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Ivan Houska and Josef Tolar Inducted into Czech Brewing and Malting Hall of Fame in 2009

Prague, September 24, 2009 – At this year’s St. Wenceslas Czech Beer Celebration, an annual event held on the Feast of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Czech maltsters and brewers, engineers Ivan Houska and Josef Tolar were inducted into the Czech Brewing and Malting Hall of Fame. For the seventh year running, this honor was bestowed upon eminent brewing professionals for their lifetime contribution to both professional disciplines.

“Our brewing and malting wouldn’t have attained world renown without those whose life’s work was dedicated to producing beer,” said František Šámal, president of the Czech Beer and Malt Association. “In honoring these professionals, we are fully aware that while brewing equipment and technologies are moving forward literally by leaps and bounds, Czech beer would not be what it is today without the human factor. Our industry has been fortunate to have experts like these in its breweries, malt houses and research and educational institutions. I am certain that this will also be the case in the years to come,” said František Šámal.

Ivan Houska was an outstanding educator and the director of the Secondary Technical School of Food Technology in Prague on Podskalská Street for many years. During his teaching career, he helped to train some 1,000 specialists in various food and beverage vocations, but particularly in the art and science of brewing. The school’s graduates include many leading experts and managers in the Czech brewing and malting industry today. From 1990 to 2005, when he directed school, he managed to reconstruct it, to modernize its facilities and introduce new equipment, thereby turning it into a leading educational institution in the field. The school also became a longtime sponsor of the foundation supporting former outstanding Czechoslovak and Czech athletes and Olympians. Under his leadership, the school became an institution offering five food technology and seven economic fields of study, and one of the Czech Republic’s first-rate educational institutions, a distinction it holds to this very day.

During his long career at Budweiser Budvar Brewery, Josef Tolar’s name became synonymous with excellence in brewing. During his 24 years as Budvar’s brewmaster, he managed to reconstruct the brewery and to modernize and augment its technology, equipment and production facilities. Whereas the brewery produced roughly 413,000 hl in 1985, that figure had reached 1,360,000 hl by 2008, and in the same period, export destinations jumped from 18 to the current 55 countries around the world. Under Tolar’s brewing expertise, Budvar beers, with their unique and inimitable flavor, have garnered praise and prizes both at home and abroad, as well as becoming a multiple winner of the respected and prestigious Monde Selection quality awards in Brussels. After 1989, Tolar had numerous opportunities to represent the Czech brewing industry in various countries such as Austria, Germany, Brazil, the former Soviet Union, Korea and Japan. He holds a spate of professional awards from domestic and foreign institutions involved in the brewing sector.

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