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Volfas Engelman history

THE BEGINNING OF THE HISTORY

THE BEGINNING OF THE HISTORY

The history starts when in the middle of the 19th century businessman Rafailas Volfas founds a brewery. The business is taken over by his son Iseras Beras Volfas after the name of whom the brewery is named. The brewery is established in Vilijampole, suburb of Kaunas at that time.
In 1853 the enterprise becomes one of the first industrial breweries in the eastern region of the Baltic Sea.

Soon in the region of Carmelite Church by the Nemunas and railway station the predecessor of the brewery “Engelman” starts working. In 1894 I. B. Volfas and A. Soloveicikas buy the brewery belonging to Ferdinand Engelman. The new owners leave the name of the brewery. In parallel two breweries “I. B. Volfas” and “Engelman” are working, their beer is widely known beyond the limits of Kaunas Governorate; it earns the medals of international exhibitions and acquires recognition already at the end of the 19th century.

THE GOLDEN AGE

According to the Western model new buildings go up, the Lithuanian industry which has suffered during the war period is restored. The former owners of “I. B. Volfas” and “Engelman” return to Lithuania. Soon already 11 breweries are working in Lithuania, among them the two largest – in Kaunas. In 1927 the owners of “I. B. Volfas” and “Engelman” temporizing to the formed complicated market conditions and aiming to reduce the expenditure of the plant and to increase the profit of the breweries, amalgamate these enterprises into “Joint-stock Company of United Breweries, Malt Factories and Squash Shops “I. B. Volfas-Engelman” – the enterprise becomes the largest producer of beer and occupies up to 40 per cent of the beer market of the contemporary Lithuania.

THE GOLDEN AGE

The brewery becomes famous for “Pilzen” beer, “Lithuanian Porter”, the strong porter “Imperial”, the English beer “Double” and other drinks. That was a beer for the quality of which medals were awarded in Lithuanian and foreign exhibitions.
Specially for the 1930s anniversary celebration of the Lithuanian agricultural and industrial exhibition of Vytautas Magnus, the brewery launches the widespread popular dark beer, which was sold in the famous I.B. Volf-Engelman pavilion. Brewery was famous for Pilzen beer, "Lithuanian porter", strong porter "Imperial", English beer "Double" and other beer. In addition to beer, beverages, table water and cider were also produced.

How many people today know that "I.B. Volfas Engelman" was some of the sponsors of the construction of the new Vytautas Magnus museum building? And whether someone crossing the rebuilt Vytautas Magnus monument in Laisvės alėja contemplates that during the interwar period, one of his patrons was also "I.B. Volfas-Engelman"? We can safely call the brewers of those times the true citizens of Lithuania. And "I. B. Volfas Engelman" can be proudly called the legend of Kaunas and beer Nr. 1 of interwar Lithuania.

THE IRON CURTAIN

After the beginning of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union, the territory of Lithuania is occupied by the German army. The enterprise name do not corresponding to already German ideology is changed again. The new administration names it “Perkunas” (“The Thunderer”). As the World War II is coming to an end, Lithuania for long decades is occupied by the Soviet Union again.
During this period the name of the brewery and enterprise structure has been changed several times. Till the beginning of the 7th decade the brewery is again called “Raudonoji pasvaiste”, later after establishing “Kaunas Alcoholic and Soft Drinks Group of Enterprises”, the enterprise turns to “Plant No 1” and another connected Kaunas brewery is named “Plant No 2”. In 1967 the group of enterprises is reorganized and named “Ragutis”.

THE IRON CURTAIN
THE RETRIEVAL OF THE ORIGINAL ENTERPRISE NAME

THE RETRIEVAL OF THE ORIGINAL ENTERPRISE NAME

After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence company “Ragutis” is conferred the status of Kaunas state brewery, the brewery till that time named “Plant no 2” is separated from the enterprise and named “Zalsvytis”. In 1994 brewery “Ragutis” is privatized and reorganized to a joint-stock company.
At the beginning of 1997 51% of “Ragutis” stocks is acquired by Czech company “Pilsner Urquell”. After two years the Czechs sell the stocks of JSC “Ragutis” owned by them to Estonian brewery “A. Le Coq” which is managed by finnish company “Olvi plc.”. During the latter 10 years the finns have allotted more than 50 mln. Litas for the reconstruction of the brewery and the modernization of the industrial processes in it. At present company “Olvi plc” owns 99.57% of JSC “Volfas Engelman” stocks, the remaining belong to the employees of the enterprise and private persons.

VOLFAS ENGELMAN encourages to brace up

Currently over 230 people work in the brewery since 2012. It is led by general director Marius Horbačauskas.
In 1999-2017 more than 50 mln. Euros were invested in the development, reconstruction and modernization of production processes. Brewery expanded 5 times.
2015 the territory of the historic brewery has been restored by connecting adjacent land plots.
2017 "Turbinų" street (formerly "Bravoro") was given "I.B." Volfas and F. Engelman".
In 2017, the dream of a creative team was implemented. In the second floor of reconstructed main building mini brewery was installed, which generates new types of beer. This creative educational space, was named "Studio". Volfas Engelman heritage objects are exhibited here. Visitors can get acquainted with the main raw materials for beer production, smell and taste them. They can explore beer process and taste different types of beer.

Today, the brewery that counts the second century of existence, produces not only beer, but also cider, alcoholic cocktails, kvass, soft drinks and energy drinks.
The company's employees constantly develop new beverages, focus on innovations and ensure that the consumer receives high-quality fresh beer.

VOLFAS ENGELMAN encourages to brace up