Dreher Brewery

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Jenő Dreher at the horse races (he was a rider before he took over his father's business in Hungary)

Dreher (Kőbánya) Brewery (Dreher Sörgyárak) in Budapest is owned by SABMiller. Its main products are the Dreher Classic, Arany Ászok and Kőbányai Világos pilsener-style lagers but it also brews Dreher Bak (a double bock). Kanizsa Brewery also belonged to the group. Until its closure, it produced beer under the Kanizsai Világos, Kanizsai Kinizsi, Balatoni Világos and Paracelsus brands.

History[edit]

The classic Dreher

The breweries of Pest and Buda settled in the proximity of the Danube river until the mid 19th century, since the river provided the water needed for beer and malt making. The attention turned to Kőbánya because of a beer made by a brewer master from Pest who studied in Munich, by the name of Peter Schmidt. Schmidt had a huge success with his beer matured in his rock cellar in Kőbánya. Later it turned out that the water found in the wells of Kőbánya by deep-drilling technology is perfectly suitable for beer making, and the cellars provide a steady cool temperature that is ideal for maturation and for storage - in other words, for the production of low fermentation temperature beer: lager. The upswing of the Kőbánya beer production attracted the attention of Anton Dreher as well, partially because these beers meant serious competition for him. He visited Pest-Buda on several occasions between 1856 and 1860 and by 1862 he was able to buy brewery of the Kőbánya Brewery Company that struggled with Czech, Austrian and Bavarian competitors. He purchased further plots of land for expansion, but because of his death (1863), it was his son’s task to implement his father’s plans.

Anton Dreher Jr. (1849-1920) was only 14 years old when his father died, therefore he was able to take over the leadership of the four Dreher breweries only in 1870 (Schwechat, Kőbánya, Triest, Michelob). He developed the technology and capacity of his factories, and Kőbánya soon became the largest brewery of Hungary. Though other new breweries (1892: Polgár; 1894: Király; 1910: Haggenmacher; 1912: Municipal Brewery) were built one after another, they were not able to break the development of Anton Dreher’s brewery. The concern that consisted of four factories produced 1,2 million hectoliters of the foaming liquid by 1890.

Among his three sons, Anton Dreher Jr. entrusted Jenő with the management of the Kőbánya brewery. The Dreher family business became a corporation in 1905 and a Hungarian company became independent of the mother company in 1907. Jenő Dreher continued to buy shares from the capitals of his competitors, Haggenmacher Kőbánya and Budafoki Rt., Barber and Klusemann Brewery and the First Hungarian Brewery Corporation founded in 1867. The Dreher Combine, which was merged from these two companies in 1923, bought up the Royal Brewery Corporation of Kanizsa in 1928 also. As the result of the grand scale expansion, Dreher-Haggenmacher First Hungarian Brewery Corporation was launched in 1933, which ruled 70% of the market with its excellent beers. The two other Kőbánya Breweries - Polgár and the Municipal Brewery – were left with only a quarter stake of the market. Dreher was known in Western Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Australia alike and became a worldwide brand name.

After World War II production restarted quickly, but the property of the family kept in Hungary was taken into state ownership in March 1948. A year later the Dreher-Haggenmacher first Hungarian Brewery Corporation was merged with the Polgár and the Municipal Brewery, with the Export Hungarian Malt Factory, and the Kanizsa Royal Brewery. This is how Dreher, with its huge history, became the Kőbánya Brewery.

In 1992, Kőbányai Sörgyár was converted into a shareholding company; in 1993, it became a member of the South African Breweries (SAB). In 1997 the company acquired rights to the name Dreher, and became Dreher Sörgyárak Ltd. In 2002, the South African Breweries merged with the Miller Brewing Company to create the SABMiller

History of the company[edit]

There are other beerbrands, (e.g. Szalon) which belongs to Dreher

Dreher Breweries Ltd. is one of the three leading players in the Hungarian beer market. The brewery still operates in Kőbánya, where the beers are brewing with the latest technology methods in the buildings, which were restored to their original splendour. 1854 – Peter Schmidt founder of “Kőbányai Serfőző Társaság” produced the first “Kőbányai Ser”

1862 – Anton Dreher, the “King of Beer” bought the “Kőbányai Serház”.

1870 – Anton Dreher Jr. takes over the leadership of the company. He developed the technology and capacity of his factories, and Kőbánya soon became the largest brewery of Hungary.

1905 – Among his three sons, Anton Dreher Jr. entrusted Jenő with the management of the Kőbánya brewery, which became a corporation in 1907 under the name „Dreher Antal Kőbányai Serfőzdéje”. The concern was market leader till World War I.

1923 – Jenő Dreher continued to buy shares from the capitals of his competitors, from Haggenmacher Kőbányai and Budafoki Rt., Barber and Klusemann Brewery and the „Első Magyar Részvény Serfőzde”. The „Dreher Kombinát”, which was merged from these companies in 1923, bought up the „Királyi Serfőzde” of Kanizsa in 1928 also.

1933 – „Dreher-Haggenmacher Első Magyar Részvény Serfőzde” was launched, which ruled 70% of the market with its excellent beers.

1948 – The property of the family kept in Hungary was taken into state ownership.

1949 – Establishment of „Kőbányai Sörgyárak Nemzeti Vállalat”.

1981 – Born of the independent “Kőbányai Sörgyár”.

1992 – “Kőbányai Sörgyár” was converted into a shareholding company.

1993 – The brewery became a member of the South African Breweries (SAB).

1997 – The company takes up the name “Dreher Sörgyárak Ltd”.

2002 – The South African Breweries merged with the Miller Brewing Company to create the SABMiller group, which is the second largest brewing company of the world, with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. SABMiller plc is listed in the London stock exchange and the Johannesburg stock exchange, and its international brand portfolio includes excellent brands with a great past, such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft, and Castle Lager.

Arany Ászok beer - the beer of the Hungarian Summer at Lake Balaton

Hungarian brands:

Import brands:

Licence brands: