Velkopopovicky Kozel is the name of the Czech bottom-fermented beer produced by Pivovar Velké Popovice. The brewery is located 25 km from Prague – in Velké Popovice and is part of the Plzeňský Prazdroj group. The branded drink is also produced outside the Czech Republic: it is made under license in the neighboring countries, including Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The first batch of 60 hectoliters of Lager was brewed in 1874 – a year before the factory opened. The founder of the brand is entrepreneur Franz von Ringhoffer II. Asahi Breweries, the current owner, took over the beer brand in 2016. In 2020, Brand Finance ranked it No. 38 on its top list.
Meaning and History
What is Velkopopovicky Kozel?
Velkopopovicky Kozel is a Czech alcoholic brand that represents low-fermented beer. It belongs to the company Pivovar Velké Popovice, located near Prague. The brand appeared in 1874 – a year before the opening of the production facility. It was named in honor of the goat from the drawing of a French artist who thanked the brewery for shelter (in fact, he gave it the logo). The creator of the company is Franz von Ringhoffer II. The current owner is the Asahi Group.
The origins of the brewery stretch back to the 14th century. But it took the form it had now only in the 19th century. After years of controversy, problems, and gradual decline, the Velké Popovice brewery was taken over by the most successful businessman in the area, František Ringhoffer, an industrial magnate and mayor of Smíchov. In 1875 he opened a rebuilt factory completely reconstructed and re-equipped. Its production capacity increased from 18 thousand hectoliters per year to 90 thousand.
The company survived two wars and did not close, although it experienced significant difficulties. After the First World War, it launched a line of Bock – a 14-degree beer, the name of which is translated from German as “goat.” And at the end of the Second World War, the company experienced an acute shortage of raw materials and workers. In 1965 the brand introduced its first bottled beer in tank trucks, marking the beginning of the mobile tank pubs.
The story behind the appearance of the unusual name takes place in 1919 when a stray French artist accidentally stopped by Velké Popovice. In gratitude for his hospitality, shelter, food, and drink, he drew a logo for the brewery, inspired by what he saw nearby – a grazing goat. Since then, the figure of this animal decorates the label, being the mascot of the company and the name of the beer.
In 1930, the management decided to introduce the tradition of keeping goats on the premises of the brewery. This approach helped the company strengthen its marketing strategy and gain wide popularity. Since the 1970s, the animal has been called Olda. This tradition is associated with Oldrich Lenz, the employee who looked after this pet. Now Olda XV lives at the brewery. In 2009 the artist Jan Capek from Czech introduced a beer mug with a handle in the shape of a goat horn.
The logo of Velkopopovicky Kozel bears the mascot of the Czech brewing company – a goat. The iconic character is in profile and looks to the left. He is holding a large mug over which you can see the white cap of foamy drink flowing down. The goat and the mug are not homogeneous in their color palette: they are painted in bright hues, clearly showing up against a black background. Among them are red, yellow, and emerald blue.
Above the animal, an arch is made up of the first part of the brand name – “Velkopopovicky” with a diacritical mark over the “y.” Below is the word “Kozel,” written in a large white font with a black outline around the edge and broad shadows at each letter. The syllable “zel” is underlined by a band tapering to the right. Of all the characters, only the “K” is upper case, and the others are lower. At the very bottom, the year of the establishment of the beer brand is indicated – 1874. It is colored red and framed on both sides with a scroll.
The emblem, which now adorns bottles and cans of Czech beer, also depicts a goat. But his style is completely different. In this case, his image is monochrome, where the dominant colors are dark brown and white. Thanks to the short and long lines on the light background, the historical character which gave rise to the beer brand is visible. He has thick hair, a long beard, an enthusiastic look, drooping ears, curved horns, and a large beer mug that he clutches between his hooves.
In the early version, the drink is colored naturally yellow; in the later version, it is colorless. The only thing they have in common is the white foam that rises in a cap over the edge of the mug and slides down a bit. Under the Velkopopovicky Kozel mascot, there is an abbreviated name, or to be more precise, its second part. The letters are fully consistent with the old manner of writing with a curly “K” in the shape of horns.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The image of the goat, given by a misguided French artist, is still in use today. After all, despite the complete absence of any connection between this parsnip and beer, it still exists – at the historical level of a particular locality. Because the traveler drew what immediately catches the eye in the village of Velké Popovice and what characterizes it. By combining two processes (brewing and cattle grazing), Velkopopovicky Kozel got a personal identity that is now recognizable worldwide.
The inscription in the logo is in a personalized font, designed by the image of the mascot. It can be seen in the letter “K,” which is shaped like a sharp goat’s horns. The rest of the characters are squat, smooth, with serifs. The brand palette is restrained, closer to monochrome, except the yellow beer mug. The early version also features red, emerald, yellow, and black.