Pope's visit good for Pilsner Urquell

Alcohol ban in Warsaw leaves Czech beer as rare choice

June 14, 1999 - Pope John Paul's visit to Poland has boosted sales of Czech beer Pilsner Urquell in Warsaw.


"It's the only beer you can get," a barmaid explained. The sale of drinks with more than 4.5% alcohol by volume has been forbidden during the Pope's five-day visit, and Pilsner Urquell is 4.4%.

"We usually keep a few bottles of Pilsner on hand for foreign tourists, but not too many, because Poles don't fancy it all that much," said another barmaid.

Even the cost of Pilsner Urquell, double the average price of a Polish beer, has not deterred customers.

Poland's Dojlidy brewery is also marketing a reduced alcohol brew during the trip, but with less success than its Czech competitor.

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