Birra Korça is the first beer brewed in Albania. The brewery was established in the town of Korçe, Albania, in 1928. It was founded by an Italian investor Umberto Umberti and Selim Mboria a local investor. The initial capital for the company was 950,000 francs. The initial production capacity was 20,000 Hl per year. It produced Blonde Ale Beer, Dark ale, bottled water “Kristal” and ice.
After the end of the World War II and with the establishment of the communist regime in Albania on January 11, 1946 the brewery became property of the Albanian State according to the laws of the time. Several reconstructions and renovations were done in the years 1955, 1957 and 1965 and the production was gradually increased. In April 1994 following the change in the political climate, as well as economic downturn, political and social unrest, followed by the liberalization of the market, in Albania the brewery was sold in auction and was bought by a group of businessmen.
In 2004 the brewery was bought by the businessman Irfan Hysenbelliu the president of “Birra Korça LLC”. Soon after this a 15 million euro (€) investment was made to renovate and renew the factory. Since then the brewery has undergone a deep technological and architectural reconstruction. The traditional design has been preserved by adding new elements of the same style. Using the latest Czech and Italian technology it brews 120.000 hectoliters of beer annually, ten times the output of the old brewery. The water comes from natural springs of Morava Mountain. Birra Korca holds an annual beerfest during the month of August which is the biggest in the region.
Beers under the Korça brand include: Blonde Ale, European type pilsner 4.8-5% abv and Dark Ale a 5-5.2% abv Euro dark lager (dunkel). Birra Korça is sold in bottles 0.5 lit and 0.33 lit also in kegs 30 lit and 50 lit.
“Birra Korça” holds several quality awards. First award was taken in Thessaloniki, Greece in the year 1928. In 2007 in London, England the company was awarded the International Quality Crown Award in Golden category from the Executive Chairman of Business Initiative Directions (BID), Mr. Jose E. Prieto. Birra Korça is a holder of ISO 22000 certificate which is an international standard intended to be used by organizations within the food chain. It contains traditional quality assurance preventive measures plus preventive food-safety measures. In 2009 in Frankfurt, Germany again Birra Korça was awarded with the International Arch of Europe Award in Diamond Category competing against businesses from 178 countries. This prize was handed over to Mr. Kasem Hysenbelli (the representative of Birra Korça) from, Mr. Prieto. Birra Korça has widespread distribution in Albania and is exported to a number of neighboring countries. In 2011 Birra Korca entered the American market and can be purchased at various locations in Massachusetts.
- "Official Website of Birra Korça".
- "Travel Guide for the Birra Korça Brewery".
- Festa e birres ne Korce – Festa e Birrës, festa më e madhe në Shqipëri nderohet me Çmimin Shqiptar të Turizmit
- "Article About Birra Korça" (in Albanian).
- "Article from "proBiznes" Magazine".
- Birra Korca ne USA | Peshku pa ujë. April 23, 2011