Czech brewery Pivovar Svijany, established in 1564 and one of the oldest in the country has in 2017 again increased its output by 2% to 637,500 hectoliters despite a challenging environment. Since 1989 the brewery managed to increase its output steadily from less than 43,000 hectoliters to its current size and is now the sixth biggest brewery in the Czech Republic. Only in 2014 the brewery recorded a minor decline in sales.
CEO Roman Havlík said the obligation to record all sales by electronic cash registers made clients in the last year buying their beer from other sources or to go out of business. Also the smoking ban caused several pubs and restaurants to cease operations. (inside.beer, 3.6.2017)
On the other hand the brewery could notice a higher demand for bottled and canned beer. In 2017 Svijany commissioned a new canning line and insourced this operation, which was done since 2001 by a third party.
Pivovar Svijany sold last year three million cans of beer and hopes to further increase this amount in 2018 due to growing exports to Slovakia, Germany and Poland. Total export last year amounted to 7%. According to Havlík the brewery has also ambitious plans for 2018 and wants to increase output to 650,000 hectoliters.
Pivovar Svijany is located 88 kilometres north-east of Czech’s capital Prague in the village of the same name and is the largest in the Liberec district, which is a mountainous region bordered by Poland and Germany.
In 2002 after the fall of the iron curtain the state-owned brewery became a joint stock company and in 1997 a part of Pražské Pivovary (Prague Breweries), which belonged by that time to the independent English Bass brewing group (today part of Molson Coors).
In 2000 Interbrew (which became later AB InBev) bought the brewing operations of Bass and became direct owner of Pražské Pivovary in 2002, which one year later changed its name to Pivovary Staropramen.
In 2009, the private equity fund CVC Capital Partners bought all of AB InBev's holdings in Central Europe and renamed it StarBev. In 2010, Liberec Investment Fund acquired 55% of the company’s shares from StarBev and the remaining 45% from Pivovary Lobkowicz Group (K Brewery Group), a group of Czech breweries controlled by entrepreneur Martin Burda. In 2012 Molson Coors bought StarBev thus bringing Bass and Staropramen again under the same roof.