Since the launch of Cambodia Beer in November last year, Khmer Brewery Senior Vice President Peter Leang says Khmer Brewery is a dream come true.
Leang spent seven months in Berlin, Germany studying to become a brewmaster and now heads the technical team at the brewery.
“The dream has come true,” Leang said earlier this week at the $60 million brewery, the grand opening for which was held May 14.
Leang got to take Prime Minister Hun Sen on a tour of the brewery that day and reported that the Prime Minister was particularly interested in the technology on the packing line, which detects and rejects cans of beer which aren’t quite full and cartons of beer which are short of a can.
“The prime minister is an amazing man, very hands-on with the Cambodian people,” Leang said.
“I thought it would be very difficult to give him a tour, because I never gave such a formal tour to a high ranking person, but it was so easy, and he kept asking me questions. I showed him our technology from Germany, the security, the process control; he said it was good to control the quality on computers so you will not face any problems with the end users.”
Leang said the seven months he spent in Berlin studying to become a brew master paid off.
“We went through all the research to see if there was any possibility to invest and we brought the results of the study to the board and then found a supplier to build a new brewery. I came back in July, 2010 to look after the installation of the equipment. Now here we are producing beer and selling it in the marketplace.” Leang said he could not have achieved it without an excellent support team.
“This is all because I have a very good team surrounding me, to overcome all the obstacles.”
One focus of particular intensity was the taste of the beer, making sure it was suitable for the Cambodian palate.
“We made the taste we made special for Cambodian people. This is a lager beer but it tastes better because of our raw materials. We have malt from Europe, hops from Germany and we have very good quality of equipment we can use to control the process of the product very well.”
One of the ways Leang controls the taste is to keep a clean environment.
“The more you clean the better taste you have. The more you clean the more money you spend. This is our standard. We stop the whole line and we clean everything every week for a whole day.”
Leang says Cambodia Beer should be chilled to between four and six degrees Celsius.
He recommends against adding ice to beer, because it dilutes the taste and the quality of the added ice is hard to judge.
“Beer is very sensitive to heat, so we recommend you keep it stored in a cool, dark place.”
Leang recommends Cambodia Beer with all kinds of Khmer food, including dried fish and dried beef. He said it was particularly good with German foods like sausage and pork knuckle as well as Korean and Chinese food.
“We’re very proud that the Cambodian people support our Cambodian product,” he said, adding that exports of Cambodia Beer to Japan would start next month.
“Cambodia Beer is a Cambodian product made by Cambodians and owned by Cambodians,” Leang said.