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.