Czech brewer Zatec plots western front

27 August, 2008
Page 7 
Czech brewer Zatec is looking west to ramp up the contribution exports make to its business.

Brewery director Martin Kec said the company wanted to build on its existing sales for its premium lager in the UK - which accounts for 85 per cent of its 30,000 hl of production through Coors Brewers - and in the US, where it signed a distribution agreement with Washington State-based Merchant du Vin in February.

The brewery also exports to Australia, Sweden and Finland and is looking to expand its presence in each.

"At the moment 90 per cent is sold in the Czech Republic and only 10 per cent in exports, but we hope to reach 50:50 over the next three years," said Kec.

Imported beers have consistently outperformed rather stagnant markets in both the US and the UK over the last couple of years.

Kec said Merchant du Vin had been chosen in the US because of its experience in niche products such as Belgian beer. "They're in all the US states and are very focused . It's good news for us - getting the beer into markets where we want to be.

"We want to be in the expensive part of the market, such as good restaurants and bars . We're proud that it's one of the most expensive beers on the market and people want to try it because of that."

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Nick Strangeway

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