Birra Moretti: the history behind the legend

Birra Moretti L’Augentina Premium Beer was brewed by an Italian brewing company founded in Udine in about 1859 by one Luigi Moretti. In 1996, the company was acquired by Heineken, Pty, Ltd, and this is now a popular Heineken brand!

The first bottles went on sale in 1860, when the company was initially expected to produce 250,000 litres of beer a year -enough to meet the growing insatiable provincial demand! The Moretti family owned the brewery and business until 1989, when it was sold to a consortium of other brewers, and in the year1996 it was, in turn, resold to the Dutch firm ofHeineken.

Of historical interest to brewers of beer, the original factory in Udine closed in 1992, after which brewing was transferred toSan Giorgio di Nogaro, also in Friuli. Following the finding by the Italian Antitrust Authority that Heineken occupied a dominant position in the Italian market, the company was sadly forced to sell their second brewery in 1997!

The company was subsequently bought by a new brewing consortium called the ‘Birra Castello Group’, which now owns the property, while the production of the Birra Moretti beers was moved to various other plants around Italy, also controlled by the Heineken beer brewing group, such as those at Assemini, Comun Nuovo, Massafra, and even Pollein.

In modern times, in 2015, Heineken launched six new Birra Moretti products: two new Radler, Birra Moretti Radler Gazzosa beers, and Chinotto beer, as well as six beers dedicated to the culinary traditions of Italian regions of Birra Moretti, Birra Moretti Sicilian, in the Sicilian beer brewing traditions, of Moretti Piedmontes, Birra MorettiTuscan, Birra Moretti Apulian, and also that of Lucana! 

Knowing the history behind this huge brand and aware of Heineken’s popularity in and out the country, the industry is excited to see what Birra Moretti will do next.

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