The holiday season is upon us, and many of us have started that difficult process of finding the just the right gifts for family and friends. If you can’t decide what to get that special beer drinker in your life for Christmas, Pilsner Urquell is offering a unique, hand-crafted gift idea which also supports a good cause.
This December 10th, the brewery is sponsoring a charity auction on the server iDnes. The public will have the opportunity to bid on limited edition glass Pilsner bottles produced in collaboration with renowned German designer Lars Kemper. Proceeds from the auction will go to Centrum Parable, a Prague-based organization which offers support and rehabilitation for sufferers of spinal cord injuries.
The original Pilsner has come a long way since its birth in 1842. After the citizens of Plzen rose up and demanded a better quality beer, Pilsner Urquell was born. The golden colored lager was unlike any the world had seen up to that point, and Pilsner soon became the preferred style in the beer-loving regions of Bohemia and Bavaria. Today, this style of beer accounts for approximately two thirds of all the beer produced in the world.
Pilsner Urquell has always represented the Czech people and the region in which it was born. The combination of soft Plzen water, locally grown barley and Žatec hops give the beer its unmistakeable taste. Bohemia has also been long known for its tradition of glass-making. The combination of golden Pilsner Urquell and fine Bohemian glass created a product that Czechs could be proud of. The role of the cooper was also important, as maturing Pilsner Urquell was stored in crafted wooden barrels underneath the brewery. If you visit the brewery today, you can still sample beer poured directly from one of these old-fashioned barrels.
In designing the bottles, Kemper and Pilsner Urquell hoped to represent the traditions of both beer making and glass-making in the Czech Republic. For sale in this auction will be 10 limited edition 1L glass bottles, which are modeled after the traditional wooden barrels used in the cellars of the Pilsner Urquell brewery since its inception. The bottles were hand made by craftsmen from Nový Bor, one of several Czech towns famous for glass-making. Each one bears its own unique number from 1-10 as well as the Pilsner Urquell logo. They have a porcelain stopper so the bottles can be reused, and of course they come filled with unfiltered beer direct from the original barrels from the brewery in Plzen.
This is the second year in a row that Pilsner Urquell has collaborated with iDnes and Mr. Kemper in hosting a charity auction to benefit Centrum Parable. Last year’s auction greatly exceeded expectations, so it was an easy decision to do a similar event this year.
“After last year’s successful auction, we wanted to keep the tradition linking Czech handmade glass production and the Czech brewing industry,” said Pilsner Urquell senior brand manager Lukáš Novotný. “I hope this auction will attract generous bidders and that we get Centrum Paraple much needed funds.”
Centrum Parable has been providing assistance to people with spinal cord injuries and diseases since 1994. Their goal is to help people with these conditions live normal and fulfilling lives. Spinal injuries and paralysis can be devastating to a person’s livelihood, but Centrum Parable does what it can to bring these people back into society by providing special equipment, rehabilitation and therapy. For more information visit www.paraple.cz. (website in Czech)
For anyone interested in bidding on these limited edition bottles, visit www.iDnes.cz on Friday December 10, 2013. You must register to participate in the auction, which will run from 8 a.m. until approximately 15:00 p.m. Users will bid on all ten bottles in chronological order as opposed to simultaneously, so the bottles will go to the ten highest bidders starting with number 1. When someone places a higher bid, the auction will continue for an additional three minutes until the highest bidder has been determined. Then, the process will repeat with bottle no. 2 and so on. The winner of each bottle will also receive a visit to the Pilsner Urquell brewery and the opportunity to meet head brewer Václav Berka.
Last year’s auction raised over a million crowns, which was the highest total for any online auction conducted by iDnes. Proceeds were used to purchase new machines and much-needed equipment for Centrum Parable. The partners in this year’s auction hope the public will be as generous as they were in 2012 to help ensure that this Christmas is a merry one for those who could use a helping hand.
How much would you bid on these glass beauties?