Want to Take On the World? Take a Pils

After snapping up a premier Czech label, South African Breweries aims at the global marketplace

Anyone familiar with the delights of what Czechs affectionately call liquid bread will not be surprised to learn that Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other nationality. In 1998 they quaffed around 170 qts. each, beating the Germans, who managed just 134 qts., into a poor second place. (Americans finished 13th, with 88 qts.) In a league of its own is the Czech Republic's most famous beer, Pilsner Urquell. The original bottom-fermented Pils, or lager, it was first brewed in the Bohemian city of Pilsen in 1842. "It's a Rolls-Royce among beers," purrs Pilsner spokesman Jaroslav Pomp.

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