Stumbras AB was a state–owned company until 2003, when Mineraliniai vandenys UAB, a subsidiary to one of the largest Lithuanian holdings MG Baltic, acquired the company through a way of privatization. Currently Mineraliniai vandenys UAB controls 93,7% of company’s shares. After the privatization, the company underwent management and organizational reforms, in order to prepare to compete under free market conditions in Lithuania. In December 16, 2005, the reorganization of Stumbras AB has been completed. The bioethanol plant in Silute has been spun-off, creating a share company Biofuture AB.
In 2006 and 2007 company introduced several new flavor vodka and brandy products to the market. Increasing sales of these new products and growing export abroad resulted in 2006 and 2007 being the best years financially in the company's history thus far. Net sales of alcohol in 2006 were around 30 mln. EUR (23,1% growth compared with 2005), audited profit before taxes reached 6,7 mln. EUR.. In the first nine moths of 2007 net sales of the company were 31,3 mln. EUR (65,9% growth compared to the same period last year), profit before taxes - 8,2 mln. EUR. Shares of Stumbras AB are traded in OMX Baltic stock exchange.
The governance of city Kaunas applauded the opportunity to build the plant in their province. Therefore, suitable plot of land for the establishment of the company was acquired in 1903 for a very high price (at the times standard’s) of 52 200 Russian ruble.
The building of the company was finished in the end of the year 1906. By that time, the official name of the company was „Kazionyj Nr.1 vinyj očistnyj sklad“ (state wine warehouse No.1). City’s name was included the name later. The establishment costs of the company reached 200 000 Russian rubles.
The site accompanied not only the necessary assets for production of vodka, but it also had electric power station, charcoal burner (for filtration purposes), well established canalization, evaporation heating, three dimensional water supply system, six artesian wells, even a railway connection was made available. The height of the still existing chimney is 26 m., diameter – 1 m.
The factory had two coal filtration pillars. The main pillar had five coal filters and was purposed for 40 degrees vodka. Such vodka was filtered three times. The additional pillar was purposed for 57 degrees vodka and was comprised of three coal filters.
The company produced it’s own coal for filtration purposes. The coal always had to be burned in a certain way, to avoid any dash leftovers. Birch wood was usually used for that purpose. There were around 30 variable size cisterns in the factory, with the starting size of 72 000 liters. Vodka was produced from two types of spirits (96 and 90 degree), bottled into various shapes and sizes bottles and transported for trade.
Company was enlarged and modernized several times until 1914. When WW1 started, the city of Kaunas was occupied by the Germans, which forbided any production of strong alcohol. The production of vodka was almost entirely stopped. Germans arranged a hot-bathhouse in the main building.
After the war was over, spirits reserves (two cisterns of 144 000 liters) of Lithuanian state were stared being kept in the factory. Electric power station of Kaunas city kept oil and kerosene in the other two cisterns and there was even a macaroni production going on in one part of the factory. The warehouse of the factory belonged to war commissariat.
In 1918, when Lithuania regained it’s independence, ideas to rebuild the factory were gaining attention gradually. Around 1921-1922 factory began to produce vodka and flavored strong drinks again. This had a significant impact to an expansion and growth of Lithuanian economy. The production of strong alcoholic drinks was monopolized at the time, which resulted in large portion of income to the state budget.
In March 2006, "Three nines" ("999", one of the leading brands of Stumbras's bitters) was awarded a double golden medal for taste in "San Francisco world spirits competition 2006". "Three nines" competed with world-famous brands, such as Smirnoff, Stolichnaya, Svedka and many others. In December 2005, Stumbras AB products “Patentuota: Pepper & Honey” and “Original Lithuanian Vodka Golden” were awarded gold medals in tasting competition in Lithuania, “The Product of the Year”.
In November 2005, “Original Lithuanian Vodka Golden” received a gold medal in “International Review of Spirits award”, organized by “Beverage Testing Institute”, USA.
|2004||World Food Moscow 2004||Original Lithuanian Vodka|
|2003||Riga Food 03||Bitter and brandy series|
|2002||Product of the year – nominated, Lithuania||Bitter and brandy series|
|2001||Product of the year, Lithuania||Flavored alcohol beverages series|
|2000||Agrobalt 2000, Lithuania||Vodka "Prezidento"|
|1999||Riga Food 99||Vodka "Prezidento"|
|1998||St. Petersburg wines and spirits, 98||Vodka "Lithuanian Original"|
|1997||Agrobalt 1997, Lithuania||Bitter 999|
|1996||Alma Ata 96||Vodka "Lithuanian Original"|
|1996||Agrobalt 1996, Lithuania||Vodka "Lithuanian Original"|
STUMBRAS, 70, DIES; FOUGHT FOR CHILDREN THE FORMER STATE SOCIAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR WAS KNOWN AS A LEADER IN CHILDREN AND FAMILY ISSUES.(LOCAL/ WISCONSIN)(Obituary)
Jul 24, 2003; Byline: Tim Ruzek Although in poor health, Bernard Stumbras attended the opening last weekend of the Milwaukee Children's...