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Svijany village and brewery
The first mention of Svijany dates from 1345, when the village was owned by a Cistercian monastery located in Mnichovo Hradiště. In 1565 the village became the property of Jaroslav of Vartemberk, who built a fortress there, but the brewery was already operating by 1564, and it continued to operate to the benefit of Jaroslav’s estate. Upon Jaroslav’s death in 1602, the village, fortress, and brewery all passed to Jachym Ondrej Slik. As a rebel against Habsburg rule of Bohemia, he was executed in 1621, and Svijany came under control of the Wallenstein family through 1814. In 1820, Svijany (together with the village and castle of Sychrov) passed to control of the Rohan family. They sold the brewery to their tenant, Antonin Kratochvile, whose family continued to operate it until 1939, at which point they were compelled to sell it back to the Rohan family.
In 1945 the brewery was confiscated and nationalized as part of the state-owned North Bohemian Breweries, which was dissolved in 1990, at which point Svijany became part of the state-owned Breweries of Vratislavice nad Nisou. Later threatened with closure due to a sales crisis, Svijany was sold to the newly established Pivovar Svijany (Svijany Brewery Ltd.) in 1998. This was converted to a joint-stock company in 1992 and incorporated into Pražské Pivovary (Prague Breweries) in 1997. At that time Pražské Pivovary had come under control of the English brewer Bass company. In 2002, Pražské Pivovary became part of the Belgium-based Interbrew group, changing their name in 2003 from Pražské Pivovary to Pivovary Staropramen. In 2004, Interbrew merged with AmBev to form Inbev. In 2009, the private equity fund CVC Capital Partners bought all of Anheuser–Busch InBev‘s holdings in Central Europe, renaming the operation StarBev. In 2010, Svijany came under ownership of the Liberec Investment Fund, which bought 55% of the company’s shares from StarBev and the remaining 45% from Pivovary Lobkowicz.
In September 2011, the brewery’s Svijanská Kněžna (Duchess of Svijany) beer was the winner in the category of special semi-dark and dark beers, in the third annual contest of special and unusual beers at the Znojmo Grape 2011 gastronomic festival. Also in September 2011, Svijany’s brewing expert Ladislav Černý and longtime brewery manager František Horák were inducted into the Czech Brewing and Malting Hall of Fame
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