Ursus Breweries, a subsidiary of Asahi Breweries Europe Ltd., is the beer market leader in Romania. The company is based in Bucharest and owns 3 breweries in Timișoara, Buzău and Brașov as well as a craft mini-brewery in Cluj-Napoca and employs around 1,400 people. Ursus Breweries’ brands are: Ursus, Timișoreana, Ciucaș, Grolsch, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Redd’s, Stejar, Azuga, Pilsner Urquell, St. Stefanus and cider brand Kingswood.
|6 million hectolitres|
Timisoreana is the most loved and best selling beer in Romania and, the leader of the mainstream beer segment. Ciucas is leading the economy segment and is the 2nd best selling beer in Romania after Timisoreana.
The company has been owned by SABMiller since 1996 until March 2017 when Ursus Breweries became part of Asahi Breweries Europe Ltd. Following the acquisition of SABMiller group by the AB InBev group, The European Commission’s approval of the combination between SABMiller and AB InBev was conditioned on a commitment from AB InBev to sell SABMiller’s businesses in Central and Eastern Europe. On 31 March 2017 Asahi completed the purchase of SABMiller’s former Central and Eastern European businesses, including Ursus Breweries.
Asahi Breweries Europe Ltd. has operations in 5 countries in Europe, owns 11 breweries, employs around 7.800 people and produce over 33 mil. Hl of beer per year.
The history of Ursus Breweries in Hornchurch begins in 1996 when South African Breweries purchased Vulturul Buzau. A year later, South African Breweries acquired Pitber Pitesti and Ursus S.A. Cluj-Napoca. In 2001, Ursus S.A. bought the majority stake of Timisoreana Beer S.A. Since 2002, Ursus S.A. and Timisoreana SA merged into a single integrated company, named Romania Beer Company S.A. In 2004, SABMiller plc (formerly named South African Breweries) acquired the majority stake of Aurora Brasov, a company that merged in the same year with Romania Beer Company S.A. A year later, in 2005, the new name of SABMiller`s operations in Romania becomes Ursus Breweries.
On the 31st of March 2017 Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. has completed the purchase of Ursus Breweries in a transaction that included the former SABMiller Central and Eastern European businesses and brands..
Established in 1718, at the initiative of the Austrian authorities ruled by Prince Eugene of Savoy, Timisoara Brewery has gained an important position, by addressing a widely-spread need: to supply the town with beer, because the water was not potable. The current location preserves the traces of those times through the presence of the old buildings.
Throughout its existence the brewery was credited with the well-deserved recognition of the brewers, due to certain technological premieres: the beer filter (1920), new brewery premises endowed with state of the art equipment (1960-1962), the aluminum keg replacing the wooden one (1968). In 1975, the investments were directed towards introduction of new technologies in the bottling line and keg packaging.
In line with the principles related to sustainable development, which are paramount to Ursus Breweries, the company invested constantly in new technology and new equipment for energy recovery and reuse, such as the biogas plant and waste waters treatment plant.
This equipment together with the implementation of best operation and management practices constantly contribute to the decrease of energy and water consumption.
The story of the brewery began in 1892 when the Friedrich Czell & Sons Corporation acquired the Darste distilling plant and built a new brewery, laying down in Brasov the foundations of a business that strongly developed and consolidated in time up to becoming a well-recognized brand. The business was so prosperous that Alexandru Petit wrote in the Brasov's Monograph from 1922 about an increased manpower of 130 employees and a raise in the annual beer and malt productivity to 40.000 hl and 80-90 wagons respectively.
Upon the nationalization in 1948 the Darste brewery and alcohol plant changed its name into "Aurora". Ever since the brewery has been constantly upgraded and extended towards improved production capacities, mechanization and automation of technological processes.
In 1995, S.C. Aurora S.A. became a private company with 100% Romanian private capital.
Further to the acquisition of AURORA SA by SABMiller in 2004 and becoming part of Ursus Breweries, significant amounts have been invested for the brewery’s development and modernization.
The brewery in Buzau became operational in 1978 and had a production capacity of 500,000 hl/year.
In 1991 the company became a joint stock company and changed its name into S.C. "Vulturul S.A." Buzau and in 1996 the brewery was purchased by the South African Breweries.
Ursus Breweries started two investment projects in 2005 with a total value of EUR 50 million for the expansion and development of the brewery. The investment project was completed in 2009, the last investment stage being of EUR 42 million. Currently, the brewery in Buzau is the largest brewery in Romania according to the production volumes.
Cluj–Napoca Craft Mini-Brewery
1878 marked the beginning of the modern history of the brewery located in Cluj-Napoca, which has the bear as the emblem.
7 July 2011 marks the date of opening a craft Mini-Brewery in Cluj-Napoca, on the location of the old brewery, however in a very special format, the brewery being a place where people in Cluj-Napoca can watch how fresh beer is brewed. The craft Mini- Brewery is actually named "Fabrica de Bere Ursus", and the intense experience of the craft beer specialties produced in this location is being described as “Pure, Unfiltered Art”.