Voronezh brewery, one of the oldest Baltika's breweries, celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2016.
Voronezh is considered to be the cradle of both Russian fleet and Russian beer. Brewing barley was first planted in Voronezh province as far back as the XVII century at the decree of Peter the Great who himself was fond of the amber drink.
In 1936, the capital of the black-earth region (as the Voronezh region is called) attracted the attention of the Soviet government. According to the construction plan designed for 14 years, an eight-storied brewing giant was to be built in the city with the annual production capacity of 30 thousand hectoliters of beer and 5 thousand hectoliters of nonalcoholic beverages. It was then that the Council of Ministers of the USSR signed the order on construction of a brewery in Voronezh.
The Great Patriotic War made its adjustments to the construction of the enterprise. After the beginning of the War the brewery construction was suspended. The already built shops started manufacturing battlefield products: incendiary bottles that were sent to the frontline.
After the city was liberated, the brewery workers could hardly recognize their enterprise. By 1945, however, the brewery was already partly restored.
In the post-war years amid the enthusiasm and general upsurge the workers did their best regardless of the expenditures of their personal time and efforts.
The new history of the brewery started with the arrival of investors.
In 2002 large-scale reconstruction of the enterprise started. Within eight months only modern production facilities meeting the world standards were created on the basis of a medium Russian brewery with outdated equipment. The total investments into the project amounted to 27 million euro. Old shops and premises were practically demolished and new ones were erected on their place: no Voronezh enterprises had undergone such large-scale modernization before.
Advanced technological equipment of the leading European companies was installed at the brewery: Steinecker, Holvrieka, Alfa Laval. Production became fully automated from the malt crushing process on to packaging and warehousing.
In 2003 Yarpivo OJSC became the principal shareholder of the company, and its management headed for further modernization of Voronezh facilities.
On October 19, 2005 Voronezh brewery officially became a branch of Yarpivo OJSC and by the end of 2006 (after the merger of four companies – Baltika, Yarpivo, Vienna and Pikra) it became a branch of Baltika Breweries OJSC.
That marked the beginning of the contemporary history of the brewery.
In 2007 the production was completely modernized. The investments were channeled to procurement of advanced equipment, development of the logistics system, product quality improvement, construction of new industrial premises. A new PET filling line with the capacity of 12 thousand bottles per hour was launched.
In June 2008 the project of doubling the brewery’s capacities was completed: the production capacity increased up to 2.1 million hectoliters per year. The project implementation involved expansion of the fermentation department, launching of a new bottling line with the capacity of 50 thousand bottles per hour and a new filtration line. A new warehouse for finished goods and a container storage yard were built. To ensure the maximum quality of the output products the brewery shops were equipped with the most state-of-the-art machinery of the largest global manufacturers: Ziemann, Krones, Pall.
The project of doubling Baltika-Voronezh capacity was part of the investment program aimed at developing the Voronezh region. This emphasizes the project’s significance both for the company and the region. The result was soon visible: today the brewery is one of the biggest taxpayers in the Voronezh region.
According to the DFTS, Baltika-Voronezh brewery is regularly ranked number two among the biggest taxpayers of the Voronezh region. In 2010 the enterprise’ revenues to the regional budget amounted to over RUB 1.65 bln, with over RUB 1.86 bln in 2011 and over RUB 2.1 bln in 2012.
Every employee of the brewery creates several additional jobs in related industries: packaging manufacturing, sales and agriculture.
Baltika develops its own agricultural project. Selected seeds are supplied to dozens of enterprises in the central black-earth region where brewing barley brings steady high quality yields. An important component of the agroproject is the elevator on the brewery premises that was completely reequipped in 2011.
During 80 years of operation the brewery has developed its own traditions. Preserving the historical features of the Voronezh region brewing, the brewery continues focusing on production of local brands. Among them, there is a trademark of the city – Voronezhskoye Zhigulevskoye brand. As of 1 March, 2017, the brewery was given a new name, to be precise an old one. The top management of the company has decided to return the brewery its historical name of Voronezh brewery. To mark the anniversary the company store was opened. The product mix of the store is presented with seven beers, including Voronezhskoye Zhigulevskoye beer.
Ensuring high product quality is the priority of our company. For that purpose the brewery has a laboratory provided with the state-of-the-art equipment where research is performed by highly qualified specialists. We also actively invest in projects to reduce environmental footprint: the brewery has gas capturing facilities, it uses returnable bottles, while some materials are sent for recycling. Our enterprise actively introduces energy-saving technologies in its production thus contributing to natural resources conservation.
Baltika-Voronezh brewery produces a variety of beer brands, such as Baltika 7 Export, Baltika 3 Classic, Baltika Cooler, Baltika 9 Strong, Yarpivo, Tuborg Green, Zatecky Gus, Arsenalnoye Strong, Arsenalnoye Traditional, Bolshaya Kruzhka Amber, Bolshaya Kruzhka Strong, Voronezhskoye Zhigulevskoye, Zhigulevskoye Firmennoye Live, Don Live.
Today the brewery in Voronezh employs aprox. 300 people. The compensations and benefits provided to the employees is one of the best in the region: voluntary medical insurance, additional sick leave benefits, food allowance, financial aid in occasion of marriage, childbirth, anniversary, retirement, and others.. A sports and recreation complex has been created for the employees on the premises.
The brewery has been involved in charitable activities for many years already. We help disabled people, war and labour veterans.
We have initiated and participated in many projects in the region aimed at responsible alcohol consumption and drinking culture improvement. Such events include the Sober Driving project that involved over 5 thousand Voronezh residents in the first half of 2013. For 5 years our employees jointly with a number of NGOs and government bodies have been implementing the Beer Patrol project aimed at preventing beer sales to the underage. Dozens of outlets in Voronezh, Belgorod, Lipetsk, Tambov and Kursk have been inspected over this period.
Several times a year our employees take part in environmental activities. In 2005, for example, the brewery initiated the Clean Forest activity, its main task being clean-up of the city recreation areas from household waste. In 2012 it included clean-up of the Dynamo central city park in Voronezh. The same year Baltika launched the Seven Rivers project under the auspices of the Sochi-2014 Organizing Committee. Baltika’s volunteers and residents of the city cleaned the Don river flood bed from litter. The waste mostly consisted of packaging – plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans. It was thoroughly sorted and sent for recycling.
We actively engage related industries in the Central black-earth region and NGOs in the implementation of CSR activities and experience sharing.
Our brewery is always open for visitors. We regularly organize brewery tours for adults. In 2012 alone the brewery was visited by over 3,000 people.