Prague The largest breweries in the Czech Republic start selling an alcoholic beverage, known mainly in America as hard seltzer. After the recent introduction of a new product from the Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery, called Viper, now number two at the local Pivovary Staropramen beer market with the brand Wai Moment. Sales will start in May.
Snake or any moment? Or solid carbonated liquid from Oprah’s little brewery? From May, Czech consumers will have a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. An unexpectedly fast-growing novelty has been brought into the world in our country since the end of last year, introduced by the small South Bohemian brewery Obora. But now the largest beer brewers are starting to spread it widely.
Hard seltzer, which subtly translates into hard water or mineral water and in the Czech version as alcoholic soda, is mostly produced in breweries, but has little in common with beer. It is a clear, low-calorie, light flavored beverage that contains about 4 to 6 percent alcohol, consisting mostly of fermentation of sugar cane, and sometimes barley malt.
The drink was first produced in 2013 in the United States; In 2019, sales growth there has already reached more than 200 percent to more than $ 1.5 billion. Analysts expect the entire category to continue strong global growth in the coming years. Worldwide sales are said to exceed $ 4 billion in 2022. But how consumers in the Czech Republic will react is a question. The drink was so far only available in limited quantities from the miniature brewery in Southern Bohemia.
Alcohol soda from the other end of the Atlantic
Staropramen does not ferment alcohol in our country with 3 different flavors, but imports it from the American Canadian parent company Molson Coors. “These drinks are now also reaching largely central and eastern Europe, where the Czechs are usually one of the first markets to show similar innovations,” said Katarina Koshalikova, Brand Manager.
Wai Moment will be available in the Czech Republic in a third of boxes from mid-May in select chains as well as on the shelves of convenience stores and online stores. Over time, he should also appear in some bars and restaurants.
As stated by the server Lidovky.cz, the market leader Plzeňský Prazdroj, controlled by the Japanese company Asahi, in February, it produces an alcoholic soda called Viper itself in our country. Announced the start of domestic sales in early May. The parameters are the same as those used in most types of hard smelts – noticeably low calorie content, four percent alcohol, and soft shine.
“Snake is a refreshing alcoholic drink for anyone looking for a mild-flavored beverage with a similar percentage of alcohol as draft beer. It contains 96 calories (kcal) per can.” Jana Vainerová, Brand Manager for the brand, said in the product presentation: “These are A new class of alcoholic beverages, primarily targeting younger adults. ”
At the same time, Prazdroj began exporting alcoholic soft drinks abroad, specifically to the Netherlands, Romania, Hungary and the United Kingdom. In the Czech Republic, Viper will be available from the end of April in the Košík.cz online store, and then also in Tesco supermarkets and other stores.
At first glance, “bubble water” is harmless
However, the Obora miniature brewery was the first producer and seller of alcoholic soda in our country. “I love new challenges and this is a completely different technology. The traditional brewers, used to make beer, probably prefer beer mostly.” Martin Novak, owner of the small brewery, commented, but the young people are more interested in this.
Some consumers consider the drink to be less harmful than other types of alcohol, if not more suitable for a healthy lifestyle. But it can be treacherous. The advantage is the low energy value, as one deciliter of hard carbonated water contains only about 30 calories (kcal), but it is definitely not a suitable beverage for children or teens.
“Solid seltzer is basically an alcohol-flavored soda, while the amount of alcohol is comparable to 11 to 12 beers and is around five percent. So at first glance, visually harmless ‘bubble water’ can be treacherous for some individuals,” the drink was described by Agricultural analyst Peter Havel at Vitalia.cz.
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