The 2nd. Sopron Beer Rally – In the spirit of the water

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The theme of this year was the water essential for brewing and  continued to follow the Beer’s Route departing from Budapest via Sopron. The aim of the first competition last year was to draw attention to the voluntary commitment of the Sopron manufacturer HEINEKEN Hungaria Ltd., according to which only Hungarian barley is in use for the production of Sopron beer.

So last year was driving alongside the fields of barley and this year’s rallye was about water use and water purity therefore was rolling by springs and rivers at the Beer’s Water Route. The Beer of Sopron is Hungary’s most popular beer and HEINEKEN Hungary is also the manufacturer.

Beer Rally competition took place with the media and representatives. All the ten journalists completed journey. The competition was not who reach the finish line at first, but which car rolls in with the least mileage upon arrival. The theme of this year was the water essential for brewing.

Before the start off „shot” at the Gundel’s Restaurant – Terrace, was held presentations, where Márta Pálfalvi – HEINEKEN Hungary Ltd. – Human Resources and Corporate Relations Director  said the following, Q.: „ The WATER is a very important raw material for brewing, because 95% of beer is made of water. I am confident that the great success of the Sopron Beer rally will survive and hopefully become a tradition, cause such an event is a good opportunity to bring people’s attention to the topics of sustainability. The degree of water use and water purity are not only important for beer, but also for society.” Also added: Q.: „HEINEKEN Hungária uses water as a raw material for brewing, as well as for washing lines, recyclable bottles and barrels. Also employs water-saving technologies that help make minimize specific water use by water-saving technologies. Since 2008 the company has reduced its water consumption by 13.8%. A basin water of 25,000 hl, HEINEKEN’s global level with filling 1011 Olympic swimming pools – 25.3 million hectoliters – used less in 2016 than in 2015.” Last but not least was told that Sopron and Martfű Beer plants are equipped with anaerobic water treatment unit, that generates a considerable amount of biogas, which is then captured and combusted to produce energy for the brew house.

István Nagy – Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture said: Q.: „The Heineken, the global brewery industry and one of the most important companies in the domestic economy have a significant influence on the environment and society. That is why it is of great importance that it is a business strategy that is committed to sustainable development, domestic suppliers, environmental protection and responsible drinking. The company is committed to environmentally conscious thinking and keeps on paying attention to protecting the environment through state-of-the-art production methods”. After his presentation the 2nd Sopron Beer Rally was launched by him in Budapest.

Upon arrival the teams were welcomed by the Dr.Tamás Fodor – Mayor of Sopron who said that HEINEKEN Hungaria Ltd. produces its products in two breweries, this here is 120-year-old the Sopron Brewery and at Martfű (near the city of Szolnok) both plants have a sewage plant. The goal of the company is not only to reduce water consumption from year-to-year, but also to ensure that water returned to nature is clean and by this the local population is prevented to access clean water for their own use. Both plants are equipped with anaerobic water treatment unit, that generates a considerable amount of biogas, which is then captured and combusted to produce energy for the brew house.

The Sopron Beer Rally was not all about just driving and reaching the „finish spot”.  The race took cca. 300 kilometers from Budapest to Sopron.

During the Beer Rally, on the rugged path, stations by the Danube as Zebegény, Győr and Sopron were quizzes to fulfill. In between to catch a ferry was prohibited.

Our first station to complete the test was at Zebegény – Wheelbar. First, had to clean the Duna water prepared in the glasses for 7 minutes after filter, pebbles, sand and medical carbon – order is important! Then had to make a self snap on the Danube bank  and if completed received five credited kilometers. At the Achilles Park – Győr, we had to fill a ten-question test page, and a wrong answer meaning five penalty miles. Had to meet the designated distance on either side of the park on a bicycle or kayak on the lake within 3 minutes. At the final countdown reaching the Sopron Beer Manufacture, the three winners were announced who drove the route in less kms. hereafter the rally members were taken on a brewery tour in and around the factory.

As time rolled by ending the tired day with Sopron and Heineken beers the participants of the Beer Rally were taken the annual Volt Festival at Sopron, where Hungarian and British musicians rocked the muddy water road cause a huge rainstorm filled the sky, but the youngsters didn’t care at all, danced sang in the pouring rain just as the musicians.

Summing up the day, the organizers of the programs made sure to have a Perfect Day!

Update and snaps Aggie Reiter

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