Dreher is brewing experiences

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2019. 08. 20. 12:03

Dreher Breweries is 165 years old this year. Our magazine interviewed CEO Gábor Békefi on this occasion.

What would you like to highlight from the company’s successful history?

Gábor Békefi
Dreher Breweries

What captures me the most from the last 165 years is the creativity and the dedication of founder Antal Dreher, the modern business philosophy and the talent with which he managed his brewery so successfully is inspiring.

How do you celebrate the anniversary?

In June two types of limited edition Dreher Gold beers hit the shops, decorated with the portrait of the founder and the photo of the brewery. We organised a competition for graphic designers, designers and artists with the theme of Dreher’s classic art deco posters. There will be a photo exhibition too.

What kind of changes did the ownership change of 2017 bring about for Dreher Breweries?

– Asahi’s acquisition of SABMiller’s Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Slovakian and Romanian operations came with a new strategy for these markets. The individual countries do their own innovation and communication work, but there is international brand building too and the best practices are shared.

What is the Japanese touch in Dreher’s development?

Asahi’s business attitude isn’t very different from that of similar European companies, but their thinking is definitely aiming at perfection. Constant renewal plays a key role in every domain – this philosophy is called kaizen and means a continued search for better quality. We want to offer a better experience to consumers, in product taste, character and packaging.

What does this mean in 2019?

– Dreher’s focus is on strengthening the premium segment, we use top quality hops, have added an ale to the product portfolio and Dreher Gold is now made without corn syrup. Sales results indicate that our products are performing better than the new owner’s expectations. In 2018 we sold 2.3 million hectolitres of beer in the domestic market, and Dreher’s market share is 34.4 percent.

Taking the average Hungarian beer consumption of 64 litres per head as the starting point, where do you see potential for further growth?

– Dreher’s innovation strategy is successful, our ale and cold hop beers are very popular, and thanks to their good price-value ratio, consumers are willing to pay 30-40 forints more for them than for the classic products in the category. This year we rolled out Dreher Red Ale and renewed the alcohol-free Dreher 24 range. It is good news for us that the segment of premium beers expanded by nearly 20 percent last year.

How important is the HoReCa channel for you?

This year we started building a network of our own pubs: in the Dreher Concept Pubs we will offer a high level of service and top quality draught beer to customers. Two years ago we launched the Quality Draught Beer Programme – in this our HoReCa partners participate in trainings. Another Dreher innovation was the introduction of the tank beer system.

Dreher is a modern company with a 21st-century attitude – what do you do for sustainability besides collecting the aluminium cans?

The list is long: we make great efforts to cut our greenhouse gas emission, we have minimised the waste produced by the water softening process and made our energy utilisation more efficient. (x)

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