The HAEMUS team would like to congratulate the 98 anniversary to our partners and big heritage supporters from the company Pivara Skopje A.D. The article is written by Vasilka Dimitrovska and Aleksandar Madjovski and it has been revised from HAEMUS’s original scientific research project entitled “Study on the History of the Steam-Powered Brewery AD Skopje”, commissioned and supported by Pivara Skopje AD.
The beginnings of beer production are connected with the very beginnings of the cultivation of cereals and the transition from nomadic to sedentary lifestyle, ie with the very beginnings of civilization. This is evidenced by archaeological finds, the first historical cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia, and ancient myths. The Sumerians sang the famous “Ninkasi Anthem”, the goddess of beer, in which the then process of brewing beer was translated. According to the famous Egyptian myth of Osiris and Isis, the god Osiris was the one who civilized the people along the Nile River, giving them laws and teaching them to produce grain, barley, beer and wine. According to the same myth, when the soul of the deceased, called “ka”, arrived in the afterlife, Osiris greeted her with bread and beer. It is known that the ancient Hellenes and Romans did not like beer very much and instead preferred wine. But the ancient sources state that beer was a favorite of their first neighbors – the Thracians, Paionians and Phrygians, ie the peoples who inhabited these areas, the area of today’s Macedonia and neighboring regions.
Little is known about beer production in the Balkans during the Middle Ages. It is known that in the late 19th and early 20th century domestic beer “Alovina” was produced. During that period, the penetration of European capital in the Balkans began, with beer production mainly associated with Austrian and, above all, Czech capital. In the country, the oldest brewery was called “Biraria”, which was located in the area between Ognjan Prica Street and the church of St. Petka. However, the first production of beer for mass use begins with Parna Pivara AD. in Skopje.
Parna Pivara AD in Skopje officially started operating as a joint stock company on September 2, 1922 in Belgrade. This was preceded by an official announcement issued by the “Founders” at the end of August of the same year, when an advertisement was published in the “Official Gazette” inviting all those interested in subscribing to shares. Anyone who wanted to participate or invest in the future brewery had to pay in cash shares in the nominal value of 1,000 dinars.
The registration of the shares took place on Saturday, September 2, 1922, at the headquarters of the Prague Credit Bank in Belgrade, and we find out this from the two-year research conducted by the team of Pivara Skopje, in cooperation with the Center for Scientific Research and Promotion of Culture – HAEMUS . While searching the archives in Belgrade, Zagreb and Sofia, the HAEMUS team found new data, artifacts and original documents on the company’s history. One finding is part of news announcement where there is a call for official founding of the company.
The production of SKOPSKO started only after two years in August 1924. We find out that from the first original books of customers that the Museum of Pivara Skopje received as a gift from the State Archives of Macedonia – Skopje department. These old documents and artifacts are a testimony to the beginnings of SKOPSKO, one of the oldest brands in the country and the drink for every occasion, whether it is to refresh after a hard day, celebration or cheering for your favorite football team. The golden drink that identifies generations.
Today Pivara Skopje is a joint venture and part of the family of Coca-Cola HBC and HEINEKEN N.V.
The text has been adapted and partially revised from HAEMUS’s original scientific research project entitled “Study on the History of the Steam-Powered Brewery AD Skopje”, commissioned and supported by Pivara Skopje AD.