The story of this extraordinary place is a common good, a part of the mutual history of the city and worthy to be added to. We would like to receive or hear about your memories, preserved documents, materials and memorabilia to enrich the story of the history of the Warsaw Brewery.
What are we looking for
We are anxious to find and record memories of former employees, neighbours of the former factories and all those who know any interesting stories related to the functioning of the brewery – from the 19th to the 21st century. How did working there look like? How was it to live in the vicinity of one of Europe's largest breweries? Who contributed to its success? We will also be very happy to receive small souvenirs related to the brewery (and not only...) and its history.
letter: Echo Investment S.A. Biuro w Warszawie, Al. Jana Pawła II 22, 00-133, Warszawa with the inscription "Memories of Warsaw Brewery".
In your correspondence please describe briefly what you would like to tell us or attach a picture of the souvenir you want to give us. We will contact the selected persons.
The scent of malt was dominant in the 18th Century Wola district
A number of small artisan breweries were operating within the Wola district at that time. Historical records indicate, that on only one street, Grzybowska, within 45 brick houses, manor and wooden houses, there were as many as 10 breweries.
In the plot occupied by today's Warsaw Brewery, on 61 Krochmalna Street, The Stencel Brewery was active until the late 18th century. In the first half of the 19th century, small wooden buildings belonging to the Ludwik Suchocki brewery were erected in the north-east area of the present site. The site in which the famous Haberbusch & Schiele brewery later evolved, was within a neighbourhood with a very long brewing tradition. Discovered within the deep foundations of today’s brewery buildings are artefacts and fragments pointing to an even older presence of brewery buildings on this site.
Błażej Haberbusch, a Munich-based Bavarian beer expert, and Konstanty Edward Schiele, formerly employed in horse-drawn coach production, met at the Schoffer & Glimpf brewery, which was based on Krochmalna Street in Warsaw's Wola district. It was a small establishment, which, like many other breweries in the neighbourhood, was producing artisan dark beers. The two were also related, by the fact that they married two sisters – Anna Maria and Dorota Klawe, the daughters of Henryk Klawe, the proprietor of a popular bakery on Marszałkowska street.
In 1846, when the "Schöffer & Glimpf" brewery buildings were to be auctioned off by the Polish National Bank, Haberbusch and Schiele felt that this was their chance. They persuaded their father-in-law to join their company and together they bought the brewery – their former place of work, for the princely sum of 24,000 Polish zlotys.
The old brewery specialized exclusively in porter beers and employed only 20 workers, but with the new owners, this was soon to change. The start of Pilsner & Bavarian beer production, was also the start of prosperity and lore of this place. During the first years of production, an average of 20 thousand brewers’ buckets (125 litres) of beer were produced. Or in other words, 2,500 hectolitres. The popular beer from Haberbusch, Schiele & Klawe, was soon nicknamed (presumably to make it easier to say) “Oberwus, Szelma and Kulawy”.
The genealogy of the Warsaw Brewers
Who were the founders of these legendary breweries, who from scratch created a huge company, and contributed greatly to the further development of the brewing industry in Warsaw? Konstanty Edward Schiele (1817–1886) was born in Warsaw, and was the son of horse-drawn carriage manufacturer Burchard Schiele, a native of Reuss. He apprenticed at the Schöffer brewery, and there he met brew-master Błażej Haberbusch (1806–1878). Haberbusch came to Warsaw from Germany to produce Bavarian types of beer. Henryk Klawe, their father-in-law, arrived in Warsaw in 1811 from a small town in Pomerania. He was the proprietor of a bakery, and in later years, became a senior fellow in the Warsaw Bakers Guild.
They were not only linked by their German descent, nor simply by family ties (the elder daughter – Anna Maria Klawe, married Haberbusch, and the younger – Dorota, married Schiele), but also through the Evangelical-Augsburg creed. From the outset, they ran the company as a family business, passing it down from father to son. Even the subsequent transformations and development of the business into a huge joint stock company did not alter the core family values.
And so: in 1866 Klawe's symbolic involvement with the company came to an end, when the father-in-law retired from active participation, and his share was taken over by his sons-in-law. Eleven years later, in 1877, one year before his death, Błażej Haberbusch, passed his shares in the company to his three sons, Henryk, Karol and Aleksander, and in 1886 the second generation of Schieles’: Feliks, Kazimierz, Ludwik and Karol joined the brewery.
In 1908, the last Haberbusch family member Karol passed away. Despite the fact of having no heirs, the name Haberbusch remained a part of the company. Jan Patzer, married Karol Haberbusch's niece, and became a family board member, while Kazimierz Schiele became the President of the company. During the interwar years, the subsequent members of both families sat on the board of directors and executive board. The last President before the war was Jan Patzer. The last of the Schieles, who tied their future and fate to the post-war brewery was Aleksander – who took an active part in the reconstruction of the plant.
Haberbusch & Schiele on the road to greatness
1849 – Haberbusch & Schiele buy adjoining brewery buildings for 12 thousand rubles. The company is enriched by another small brewery and a horse powered mill.
1850 – Another purchase is the Czarniecki brewery at Krucza Street.
1865 – The company repays Henry Klawe and changes its name to "Haberbusch & Schiele".
Both of Klawe’s sons-in-law, pay their in-law a nett amount of 280,000 rubles. An astronomical amount at the time.
1879 – The brewery is already producing 110,000 beer buckets a year and becomes one of the largest in the capital.1893 – less than five decades since its inception, the brewery produces over 12 times more beer than in the first years: 250,000 beer buckets per year.
The arrival of steam power in the 19th century changed brewing completely – human muscle-power is replaced by machine, thanks to which production can grow at an astronomical pace. The scale of the industrialization of beer production is proudly described by the sources of the time. In the agricultural exhibition catalogue of 1885, where Haberbusch & Schiele were present, we read:
"In 1876, a steam-engine, the equivalent of six horse-power was commissioned to pump water and also pelleting the hops. In addition, a three-storey malting house was built that year, to process 12,000 bushels of barley. In 1882 an artesian well was constructed by means of a steam pump. In 1884 the Brewery exhibited the latest inventions and improvements in the brewing field, as well as fermentation and chilling processes. It also increased the malting capacity to produce 20 thousand bushels of barley. All areas of the factory are steam driven, by a stationary engine equaling 20 horse-power".
The Sphinx and the Haberbusch & Schiele labels
The Sphinx. Where did it come from in the logo of the Haberbusch & Schiele breweries is a mystery. Did it symbolize something special in those days? Was it an attempt to be trendy? It is more than likely, that the sphinx has been associated with the Warsaw brand from the very beginning of its existence – over the years it has become a permanent symbol of quality of its products, regardless of age. Sphinx figures guarded the entrance to the brewery's management building, and can be found on nearly all advertising posters, neon signs, beer labels and bottles – even postwar. It was not until the 1970s that “Królewskie Beer” with the iconic Zygmunt column logo appeared.
The original branded beer labels with the famous sphinxes, were closely guarded treasures, protected by industrial design patents, the ownership thereof belonging to the brewery. Officials of the former Patent Office received and documented the label designs, as developed by the artists commissioned by the brewery. One example was kept in the archives of the head office and the other was sent to the brewery's vault. After the war, some were rescued from the ruins of the burnt-out plant on Grzybowska Street, unfortunately some were partially singed.
The malthouse is the place in the brewery where everything starts. This is where the so-called wort – a mixture of water, malt and hops – is prepared, and which undergoes fermentation later. To make the wort, the malt is run through a roller mill and cracked. Mash is prepared from it, then the mash is lautered to obtain a clarified wort. This is now known as “sweet wort” until the hops have been added. The boiling process continues, then the wort is filtered and chilled to a yeast favourable temperature. Once yeast is added, the fermentation process begins... but this is already happening in another part of the brewery – the fermentation house.
The impressive four-storey Warsaw Brewery brewhouse, is the largest preserved factory building. The main body of this historic building was built in the latter years of the nineteenth century. The rectangular, vast edifice was almost completely stripped of any historical details during the post-war reconstruction, but fortunately the layout of the windows and the partition of the façade continue to testify of its age. Moreover, the sheer scale of the building and the empty spaces left behind where the copper vats used to stand, gives a good glimpse of what was certainly an awe-inspiring production process.
The successes of the second generation of brewers
The first descendants of Haberbusch & Schiele, were just in their thirties, when they started to manage the company. Not only did they continue the traditions of the brewery, but they also decided on some very bold investments. It was during their lifetime that the company grew into that of a beer empire, and expanded its areas of expertise to include new divisions. In 1898, with a share capital of some 1.5 million roubles, the Steam Brewery Association as well as the Haberbusch & Schiele Ice Factory were established, having their headquarters at no. 59 Krochmalna Street.
The second generation of brewers readily incorporated the technical innovations of the era. Oak fermentation vats were replaced with iron ones, and the dangerous open fires beneath the boilers were replaced with an up-to-date heating system. On site, a separate electrical power plant was built, and next to this, a chemical & bacteriological laboratory was constructed. The company also revolutionized the way beer was stored. At Chmielna Street an ammonia based cooling system was installed and dry-ice production commenced. Not only was the dry-ice used by the brewery, but also sold commercially. Having access to such solutions, enabled for better warehousing and what’s more, continuous beer production throughout the year. The rebuilt, enlarged and modernized factory had become the largest single brewery in the whole of the Kingdom of Poland and became increasingly important on the European brewery scene.
Before beer sees daylight
By the middle of the 19th century, many of the neighbouring cellars in the Wola district were seasonally filled to capacity with bottles of beer. Church cellars were often used, as they were spacious and well guarded. As soon as the cellars were full, beer production ceased. Sales of beer continued as long as there was stock in the cellars. Once emptied, beer production started again.
Due to the absence of alternate storage methods, beer was a seasonal commodity, being produced from late autumn to early spring, with a break for the summer months. All this changed with the modernization of the breweries at the latter part of the 19th century, when new cooling methods appeared – such as the dry ice that Haberbusch & Schiele brewers learned to produce.
The brewery cellars were used as a vast warehousing facility, originally connected to the malthouse building. It is one of the few surviving parts of the old buildings. Their layout shows, that they have been excavated, and extended many times. Not only has the array of cavernous chambers with gorgeous vaulted ceilings survived, but also the delightful, original and beautiful, vitreous brick work.
The average wage of employees at Haberbusch & Schiele was higher than at other establishments within the industry. In addition, employees could count on many more benefits: they were insured in-case of accidents, allowed to use the baths, eat in the canteens, make use of outpatient clinics, surgeons' assistance and chemists. Moreover, the employees had access to social welfare and of course holiday facilities in the town of Jabłonna. The owners of the brewery also took great care in the development and nurturing of future staff. At 37 Chłodna Street, they established a non-fee paying brewery school. What’s more, anyone who knew how to read – could use the free reading room located at 22 Krochmalna Street.
Children were also not forgotten. At the exit from the brewery there was a small side building, the so-called “protection room” (nowadays we would call this – a company nursery school or crèche) for the use of seventy children of the brewery workers: "They learn here, they have fun in the garden, they are provided with baths and cleanliness and gain knowledge and respect for basic hygiene rules”.
The innovative work methods of the owners sometimes "inspired" the employees themselves. The most effective method at those times – was a strike. In January and February of 1905, on a wave of general workers discontent, nearly all of the employees – 170 – at the brewery protested. The heaviest strikes in the summer of 1906 included not only the Haberbusch & Schiele factory, but all of the other Warsaw breweries. Protestors ultimately achieved a lot of success in these years: namely shorter working hours and higher wages.
Under the management of the next generation, the Haberbusch & Schiele Steam Brewery Ltd., merged with the Steam Association brewery of W. Kijok and Company. The press described the new entity in sheer superlatives :
"In these vast areas, the toil and effort proceeds apace. […] A few hundred workers under the leadership of skilled brew masters, quench the thirst of tens of thousands of throats with excellent Pilsner, Bavarian and Kulmbach beers, produced from the finest ingredients, purchased direct from suppliers [...]
The numbers speak for themselves:
…The annual output is 800,000 buckets.
...Bottle beer alone accounts for some 8 million bottles a year.
…excise duty paid in a year was 170 thousand roubles.
…200 workers are employed at the brewery.
...The space occupied by the brewery is around to 60,000 cubits, not including the buildings on Wronia Street, where the stables, workshops, blacksmith, carpenter etc. are located".
The brewery also owned 60 drays and 5 goods vehicles, which created a sensation on the streets of Warsaw, as well as an extensive fleet of railway wagons, that distributed beer to all corners of the country. In addition, a special dark variety of beer – Kulmbach Black was delivered all the way to the Caucasus and even the Far East!
The mere existence of the brewery laboratory, simply demonstrates the emphasis on the quality of production and scientific advancement that the factory owners believed in. How important was the institution, you can find out from the press, which in 1906 reported the brewery’s links with the most brilliant minds of the time:
"The Haberbusch & Schiele brewery is under dual external quality control – and this does not include their own bacteriological facilities, which are a vital element of the factory". The brewery was monitored by the Warsaw Brewers chemistry institute; and then secondly, by the Copenhagen chemist, a most distinguished specialist "Jörgensen, the successor of the famous Hansen, the brightest of all of Pasteur's pupils, who was the first to succeed in dividing the yeast cell. [...]
Production is on the up and up, and is in-step and hand in hand, with theory and practice, with science, and with the highest demands of hygiene and progress”.
The Laboratory building itself was built around 1827. Originally it was a one-storey dwelling belonging to the Ludwik Suchocki brewery. The building was adjacent to the malthouse – the oldest, remaining part of the old brewery. During the expansion in 1884, a floor was added to the laboratory building, and the elevation changed to more of a French architectural – which has survived to this day.
From the beginning of the 20th century, the brewery gates were flung open to journalists – trips and visits were organized, under the watchful eye of company executives, and as a result media reports began to appear.One of the reporters from the illustrated “Świat” magazine in 1906 reported: "Judging by the polite eagerness with which one of the company directors, Mr. Feliks Schiele, guided me from chamber to chamber, and corner to corner of the washrooms of the massive factory, I could with ease report – They have a great deal to be proud of”.
"The fine appliances that Messrs Haberbusch & Schiele have introduced into their brewery, on Krochmalna Street, indeed can bring around even the most hardened of beer abstinents. Here, cleanliness is everywhere. This is where the glaze of the tiles and floors gleam. This is where every piece of equipment smells of freshness"- does one need better advertising?
The management ensures to always be in the technological vanguard. The director himself admits: „We are frequently ahead even of foreign brewers as regards innovations. This is the place where new solutions are being put through their paces, invariably copied later by imitators. At each step, Schiele draws the visitor's attention to the innovations used in his brewery:
"Every now and then I see a awesome gem […] for example two metal enamel vats of American invention, where fermentation instead of fourteen days, needs only five".
Giant wooden vats gave way to steel, a new cleaning and bottling system was introduced, and subsequent production phases were mechanized. Electric lifts were installed as well as pneumatic devices to move and carry loads. The matter of hygiene was not only a focus at the premises – the heirs of Haberbusch & Schiele founded the first bacteriological laboratory in Warsaw at the Evangelical Hospital. The real sensation however came about in 1911, when a chimney was erected, standing 65 metres high above the brewery, one of the highest in the Kingdom of Poland, and probably a forerunner of the sky-scrapers above Warsaw.
Dignified entrepreneurship reigns on Grzybowska Street
In 1919, Ryszard Schiele became the director of the Kijok brewery on Żelazna Street, taken over by Haberbusch & Schiele. Later he sat on the board of directors.
"My father was a goliath of a working man. He was also very straightforward and just”
– said his son, Edward Schiele.
"I recall going to the city with my nanny. It began to pour. I was soaked to the bone. On the street we came across a company dray drawn by Percheron horses. Nanny stopped him. She pointed at me saying that I was the director's son. She asked the coachman to turn the dray around and to take us home. The coachman apologized and said that the dray was loaded with goods, and as such, the regulations do not allow for the carriage of people. He lashed at the horses and departed. In the evening my father returned from work. At home there was indignation at the coachman’s behaviour. The following day my father comes back and says "I talked to the coachman. I gave him an increase of 10 zloty and a promotion".
The descendants of the brewery founders maintained the principles of dignified entrepreneurship. They continued to invest in the company, in advertising and in technology. They did throw away their success. There was an ethos of hard work in the family, and the development of the brewery was the most important of them.
The end of the Golden Age
1914 ended the good fortunes for the brewery. In the first days of World War I, the Tsarist authorities forbade beer production and it was only at the end of the year, that they agreed to the production of a non-alcoholic malt beverage. In 1915, Warsaw was occupied by the Germans. The new occupying authorities allowed the removal of seals from scales and from the maturing cellars, but prohibited the production of beer with higher alcohol content. So the brewery started to produce a weak beer called "Amata", and because it was not successful, they produced on the side a decidely "stronger" brew, that was sold under the same name as approved by the Germans.
For the new occupier Haberbusch & Schiele, despite the German ancestry of the founders, was a completely Polish company. For the brewery it meant one thing – closure. Germany wanted to support its own industries. Their factories needed new markets, and in a ruined Europe there was no place for competition of any kind. The Warsaw goliath was finding it increasingly difficult in avoiding the administrative traps as prepared by the invaders. At the end of the day, the owners of the plant decided to halt production in the recently acquired W. Kijok brewery a few years earlier.
The Great War completely ruined the brewery market in Poland. Of some 500 breweries, only about half remained active. Those which did survive lacked barley. The beer industry was balancing its fortunes on a knife edge, as brewers without raw materials brewed ever worse and worse products. It was not until the postwar period that the brewers could once again enjoy some good fortune.
In 1921 following a merger, The United Warsaw Breweries Haberbusch & Schiele Ltd. comes into being.
Post war, the losses of all Warsaw brewers were estimated at 5 million roubles in gold. In such a situation, the Management Board of "Haberbusch and Schiele" decided that mergers with smaller breweries would be required, in order to revitalize the ruined plants and the industry. Following extensive negotiations in 1921, the United Warsaw Breweries "Haberbusch & Schiele" Ltd. was formed. The new company included E. Reych, K. Machlejd and S. Jung breweries, as well as the Korona brewery. After the merger, the company had something like 600 thousand square feet of industrial property in Warsaw alone. In addition, it owned real estate in Białystok, Kalisz and Łódź. Transport consisted of 30 chilled railway wagons, some 25 trucks and about 100 dray horses.
The main objective of the operation was to significantly improve the quality of production, utilizing the old preserved and usable equipment and means of transport, while at the same reducing administrative costs. Any savings made, were to be invested in the expansion and modernization of production plants. The members of the board were: Kazimierz Ludwik Schiele (1860-1931) - President, Edward Schiele, Tadeusz Lampe, Antoni Reych, Seweryn Jung, Julian Machlejd, Jan Patzer, Wojciech Bogusławski, Henryk Oppenheim, Brunon Mrożewski. Total production was then 10% of the whole domestic beer production, second only to the Tychy and Okocim breweries.
In 1924, Gazeta Warszawska described the business model of the new company:
In the history of the brewing industry in Poland, one company has the right to stake its claim as one of the most popular, "United Warsaw Breweries Haberbusch & Schiele Ltd. in Warsaw". The company is guided by the principle of what is known as ’horizontal development’, which consists of merging individual associations into one larger one, thus ensuring that the owners who join the union have the same amount of income as the capital they have invested in the company, and so, they can expand their business with minimal administrative costs".
Already in the 19th century, "Haberbusch & Schiele" brands were sent to the outermost borders of the Kingdom of Poland and the Russian Empire, as well as Germany and many other countries within Europe and the Far East.
After the postwar crisis, the United Breweries of Warsaw quickly returned to the path of success. In 1925, besides the brewing and carbonated beverages divisions, a vodka and liqueur entity was opened on Ceglana Street (today – Pereca Street). In 1928, an exclusive railway siding was laid down in the vicinity of Sowińskiego Street, which included warehouses and also a fire brigade was established. The brewery also operated a steam mill, which won many awards at international food festivals and exhibitions.
In the 1930’s, the company began to successfully compete with global beer producers, and started to export its products to the United States and Great Britain. At Grzybowska Street victory celebrations were held amongst others, for the fending off of Carlsberg as to who would supply Polish Oceanic Lines with products.
In addition to beer, the company produced liqueurs, vodka, lemonade, food acids and grain coffee, and was also the only company in Poland to receive a licence from the representative of White Horse Vodka, and Marteau cognacs. Grain coffee, on the other hand, began to be produced thanks to the idea of wholesalers for the use of surplus grain, which normally was being fed to Percheron horses when distributing beer.
The brewery's headquarters
On Grzybowska Street stood the Schiele family villa, designed by Stefan Szyller. From the latter part of the 19th century, the sons of Konstanty lived there: The brothers Feliks and Kazimierz Schiele together with their families. The villa was surrounded by a garden, and behind the wall was the factory.
In the 1930s the family of Ryszard Schiele – an avid brewer, who was one of Feliks' five sons, lived on the ground floor. He studied in Zwickau, in Saxony, and then apprenticed at Tuborg, Carlsberg, and others. In addition to a fervent brewing passion, he was also known as a great joke teller. The first floor was occupied by the widow of Kazimierz Schiele, know as aunty Andzia and loved by the whole family. She had aristocratic manners and was a great authority. What she had to say was respected by everyone.
The Villa survived the II World War, and it was only in the 1960’s, during the reconstruction and modernization of the brewery, that the building was transformed. The front outhouse was demolished, architectural details removed and the elevations pebble-dashed. After restoration it will return to its former glory.
The first beer-gardens in Warsaw and celebrity advertising
At the beginning, the Haberbusch & Schiele brewery was having problems with sales. At that time, the people of Warsaw were not accustomed to dark, strong Bavarian beers. So, the entrepreneurs started to market their products. Advertisements praising the beer produced at Grzybowska Street began to appear in the press. What’s more, this amber nectar could be be tried not only at home or in stuffy beer houses, but also in the beer gardens, to which Warsaw residents became quickly accustomed to.
In the vicinity was a famous place at No. 2 Sienna Street known as the „Bar Artystyczny Pod Wiechą”. “We recommend draught beer in glasses from the Haberbusch & Schiele brewery: Pilsner, lager and Kulmbach"- encourage the advertisements. The grandchildren of the founding fathers, in addition to maintaining the high quality of the products, were also increasingly using promotion. In the 1930’s, they ran a very original form of brand advertising – Celebrity Endorsement.
Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois, known as Mistinguett – the then star of the time, an actress and singer was the best-paid artiste in the world, and her performances were in popular demand by all theaters and music halls. No wonder that her arrival in Warsaw in 1936 created a real sensation. Even more so, when the French star, became the “face” of the brewery, and even appeared in posters advertising the beer.
September 1939 brought a huge loss to the brewery. Several bombardments led, amongst others to damage of boiler room. After taking over the capital, by the occupying force in October 1939 a commissary was appointed. The prices of beers and lemonades were set, the amount of production was fixed, and increases in the wages and hourly rates of employees were prohibited. Only a small part of the production was destined for the Polish market, and the lion share went to wholesalers in the General Government. The company continued production under its current management. The director discreetly employed members of the underground sought by the Germans, by falsifying documents. Help was given to Polish artistes and actors. The brewery had become a new home for nearly 500 people who had fled the fighting front. The company helped them by sharing among other things coffee and sugar. Through the dividing wall of the brewery, which was adjacent to the ghetto, food and material aid was given to the Jews. Zofia and Aleksander Schiele, who were involved in helping the ghetto and its victims, were posthumously awarded the "Righteous Among the Nations" Medal by the Israeli Yad Vashem Institute in 2015.
In the autumn of 1943 the Germans detained the director of the factory Aleksander Schiele and his 19-year-old son Jerzy. They were imprisoned in the Pawiak jail. They were brutally beaten and questioned. At some point, Aleksander was released. However, the Gestapo had evidence that proved Jerzy was active in the Home Army conspiracy. Heinrich Himmler's personal order was that he be shot. It was supposed to be an example for others of German descent who considered themselves Poles and did not want to sign the “volkslist”.
Warsaw’s life-saving source
In the night from 2nd to 3rd August 1944, the brewery was taken over by soldiers of the "Chrobry I" battalion. And so, in essence, the brewery quickly became the granary of the battling capital. Barley that was in storage, was used to feed the population, and somehow keep the literally starving Warsaw alive. Cereal grains were issued as food allowances to civilians and the home-army. The infamous “spit soup” was made from these grain allowances, (even after cooking, it was still necessary to spit-out barley husks that were in the soup).
But not only food was stored at the Grzybowska Street factory. In the cellars of the brewery where once thousands of bottles of beer stood waiting to be sold, now there could be found large supplies of arms and munitions.
Despite the massive efforts of the fire brigade, some of the brewery's buildings burned down during the Warsaw Uprising, and after the surrender, the Germans plundered whatever was worth taking, and set fire to the rest. The brewery ceased to exist. After the war the overall destruction to the brewery was assessed at about 70%. Of all the machinery that was transported out of Warsaw, all that was reclaimed, were the machines from the Vodka and Liqueur factory on Ceglana Street.
Beer returns to the capital
After the war, the now nationalized brewery was called: Warszawskie Zakłady Piwowarskie (Warsaw Brewery). The only former member of the board of directors of the company was Aleksander Schiele (1890-1976), who, until the outbreak of war, was a director in the Vodka and Condiment Factory. He led the rebuilding of the factory, working simultaneously with the Capital Reconstruction Ministry (BOS), where as a qualified architect, he participated in the rebuilding and reconstruction of several historic buildings in Warsaw. Among others the Blank Palace.
Ministry officials wanted to be able to boast as quickly as possible the start of operations at the brewery that Warsaw loved, but they often made some stupid and absurd decisions. One of them was an attempt to use equipment from other breweries e.g. from Braniewo. To make use of the equipment from Braniewo meant that the cellars of the Haberbusch & Schiele plants had to be deepened by two meters, which was not only costly but reduced the usefulness of the existing parts that had actually survived the war.
It was therefore not until 1955 that the first bottles actually came off the production line. The assortment was limited to two beers: a light Pilsner and a dark malt. The press wrote about it with immense joy:
"The consumption of beer increased after the war six-fold. So far, beer has flowed to the capital from several breweries, hundreds of kilometers from Warsaw, namely from Wroclaw and from Krotoszyn. When there was a heat-wave ... we know, we know ... beer was unavailable from kiosks. Next year, this situation will improve. A few days ago the Warsaw brewery started production again”.
On July 19, 1972, the first bottle of Coca-Cola was bottled on the production line of the Warsaw brewery. The license for its production was personally signed a year earlier by the then First Secretary of the PZPR (Polish United Workers Party) Edward Gierek. And so the bottling of the drink began, which in the 1950s had been the symbol of the "imperialist rot of the West" for the communist authorities.
On the first day, 240 boxes of 24 bottles were sold in the "Supersam" and "Sezam" shops in Warsaw – a total of 5,760 bottles of Coca-Cola.
The drink, wherever it appeared, vanished immediately. Production was barely enough for just the shops in the Mazovian region. "Symbol of US imperialism" could also be obtained in Częstochowa. The effect was that, almost every tourist travelling from Lodz or Gdansk to Zakopane made a stopover in Częstochowa. Just to buy a few bottles of the much desired drink.
In 1968 the Warsaw plant became the headquarters of the Warsaw Brewery, which also included the breweries in Ciechanów and Wyszków. These three establishments could use the name "Królewskie" as the name for their products (the first bottles of "Królewskie " beer appeared on the market in 1970).
On the label, the year 1846 was inscribed (the year of the founding of the company by Konstanty Edward Schiele, Błażej Haberbusch and Henryk Klawe), and the column of Zygmunt III Wasa, whose renovation was later funded by the Warsaw brewery. On the label of the "Full Light" beer was an old friend, the good sphinx – a symbol chosen by the founders themselves.
In 1974, from the seven types of beer produced, five had a so-called “mark of quality”. Until the end of 1975 barrels were delivered only in the Warsaw area and bottled beers were sold in Warsaw. Customers praised the beer for its hop aroma, clarity and a nice, bitter aftertaste.