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German Premium Beer König Pilsener will be Produced by Georgian Beer Company

Published: March 20, 2013 | 6:00 pm
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(CNA)-Georgian Beer Company held a presentation of a German premium brand König Pilsener of Bitburger Braugruppe on March 19. According to the official contract signed in January, 2013 between the Georgian and German beer producers, Georgian Beer Company will produce König Pilsener- the premium beer brand of Bitburger Braugruppe.

“We decided to start license partnership with Georgian Beer Company because this brewery meets high quality standards and requirements. On the other, hand this is the company that showed to have a strong distribution network while developing their own brand Zedazeni. In a very short period of one year they managed to occupy 20% of the local beer market. ” Gerhard Trappen, Export and License Manager of Bitburger Braugruppe, told CNA.

In January Bitburger Braugruppe signed a contract with Georgian Beer Company, according to which the latter will produce König Pilsener- a premium brand by Bitburger Braugruppe.

“We see a huge potential in Georgian beer market. Compared to European average beer consumption per capita here is relatively low like 22-25 liters while in Europe this indicator is around 50 liters. Even if we look at Spain, which is another country famous for wine production, we’ll see much higher beer consumption indicator there,” declared Trappen. “We believe that Georgian beer market will develop very quickly, especially if this development is driven by a quality brand like König Pilsener. We see that in the local market there’s a lap between imported and domestic brands and there’s a space in the middle for German-Georgian produced beer with high quality standards.”

CNA interviewed Andreas Reimer, Managing Director of Bitburger Braugrupp,e regarding the German beer giant’s interests in the local market and future cooperation plans with the Georgian partner.

- You must have tasted Georgian Beer Company produced beer. How do you like it?

- We’ve tasted locally produced beer for several times during the past few days and to be honest, you cannot taste any difference between König Pilsener produced in our home country Duisburg and in Georgia. Even experts are not able to feel the difference. The reason is that Georgian Beer Company is using the same raw materials imported from Germany, also recipes and technologies for beer production. So, the result is excellent.

Moreover, we sent some samples of Georgian produced König Pilsener to Duisburg where during a special tasting meeting around 30 people had to find which beer comes Georgia and which from Germany and they were not able to find the difference.

- According to the contract, Bitburger Braugruppe maintains control rights over beer quality. What are the special demands you have with your partners like Georgian Beer Company?

- First of all, we had sent our experts to the brewery before to check the equipment and the brewing process, also the skills of the staff to do the job right way. Then, Georgian Beer Company sent some of their technicians to Germany to our company for training. Yesterday and the before yesterday the first Georgian produced König Pilsener was released, which was tasted and several times controlled by our experts and this process will continue for every new release. Moreover, samples will be sent to Germany for double-checking at our laboratory.

- How important is this partnership for Georgian beer popularization?

- I guess it will help to bring Georgian beer segment to the next level of popularity. At the end, we believe that quality counts and we believe that this partnership will help Georgian beer consumption develop. We’re the first German company which has a serious interest in this market. In general, we’re proud to say and we believe that German beer market is one of the best in the world and regarding quality nobody can beat us. That’s why we dare say that it’s a big step forward for entire beer market in Georgia.

- How many bottles of König Pilsener will be produced for the first year? Will it be used for export as well or is meant it for only local consumption?

- We see this partnership not only for the local beer market; we see it also as a hub for the surrounding countries. Therefore, Georgian Beer Company will be allowed to conduct export to other countries. We have challenging plans together for the first twelve months. We believe we’ll be able to achieve the market share 3-5% of the total market during the first year and this means the production of around 3 million liters. First filling was already around half a million liters.

- What will be the sales price per bottle and when will König Pilsener appear for sale in Georgia?

- 1.90 Laries will be the price for half liter bottle; this is the price segment between imported beers and domestic beers. From today on König Pilsener is officially released for sale and in the middle of next week you can buy our beer in bottles or cans at the shelves of local supermarkets.

- Which beer brands do you see as the main competitors of König Pilsener on the local market?

- There is no competitor in this segment so far. König Pilsener has a leading position in Germany; it’s distributed to more than 50% of all the 5-star hotels and to over 30 countries all over the world. As for competition, we see on the local market only one brand which is Kaiser, but it exists here only as a license brand. Therefore, we don’t see a real competition on the local market.

- How would you assess the local market competition?

- Georgian market cannot be compared with other markets in Europe. Beer segment here is a little bit under developed compared to Germany, for instance, where five thousand different German domestic brands are competing in one market of 1300 breweries. Georgia is a wine country and beer has been developing here for the last twenty years. Still, we see some good movements on the local market and we believe that together with Georgian Beer Company we’ll bring beer segment in Georgia to the next level. Our partner itself has two main competitors on the local market: Efes and Castel. However, as the old rule goes, the faster and bigger one beats the slower and smaller one. We’re looking very optimistic forward. Also, we believe that Zedazeni Brewery has a big opportunity with the portfolio of brands to be even further successful now with an international brand. The company has showed that they are best on the local market.

- Do you plan to produce other brands together with Georgian Beer Company in future?

- There are not lots of segments in the local market as far as beer business is concerned. We’re focusing all of our activities in Georgia on König Pilsener. In our portfolio we see it as a license brand.

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