Ori­en­tal brew­ery cracks open the premier ob

Korea JoongAng Daily - - Business - BY PARK EUN-JEE ej­[email protected]

Three years after launch­ing its OB Golden Lager, Ori­en­tal Brew­ery yes­ter­day in­tro­duced its lat­est brew: The Premier OB.

The new pil­sner is made with Ger­man hops and malt, and con­tains no rice or corn.

That, ac­cord­ing to the company, trans­lates into a broader depth of malt fla­vor and a rich bit­ter­ness.

With the launch of the new beer, the brew­ery seeks to re­gain the un­ri­valed dom­i­nance it en­joyed be­fore new play­ers like Lotte Liquor en­tered the mar­ket.

Lotte Liquor’s Kloud has emerged as the No. 1 seller in the malt beer cat­e­gory since it was re­leased in April. Fol­low­ing Kloud is Max from HiteJinro. Golden Lager, the pre­de­ces­sor of The Premier OB, is also a malt beer.

The brew­ery said its new beer is brewed for a longer pe­riod of time than com­peti­tors and OB’s ex­ist­ing lineup.

The Premier OB is the company’s 11th la­bel.

“We will mar­ket The Premier OB as a world-class beer ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing with other beers from renowned over­seas brands,” said Ori­en­tal Brew­ery CEO Jang In-soo yes­ter­day dur­ing a press brief­ing in cen­tral Seoul. “We de­voted two years to re­search­ing and de­vel­op­ing The Premier OB.”

Malt beers are typ­i­cally up to 20 per­cent more ex­pen­sive than reg­u­lar beers, but The Premier OB will be priced the same as Cass.

“It can be cat­e­go­rized as a pre­mium beer, but we set the price in line with our other beers,” said Jang.

Start­ing Fri­day, The Premier OB (500-mil­li­liter bot­tle) will be avail­able.

In Septem­ber, OB an­nounced it would im­prove its pro­duc­tion by adopt­ing a process called Voy­ager Plant Op­ti­miza­tion, pi­o­neered by the mak­ers of Bud­weiser beer.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lowed a con­tro­versy sur­round­ing a du­bi­ous scent in Cass beer, and many saw the move as an at­tempt to en­hance the brand im­age.

The brew­ery ac­cused its big­gest ri­val, Hite-Jinro, of spread­ing a ru­mor that the smell was caused by laun­dry de­ter­gent in the beer, caus­ing sales to plunge. The Min­istry of Food and Drug Safety con­cluded that a com­pound called T2N (trans-2-none­nal) trig­gered the dis­tinc­tive smell and was not hazardous to hu­man health.

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