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Russian Breweries
February 15, 2008 15:21

Recent survey has showed the Russians are big beer lovers and prefer this hopped drink to wine. Such foreign brands as Holsten, Miller, Guinness, Velkopopovický Kozel and Tuborg have to compete with the most popular Russian beer trade marks. Some of them are exported and available abroad. Here they are.


Baltika Company is the leader of the Russian beer market with the share of 37% and one of the biggest European beer producers.

The company has got 10 breweries in Russia: 2 breweries are located in St. Petersburg, other breweries are in Rostov-on-Don, Tula, Samara, Khabarovsk, Yaroslavl, Veronezh, Chelyabinsk and Krasnoyarsk. Besides, there are 2 proprietary malt plants (Yaroslavl and Tula. Having the production capacity of 45 million hectolitres of beer annually,the company exports beer to 46 countries all over the world. The Baltika brand is the second largest in Europe in terms of sales and is one of three most valuable brands in Russia. the company employs over 12 000 workers.

The major shareholder of the company’s stock is Baltic Beverages Holding AB (BBH) controlling 86.5% of shares. Baltic Beverages Holding AB is owned by Carlsberg Breweries A/S (50%) and Scottish & Newcastle Plc. (50%).

The construction of the first Baltica factory in St Petersburg began 1978. The factory was planned to become one of the breweries within Lenpivo, the Leningrad Association of the Beer Brewing and Nonalcoholic Beverages Industry. In 1990 the State Enterprise Baltica Brewery was set up right after completion of construction works.

The first consignment of beer was brought to the market in November 1990. Then the sole brand Baltica didn’t exist yet and the company produced beer under well-known names of Zhigulevskoye, Rizhskoye and others.

In 1992 the enterprise was privatized and went through reorganization to become an open joint stock company. That was when the work on the proprietary Batika brand began. Baltika beer was conceived as a beer of the highest European quality brewed in line with classic technology. In order to fulfill this task, the factory management developed its first investment programme for the reconstruction and development of the enterprise.

The reconstruction program made Baltika the first Russian brewery equipped with the most modern European equipment. The first steps of the company towards the Russian regions were made in 1997, when the major shareholding of Donskoye Pivo brewery was acquired.

In 1998 the shareholders upheld the decision of the Board of Directors to rename the company OAO Baltika Breweries.

The year 2006 was a turning point in the history of Baltika Breweries. On March 7 shareholders of Baltika Breweries voted by an overwhelming majority to approve the Company’s merger with the brewery concerns Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo.

Starting 2007 companies Baltika, Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo exist as a unified legal entity.

Zhigulevskoye Pivo

JSC Zhigulevskoye Pivo is one of the oldest Russian business enterprises. It was built by Austriian citizen Alfred Vakano in 1881. The first beer was brewed at the factory in February the same year.

The factory was a well-equipped enterprise and produced a wide range of beer including a proprietary brand Zhiguli.

During the Soviet time the factory underwent reconstruction, which increased its capacity up to 5 million decaliters per year.

In 1936 the beer brewed at the factory received the highest mark within the framework of all-Soviet beer-tasting and was given the name of Zhigulevskoye. Today the factory produces 24 thousand bottles of beer per hour. Besides famous Zhigulevskoye the company brews beer under such brands as Samarskaya Luka, Von Vakano, Staraya Samara, etc.

The company uses only high-grade malt and hops without stabilizers and preservatives.


Ochakovo Company is the leading enterprise without foreign participation performing in the field of beer and soft drinks in Russia. Ochakovo maintains leading positions on the markets of Kvas and low alcohol tinned cocktails. The company comprises of 22 enterprises including breweries, a winery, malt complexes, agricultural enterprises and a military plant.

The first factory was established in 1978 giving start to the company, which turned into a biggest company in Russia. The first beer and soft-drink factory was built prior to the Olympics of 1980 in Moscow, in order to provide the guests and participants with beer and soft drinks.

Initially the factory produced beer only, but then in 1979 the new equipment was installed to bottle soft drinks such as Pepsi and Fanta.


The next stage of the development process began after the factory was reorganized into a CJSC Ochakovo. That period was marked with implementation of a new long-term comprehensive programme implying retooling and modernization of the enterprise and diversification.

Starting 2000 Ochakovo expanded production in the Russian regions. Today holding Ochakovo is one of the most modern enterprises in Russia and Europe. The company is true to the high standards of production.

SUN InBev Company

SUN InBev Company is one of the leading brewing companies in Russia. The company was established in 1999 as a strategic partnership between InBev, the world's leading brewer, and the SUN Group, operating in the region since 1958, and in the beer sector of Russia and CIS since the beginning of 1990s.

The main SUN InBev beers are the leaders on the market with continuously growing range of brands and increasing sales. Their main brands are Tolstiak, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, as well as the Belgian brand Stella Artois, very popular abroad, which is already well known in Russia.

Sibirskaya Korona is one of the leading SUN InBev brands. It was launched as a local beer at Omsk Brewery Rosar in August of 1996 and turned into a strong national brand. Sibirskaya Korona competes successfully with other leaders in the Russian market and is sold all across the country.

Klinskoye is brewed with the purest artesian water, hops and malt of the highest quality and will not disappoint even the most proficient beer lovers. Pale and light varieties of Klinskoye have clear taste with delicate hoppy aroma, perfectly quench thirst, raise the tone and whet the appetite.

SUN InBev uses the most advanced technologies and approaches in production, marketing, logistics and management aiming to best brewing company on the world.

Legal advice on Russian legislation




Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian business Russian breweries alcohol in Russia   

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