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The brewery dates back to the 16th century when the Thurzos family owned the Bytca estate. The only evidence we have that there was a brewery there comes from the property’s inventory document. In Latin, it states “Here is a brewery”. The estate was taken over by the Esterházy family who controlled the property until the 1860s when it was sold to timber mogul, Leopold Popper. The estate, including a castle and the brewery, stayed in the Popper family for 100 years.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the brewery was forced to update its technologies or be left behind. Steam technology was replaced by electric. Business was going well until World War II, when production slowed down considerably. This setback lasted longer than the war. Competition became fierce and Popper had to fight to stay alive. Things didn’t turn around until a Slovak bank became the majority owner. They modernized equipment and the brewery expanded its production to 80,000 hectalitres a year.
When the war ended the brewery was nationalized. It joined the organization Central Breweries and Soft Drink Factories N.P. and production increased through the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Currently, the brewery is controlled by the Slovak Society. The company has gone through a bit of an image change, updating their marketing but still producing traditional, classically mulled beer.
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