|Country of origin||Poland|
|Alcohol by volume||5.6 %|
Żywiec Brewery // (Polish pronunciation: [ˈʐɨvjɛt͡s]) is a brewery founded in 1856, in Żywiec, Poland, then part of Austria-Hungary. It was nationalised after the Second World War. Grupa Żywiec S.A. consists of five main breweries: Żywiec Brewery, Elbrewery, Leżajsk, Warka Brewery and Cieszyn Brewery. Currently the Dutch Heineken Group (Heineken International Beheer B.V.), with a 61% shareholding, has control over major operations. The brewery has the capacity of producing 5 million hls a year, making it the largest brewery in Grupa Żywiec.
The brewery started operating in 1856. It was owned by the Habsburgs until it was confiscated by the post-WWII Communist government of Poland. At the beginning of the 1990s a court case was started by the descendants of the original owners, who sued the Polish government demanding $77 million compensation for the nationalisation and the use of the Habsburg family name and coat of arms for marketing purposes. The case was settled out of court on undisclosed terms in December 2005.
Żywiec Brewery began distribution to other towns of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1913. In the 1990s, the brewery was acquired by Heineken International and was also thoroughly modernized. It is currently considered[who?] to be one of the most modern breweries in the world. Żywiec Beer has become a symbol of Polish pride and Polish recognition for many Poles.
The brewery produces several brands of beer, usually pale lagers ranging from 5.6% to 9.5% abv, including Żywiec Jasne Pełne or Żywiec Beer, a 5.6% abv pale lager, which has been brewed in the town of Żywiec, Poland for almost 150 years, and Żywiec Porter, a dark porter brewed in Cieszyn Brewery.
Żywiec Beer is sold by the 1pt. can, 1pt. bottles and by the keg. In the United States, it is sold by 12-pack and 6-pack bottles (12 oz.) as well as 500ml cans. It is still brewed by means of traditional methods using all-natural ingredients and mountain spring water.
The Żywiec logo includes all of the most important historical symbols of the brewery and Poland itself. Żywiec Beer’s prominent front label displays a man and woman, who dance the Krakowiak, a traditional dance of the area of Kraków in historic Lesser Poland. This dancing couple is dressed in classic Polish folk dancing clothes. Kraków’s coat of arms is represented with the crown in the middle of the couple. The coat of arms is also represented by the three spruce trees displayed on the bottom of the label and the year 1856 on top underneath the crown. The name Żywiec is placed on the red sash across the middle of the label with the golden trimming. The Żywiec logo is the most famous mark and brand of beer in Poland and the trademark of the entire brewery.
- Polish beer
- Leżajsk Brewery
- Warka Brewery
- Cieszyn Brewery
- Męskie Granie, a concert tour initiated by Żywiec Brewery
- "Newspaper article about the brewery, Gazeta Wyborcza (Katowice), 7 November 2006" (in Polish). Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- "Żywiec" entry in Czuma, Mieczysław; Leszek Mazan (1998). Encyklopedia Galicyjska (in Polish). Kraków: Anabasis. ISBN 83-85931-06-6.
- Radio Free Europe report, 14 December 1999"Friar Sues State Treasury Over Sold Brewery". Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- http://miasta.gazeta.pl/katowice/1,35019,3054465.html (in Polish)
- "Beer Battle Comes to a Head". Retrieved 2007-10-03.