PRAGUE – A distillery in the Czech Republic that has been manufacturing distilled beverages for five centuries and claims to be Europe’s oldest has launched a project celebrating old European companies.
The “U Zeleneho Stromu” in the eastern city of Prostejov makes vodka, herbal liquors and, all in all, over 100 products following age-old recipes.
To mark its 500 years of existence, its owners have launched a project dubbed “The Treasures of the Old Continent,” which aims to recognize companies that support centennial brands and share a business vision based on artisan tradition and history.
“Let’s celebrate the 500th anniversary of The Green tree distillery in Prostejov, the oldest distillery in Europe, with us. Right now, we are looking for companies who have helped by the means of their honest work to create Europe as we know it today,” the distillery said on its site.
Among the companies already identified were British tea-maker Twinings, Irish whiskey-maker Bushmills, Austrian crystal jeweler Swarowski and Swiss watchmaker Tissot.
The distillery, which started operations in 1518, saw a spike in sales during the two world wars, according to manufacturing director Michal Soman, when alcohol was an important component of the military diet.
There were now plans to invest about 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in an automated warehouse and modernizing filling lines, along with other upgrades.
The distillery, which employs 60 people, produces 108,000 hectoliters of product per year on three filling lines.
One line produces 72,000-80,000 bottles per 7.5-hour shift and the others fill between 15,000-18,000 bottles per shift.
Its main export market is Slovakia, while it also exports to Australia, Canada and Mexico.