We always wondered why the logo of one of the most famous Silesian breweries is a dancing couple of Cracovians. We decided to look for the answer at the source and go on a tour of the brewery in Żywiec, within the framework of Industriada and our tour series #SilesianIsBeautiful. Is it worth spending a few hours to move back in time to 1856? Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – check it out!
Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – a short history of brewing in Żywiec region
Maybe not so short, because it dates back almost 700 years. As early as 1327 the town of Żywiec had its own town rights, and several small local breweries operated in the town and castle. The right to sell beer within one mile of the town, granted by Prince Przemysław, contributed to the development of the local brewing industry. The 19th century was a turning point in the history of brewing in the Żywiec region when most of the bourgeois and agricultural breweries produced too little beer and were being replaced by larger industrial breweries. In fact, that was the time when Archduke Charles Ludwig Habsburg and later his son Albrecht Fryderyk enter the arena to change the face of the Żywiec brewery forever.
Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – Archduke Brewery in Pawluś
The history of the Archduke Brewery in Żywiec begins in 1856, when Albrecht Friedrich Habsburg, encouraged by the success of the brewery in Cieszyn, decided to establish a second one – in the area of the village of Pawluś. In less than 12 years, the brewery in the Żywiec region became the largest beer producer in Galicia. It is mainly thanks to the quality of beer produced and modern technologies that the Żywiec brewery quickly achieved success. The most popular types of beer were: Cesarskie, Eksportowe, Marcowe, Lagrowe.
Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – Beskidenbreuerei Saybusch
That was the name of the brewery in Żywiec during the German occupation. Interestingly, the Germans decided that beer brewed in the brewery is very good and the recipe for its production has not been changed. However, they introduced their own logo – Tyrolean. The most popular beers at that time were Saybuscher Quell and Beskiden-Gold. In the spring of 1945, the Germans took away some of the machines, destroyed the archives and laid explosives under the brewery cellars. The brewery survived thanks to loyal employees who cut off the electric wires connecting the charges. It was thanks to them that the brewery resumed the production of the golden beverage already a month later but under state supervision.
After that, the history of the brewery wasn’t so turbulent. During the communist period, the brewery only strengthened its position on the market, winning numerous awards and distinctions at international exhibitions and festivals. Today, the brewery in Żywiec belongs to the Żywiec Group together with the breweries in Cieszyn, Warka, Elbląg, and Leżajsk.
Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – today’s brewery museum
In 2006, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the brewery, a museum was opened in the brewery cellars. Here, for an hour or two, you can travel with a time capsule to a Galician town, to see, what the beginnings of brewing in Żywiec region looked like and find out why the Cracovians are dancing on the Żywiec Brewery logo. Visiting the museum is a pleasant way to spend time in Żywiec, but we expected something different. We lacked in all this the truthfulness and passion for brewing beer, which can be found in smaller breweries. And only one type of beer to choose from during the tasting, having in mind all the time that we are in the largest Polish brewery, that’s a little disappointing. However, we think it’s worth going there once, seeing and judging by yourself.
Are you looking for a place to stay in Żywiec?
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Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – from where did Cracovians in the Silesian brewery logo come from?
Almost the biggest mystery in the world has been solved. If we do not know what it is about, it is about money and business. The couple from Krakow has been placed on the logo because supposedly such were the expectations of the then American importer Polonus, the owner of LUTOM Importers Ltd. He associated Poland only with Krakow. The brewery authorities agreed to such changes and in this way, in reference to the pre-war tradition of placing elements of folklore on labels, the Kraków couple found their place in the Żywiec logo. The label was registered in 1959 in the Patent Office, becoming the first trademark of Polish brewing after World War II. What is interesting, the dancing couple changes with time. Mainly the girl with the logo changes, or in fact her outfit – the dress gets shorter and shorter, the neckline gets bigger and the distance between dancers gets smaller. We are afraid, how it’ll look like in 50 years.
Visiting the brewery in Żywiec – practical information
- Visiting the museum with beer tasting costs 30 PLN.
- A visit to the museum and brewery with beer tasting costs 35 PLN.
- The group ticket is available for groups of more than 15 people, the ticket price is 24 PLN.
- The sightseeing tour should take about 2 hours.
- The non-alcoholic version of the tour includes juice.
Garść przydatnych linków na koniec
- For motorcyclists staying in the area of Cieszyn and Żywiec, we have to offer two routes through the Beskid. First one – Szczyrk, Salmopol, Wisła, and Goczałkowice. The second one is the Beskid standard through Koniaków and Kubalonka Pass.
- Do you like visiting breweries? Take a look at our entry about the brewery in Cieszyn. You can find it here.