Staropramen Brewery (Pivovary Staropramen s.r.o.) is the second largest brewery in the Czech Republic, and is situated in the Smíchov district of Prague. It was founded in 1869 and the brand name Staropramen, literally meaning “old spring”, was registered in 1911. It is owned by Molson Coors and its products are exported to 37 different countries, mostly in Europe and North America.
Staropramen Brewery's history begins in 1869 when shares for a "Joint Stock Brewery in Smíchov" were offered for sale. The brewery building was completed and beer first brewed in 1871. The Ostravar Brewery opened in 1898 followed a year later by the Braník brewery; these two breweries would later merge with Staropramen.
Due to competition from other Prague breweries, the brand name Staropramen, which translates as “old spring" (water source), was registered in 1911. After the First World War, all three breweries saw a period of sustained growth, and by the 1930s Staropramen was the largest brewery in Czechoslovakia. With socialism after the Second World War, all Czechoslovakian breweries were nationalised, including Staropramen. After socialism ended in 1989, the brewery, along with the Braník and Měšťan breweries, became in 1992 part of the Prague Breweries group (Pražské Pivovary), which by 1996 came under control of the Bass company. Bass brought Ostravar into the group in 1997, then in 2000 sold its brewing operations to Interbrew, which merged with AmBev in 2004 to form Inbev. Staropramen has seen steady growth and is currently the Czech Republic's second largest beer producer with a 15.3% share of the domestic market.
In mid October 2009, private equity fund CVC Capital Partners bought all of Anheuser–Busch InBev's holdings in Central Europe (including Staropramen) for €2.23 billion. They renamed the operations StarBev. In April 2012, Molson Coors bought StarBev.
The brewery's flagship product is Staropramen, a "ležák" or premium beer lager of 12 degrees Plato or 5% abv. Other beers produced under this brand are Černý ("dark") - a 4.4% dark lager, Granát ("garnet") - a 4.8% red lager and Svĕtlý ("light") - a 4.0% pale lager. The company also produces beers under the Braník and Ostravar brands.
In September 2015, it was reported in Swedish media that Carlsberg Group had ordered a recall of Staropramen draft beer from 680 Swedish pubs, after the beer reportedly caused bleeding and blisters in the mouth for two people. According to Henric Byström at Carlsberg, two complaints had been received where the containers of draft beer had contained a highly corrosive cleaning agent instead of beer.
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- "Pivovary Staropramen: Staropramen". www.pivovary-staropramen.cz. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- "Breweries of the Czech Republic: beer styles and their history". www.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- "Pivovary Staropramen: The present". www.pivovary-staropramen.cz. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- Apatinska pivara prodata CVC-u, B92, October 15, 2009
- Molson Coors to buy Staropramen maker StarBev for $3.5bn