Budweiser Budvar will have an English brewing master for a day
Budweiser Budvar, N.C. welcomes its new maltster today, as for one day Iain Dobson - a British beer connoisseur and expert, is to brew in Budvar. In August, Iain with many other thousands of visitors participated in the Great British Beer Festival with its traditional charity auction, which gave a chance to the winning person to become a brewing master at the Budweiser Budvar Brewery for one day. This prize was brought to the festival by Budweiser Budvar’s brewing master Josef Tolar, who was the first Czech in history to sit in the main panel of experts to choose the best beer of Great Britain.
“Budweiser Budvar Premium Lager has long been one of the most popular imported trademarks in Great Britain, therefore the opportunity to brew our beer for one day evoked an enormous interest amongst the festival visitors. The auction even surpassed its historical record, since £1,250 went to charity,” explains Budweiser Budvar N.C.’s brewing and technical director Josef Tolar.
The auction winner Iain Dobson is a bid beer expert and has had a long-term relationship towards Czech beer, Budvar in particular. He visited the Budweiser Budvar Brewery in 1989 and has liked it ever since. For that reason he values the opportunity to become Budweiser Budvar’s maltster, in fact he even considers it a dream come true. “I was very pleased to have received the MBE from the Queen; nevertheless to have the opportunity to be the brewing master in Budweiser Budvar puts this award into the shade. To manage the brewing process in one of the icons of European breweries, even if for a few hours, is a dream come true,” Iain Dobson commented upon his victory.
Iain Dobson was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen “for services to the beverage industry” in 1992. Among others, he received it for being one of the founders of the CAMRA association, which has nearly 100,000 members and aims at observing the quality of British beer. “My Czech friends refer to this honour as ‘The Queen’s Medal for Drinking’, which could hold a bit of truth,” Dobson plays down his credit with a smile.
A demanding all day programme of a real brewing master has been arranged for Iain Dobson during his visit to Budweiser Budvar. Together with Josef Tolar, Iain’s early morning will see him inspect individual stages of the brewing process, where he will visit e.g. cellars, brewing rooms or a so-called “hops room”. This will be followed by tasting, checking the development of some reconstruction works in the brewery’s premises and another round of inspecting the brewing process. Brewing master Dobson will not avoid some administrative work either, since he will sort out some supplier invoices.
“A demanding day full of work and responsibilities has been arranged for Mr Dobson. It cannot be considered a tourist tour at all; it will be a real working day of a maltster including the early start before 6 am,” grins Josef Tolar, adding: “He will also have some relaxing time off work visiting Český Krumlov. I believe that he will enjoy his visit to the Czech Republic.”
About Iain Dobson
Iain W. Dobson was born in April 1938. He studied accounting. In 1974, he became the founder of the British consumer association called CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale). From 1981, he was in the position of managing director and secretary of this organization. He first visited the then-Czechoslovakia in 1984 as a part of the Čedok trip around Czechoslovakian breweries, where he was impressed by the miscellany of local beer. In 1987, he participated in the CAMRA’s campaign against the attempts of the Anheuser-Busch concern to take over Budweiser Budvar. Iain Dobson was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to the beverage industry. At present he is retired, nonetheless is still taking an interest in the British and European brewing industries.
Budweiser Budvar, National Corporation
Budweiser Budvar, N.C. brewery has long been one of the most successful Czech foodstuff companies. Nearly half of its production is exported to more than 50 countries worldwide. Budweiser Budvar’s sales increased by 9% in 2007, having reached the volume of 1,253,000 hectolitres of beer. The brewery’s 2007 gross profit annually grew by 13% onto the total of CZK 302 million. Since 1991, roughly CZK 3,500 million has been invested into the modernization and development of the brewery.