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A SHORT HISTORY OF CĒSU ALUS BREWERY

1590
The brewing of beer is referred to for the first time in the minutes of the Cēsis Castle audit, in which information can be found regarding the malt drying-room and hop gardens. The first brewery was located in the castle itself. 1590 is considered to be the year when the brewery was founded.
1621 The Swedish-Polish war is won by the Swedes. The previous brewery capacity is no longer sufficient to satisfy their immense thirst and the brewery is relocated to the third forecastle. Large hop gardens are planted around its perimeters.
1785 Cēsis is proclaimed as the county town. An economic boom is recorded. The demand for Cēsu alus is so great that there is not enough room in the town’s pubs and a new pub is built outside Cēsis at Rucka, Duvincka and Jurģi.
1878
The historic brewery buildings are built and the Cēsu alus brewery is established in the ownership of Graf Emanuel Zievers.
1922 Several entrepreneurs from Cēsis repurchase the brewery from Zievers and establish the JSC Augļu dārzs. During this period, wine, juices and mineral water are also produced at the brewery. Branches of ‘Augļu dārzs‘ are opened in Rīga, Jelgava and Valmiera.
1940 JSC Augļu dārzs is nationalised.
1950 The company is rebuilt and new equipment is installed. Production volumes increase four-fold.
1976 Industrial beer producer Cēsu alus is established which also incorporates Naukšēnu and Gulbene breweries.
1988 The holding company conglomerate is disbanded.
1995 Cēsu alus is privatised and once again becomes a joint stock company.
1998 A decision is taken to increase JSC Cēsu alus equity capital, as a result of which, the Norwegian-Latvian Commerce Development Fund becomes a shareholder in the company.
1999 The Norwegian-Latvian Commerce Development Fund sell its shares to the Finnish beer and non-alcoholic drinks producer Olvi Oyj subsidiary A.Le Coq. This marks the beginning of a new stage in Cēsu alus with broad opportunities for modernisation, production co-operation, increasing the qualifications of employees and cementing the company’s positions in the Latvian and Baltic markets, whilst preserving the unique heritage of the Cēsu alus brand.

A JSC Cēsu alus management representative presents the ‚Cēsnieks‘ award to artist Ivars Prauliņš during the Cēsis Town festival for his significant and selfless work for the good of society and the town of Cēsis. The presentation of this award is continued on an annual basis with the award going to a person selected by Cēsu alus in partnership with Cēsis Council with the opinion of the people of Cēsis being a crucial factor in the choice of the recipient.
2000
On May 16, a festive ceremony marks the beginning of the construction of a new brewery in Cēsis. A foundation stone from the walls of the ancient Cēsis Castle brewery is laid in the foundations of the new brewery.
July 6,2001 The plant is formally opened at Palmu iela 13 in Cēsis. It boasts a filling capacity of 20 million litres of beer. A decision is subsequently made to change its legal address. Its new address is Aldaru laukums 1, Cēsis, LV - 4101, Latvia.
2003 Cēsu alus becomes the second largest beer producer in Latvia. Investments in the production plant reach 7 million lats. A 2 million lats investment is planned that will be allocated for the construction of a new boiler-house. The brewery is visited by Latvian Prime Minister Einars Repše and Estonian Prime Minister Juhann Part. Cēsu alus commences distribution of Heineken products in Latvia.
2004 Eva Sietiņsone has served as the JSC Cēsu alus Chairman of the Board since 2004. Prior to 2004 she headed the JSC Cēsu alus Financial and Administrative Department, greatly contributing to the development of the company.
2005 In continuing the planned investment acquisition, construction is completed on the new JSC Cēsu alus production unit, which includes a brewery and bottling facility. 4 million Lats were invested into the construction of the complex. With the anticipation of doubling the capacity of the brewery to 40 million litres of beer and non-alcoholic beverages per year, the production unit was equipped with the newest generation of high-quality standard equipment.
2006 JSC Cēsu alus is the first foodstuffs production company in Latvia to pass a complicated certification process and receives the “BRC Global Standard – Food” certificate. The BRC (British Retail Consortium) is a UK trade association, whose developed and internationally recognized standard “BRC Global Standard – Food” is for specific requirement foodstuffs companies, who supply products to retail chains and other companies. The Standard is developed to helped product retail companies in the fulfilment of EU-specific requirements and consumer protection, by ensuring unified principles in the evaluation of production companies.
2007

JSC Cēsu alus opens unique treatment plants for the manufacture of beer in the Baltic States.

In implementing an active investment policy, JSC Cēsu alus modernises its waste water treatment system. New treatment plants guarantee the complete treatment of waste water and prevents any kind of harm to the surrounding environment, as the treatment process neither uses chemical substances, nor has a distinct odour; the biogas created in the treatment process is collected and used for production needs.

Similar facilities exist in beer breweries in many other locations across the world, but it is the first time such facilities are used in the Baltic States.
2008

JSC Cēsu alus has implemented the largest investment project in the history of the company by grounding its position as the most rapidly developing beer brewery in Latvia. The company invested more than 10 million euro into production development. The greater part of this sum was invested into the development of a canning line, which allows JSC Cēsu alus to continue as the leader in the rapidly growing field of canning in all beverage sectors. The line is presently the most modern canning line in the Baltic States.

The beer Mītava was created in collaboration with Brainstorm (Prāta vētra), the most popular band in Latvia. Men have to relax! Mītavas beer has triggered huge mass media and societal interest in 2008. This is a beer that, in a short period of time, achieved a lasting position among the top ten most sold bottled beer brands. In 2008, the mutually created JSC Cēsu alus and Prāta Vētra Mītava beer earned the Cicero Award in the advertisement nomination “Best Advertising Campaign”. At the heart of the TV advertisement are stories of how the people of Mītavaused to relax in ancient times.

In the renovated rooms of the New Cēsis Castle, the oldest beer brewery of Latvia has established the first beer exposition in Latvia. The exhibition The History of JSC Cēsu Alus and its Contribution to the Development of the City of Cesis" provides information on more than 400 years of history of the company, its development and achievements, and also increases the interest of visitors to the Cēsis Castle Manor complex, where the historical and cultural heritage JSC Cēsu alus beer brewery building was situated from the 19th to the 21st century.

In 2008, JSC Cēsu alus Chairman of the Board Eva Sietiņsone Zatlere was presented with the Latvian Merchant Association’s Mark of Distinction “Best Manufacturer-Distributor 2007”. The Mark of Distinction was presented for the achievements of the company, which is the most rapidly developing company in the field of food production and brewery products. Due to their popularity and high quality, these products have received consumer recognition by being named “Product of the Year”.

2009

Cēsu alus has received a Superior Level Quality Certificate – BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Certificate and since now Cēsu alus is the first and only manufacturer of beverages in the Baltic States that has received a world-class quality certificate for canned beverages.

Cēsu alus develops the can market in Latvia by inventing innovative Packaging– can ina new pint volume.

Cēsu alus has received the Socially Responsible Company 2009 awardaccording to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility.

According to an assessment by the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia, the State Revenue Service, the State Employment Inspection and other experts, the company Cēsu alus was named one of the best employers in Latvia.

2010

In the contest for the title of Best beer that took place at the Helsinki Beer Festival, Cēsu Porteris – produced by JSC Cēsu alus received the honorable Silver medal.

In thefirst “Sustainability Index” of Latvian companies, Cēsualus was included in the silver level. Index is an indicator that allows company results in all aspects of corporative responsibility to be evaluated – environment, market relations, working environment and responsibility towards society.

Cēsu alus has been judged as “The most efficient beer producer in Latvia”, ranking in a high position namely No. 10 of the list of food producers in the Baltics. This year, the most popular alcoholic beverage in Latvia was the alcoholic cocktail Cēsu Džons, while the most favoured beer brand - Cēsu Premium. Both beverage brands also received the award of Product of the Year by the Latvian Merchants Association. At the end of 2010, JSC Cēsu alus received the highest A level certificate BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, by adjusting the existing production unit of Cēsu alus to international level requirements.

2011

Cēsu alus was awarded the title of „The most responsible employer“.

Cēsu alus introduces to the market the first live non-filtered beer in a glass bottle – Cēsu Nefiltrētais. JSC Cēsu alus introduced the first live non-filtered beer in a glass bottle to the market – Cēsu Nefiltrētais. A special beer brand was created in devotion to the city of Cēsis – Cēsu Special, which was a gift in celebration of the 800th anniversary of Cēsis Manor. Cēsu alus produced the first can of Porter beer in Latvia – Cēsu Ziemas Porteris. It is now available not only in a glass bottle, but also in a can. Implementing the modernisation of production devices, in 2011 the technical equipment made it possible to package beer pints in 0.568 l volume cans. It was a success, because the Cēsu Premium pint became the best sold can in Latvia in 2013. In spring JSC Cēsu alus, in cooperation with the dependence prevention association Be free! (Esi brīvs!), organised special practical seminars for young people in order to educate them on psychological reasons for and real consequences of alcohol dependence.In summer, the cooperation was continued with the biggest music and arts festival in the Baltics – Positivus. Within the framework of the campaign carried out by Cēsu alus, everyone had the opportunity to create a can design for Cēsu Premium Limited Edition Rock. The best design was selected from 197 submitted designs and was portrayed on one of the cans of the Cēsu Premium series. In 2011, Cēsu alus increased the total sales volume by 10%. By particularly developing the positions of premium products in the overall Latvian beer market, influence was strengthened within the beer segment, while also still retaining the leading positions in other beverage segments.

2012

Cēsu alus initiated the creation of the can design series of Cēsu Premium National Edition in dedication to the characteristic values of Latvia, events and things that inspire us in our land. Everyone could participate in the creation of the design and the most original and appropriate design was selected from among the 449 submitted designs for the beer brand of Cēsu Premium. Cēsu alus received acknowledgement from The Chief Rabbinate of Israel about the awarding of kosher certification to the distribution of all beer brands produced by Cēsu alus in sales points in Israel. In March, the Latvian beer market was supplemented with three new import beer brands - Krušovice Imperial, Krušovice Černe and Edelweiss; whereas, the Latvian cider market was supplemented with JSC Cēsu alus import Premium category cider – Sherwood. This year, Latvian beer lovers got to know the beer favoured in Finland – Sandels. Cēsu alus supplemented the non-filtered beer line with a new brand Cēsu Nefiltrētais Baltalus. The production of the world famous beverage brand Angry Birds was initiated. Cēsu alus created an interactive event concept – a project with the slogan “Be NON-addicted!” during which students were informed about alcohol dependence prevention measures. Cēsu Nefiltrētais beer brand received the award Product of the Year as the most successful beer brand in 2012. The same award in its category was also granted to the alcoholic cocktail Cēsu Džons Pina Colada.

2013

Cēsu alus initiated an exclusive educational beer degustation cycle "Beer Master-Class" with an aim to discover the traditions of beer brewing and enjoyment in different regions of the world. This year, the visitors of the event were introduced to the beer culture of North America. A new beer brand was created honouring the founder of the Cēsu alus brewery and the landlord of Cēsis Manor – Grāfs fon Zīverss. To celebrate the XXV Nationwide Latvian Song and the XV Dance Festival, a special design can series of Cēsu Premium – About songs and About dance – was created. Within the framework of the campaign, a Cēsu Award fund was established in order to support the development of song and dance culture in Latvia. Since 2013, the beer cans produced and packaged by Cēsu alus have been decorated with a foil cap in the colours of the Latvian flag – carmine red and white, as well as an informative title "The only beer in a can produced in Latvia". In contributing to the environmental improvement of the local community, Cēsu alus built a new skate park in the city of Cēsis for young people, thus providing a qualitative way for the young people of Cēsis to spend their free time. The senior club of Cēsu alus was established, which gathers existing and former long-time employees of Cēsu alus who are now retired. Several important investment projects had been implemented – efficiency of the beer packaging process improved, a new expanded laboratory with modern devices set up, logistics warehouses enlarged, a new information system in the company implemented, as well as the space of beer fermentation containers expanded. Cēsu alus expanded its product portfolio with several new products - Cēsu Premium Amber and Cēsu non-filtered buckwheat beer (Cēsu Nefiltrētais Griķu alus). Besides, the distribution of natural spring water Lielbāts in Latvia was initiated. This year, the company was awarded "Socially Most Responsible Employer", "Project Award of the Year 2013" on exceptionally performed projects in the field of personnel administration; a gold level assessment within the Sustainability Index was received, as well as the CrefoCert Gold level certificate - a mark of stability and quality, which acknowledges the company's stability, promotes the overall reputation of the company and demonstrates its ability to meet financial commitments.

2014

The beer brewery Cēsu alus became the first and only beer brewery in Latvia that uses Latvian-grown barley in beer brewing, thus contributing to the development of Latvian agriculture and cultivation of grain. A new, particularly slowly ripened beer brand was created – Cēsu Nefiltrētais Lēnalus, which is ripened for 60 days and is a novelty in the Latvian market. For the second consecutive spring, the exclusively educational event "Beer Master-Class" was held, which this year was devoted to the beer culture of England. In summer of 2014, a unique beer series in Latvia with a collector's value – Beer For Your City – was created in devotion to 15 Latvian cities and historical districts. The series includes Cēsu Premium beer bottles with labels of 15 different Latvian cities, Cēsu Premium cans with maps of four Latvian historical districts – Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Latgale, Zemgale – as well as a collection of four beer glasses with the design of Latvian historical regions.

 

© A/s "Cēsu alus"
Aldaru laukums 1, Cēsis, LV-4101, Tel. 80009090, cesualus@cesualus.lv

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