Hemmed in Bernard wants second brewery

Hemmed in Bernard wants second brewery
6. června 2016 • 11:21
The beer output of the Bernard brewery has grown by around one-half over the past five years. And it grew 14 percent year on year during 2015 alone. The promptings of such figures have not been lost on the beermaker, the premises of which are crammed into the historical centre of Humpolec in Vysočina, the Czech Highlands.

Not surprisingly, management is chasing an expansion. An eight-hectare site outside the town centre has been purchased from BHV Real. Bernard is planning not only bottling and dispatching operations for the land, but, if things go well, also a brewhouse.

“Most likely the site in the centre will retain administration, the visitor centre and the brewhouse for making some of the lagers and specialties. We would make the more ordinary beer types at the greenfield premises,” Stanislav Bernard, co-owner of the brewer, told E15 daily. The investment commitment is expected to range into the hundreds of millions of crowns.

Bernard began contemplating an expansion in its “backyard” given the physical impossibility of making its town centre operation more extensive. Some years ago, its maximum brewing capacity stood at 400,000 hectolitres, but investments in recent years pushed the limit up to 600,000-700,000 hectolitres. “But it could all amount to a big burden, for instance for transport and for
the town, and we want to be in tune. We cannot continuously grow bigger in the town centre,” remarked Bernard.

The intended capacity of the planned new brewhouse is not yet certain. Analyses, which Bernard has at its disposal, indicate that the non-central site could take a brewery with a capacity of up to 1.5 million hectolitres – more than either Budvar or Pivovary Lobkowicz, two of the country’s top five brewers, boast. But Bernard is not at all determinedly striving to maximise its capacity. “With us it’s not about quantity, it’s quality. There is one proviso that applies to our expansion: we must keep brewing beer
with the traditional and honest approach that we have always taken,” added Bernard.

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