery release of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, were also brought over during the course of the year for special tasting events at which a total of over 10,000 pints were served.