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Oriental Brewery unveils premium all-malt beer

Oriental Brewery, the nation’s largest beer manufacturer, launched a new premium all-malt beer in a move to increase its stake in the fast-growing premium beer market.

At a news conference on Tuesday, it unveiled The Premier OB, a thick all-malt beer made of German noble hops and premium yeast.

“The Premier OB is the combined result of OB’s 80-year brewing history and its devotion to creating better taste,” said OB CEO Chang In-soo.
Oriental Brewery CEO Chang In-soo presents The Premier OB, the company’s new premium all-malt Pilsner beer, in a product launch event Tuesday at Nine Tree Convention in central Seoul. (OB)
Oriental Brewery CEO Chang In-soo presents The Premier OB, the company’s new premium all-malt Pilsner beer, in a product launch event Tuesday at Nine Tree Convention in central Seoul. (OB)

The new product is an upgraded version of OB’s Golden Lager, which is currently the third best-selling beer in Korea. The Premium OB also benchmarked rival all-malt beer brands such as Hite Jinro’s Max and Lotte Liquor’s Kloud.

“The Premier OB was created by applying a long-term aging technology to our OB Golden Lager to get a denser flavor and richer aroma,” said OB chief marketing officer Alex Song.

The company also used a different fort and logo for The Premier OB to distinguish it from OB Golden Lager, Song said.

“Korean consumers used to prefer light-flavored beer, but their palates seem to have changed and diversified over the years,” Song said. “Our No. 1 brand Cass fits the existing conventional customer needs, but it also reflects our efforts to break new ground, which is why we came up with a stronger-tasting product.”

As an all-malt beer, The Premier OB is manufactured in accordance to the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law ― a regulation which states that beer should only be made using water, barley, hops and yeast.

“We insist that the hops and yeast used in The Premier OB precisely follow the traditional recipe of the Bavarian Imperial House beer,” Song said.

Despite the high costs and technology involved, OB’s newest product will be priced at the same level as its Golden Lager. This is because OB is aware that it is a late-mover in the segment.

“In order to overcome disadvantages and better promote our brand image, we decided our key strategy would be to offer good tastes at good prices,” the chief marketing officer said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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