Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas inaugurated a commemorative exhibition of the 50-year anniversary of the brewery, in a party atmosphere for a brand that takes Portugal to the world.
This new brewery represented, at the time, an investment of 360 million and had the capacity to produce 110 million liters of beer. 50 years later the capacity of the brewery reaches the 320 million liters.
Considered, at the time, as attested by articles from the New York Times and the Herald Tribune, as one of the most advanced breweries in the world, Cervejeira de Vialonga was a project of the architect Eduardo Iglésias. The largest façade and the black and white flooring inside the Cervejeira are by Eduardo Nery, Portuguese artist, and are still admired by national and international experts. The Cervejeira Vialonga building is an icon of the Industrial Architecture of the sixties, from the last century.
The inaugurated exhibition presents images, facts and news of the time, as well as testimonies of Employees and will be open to the public until the end of October, and can be visited by all those who visit the Cervejeira de Vialonga, which also has a museum center, that portrays the history of the Portuguese Brewery sector and unique in our Country!
Nuno Ribeiro Pinto de Magalhães – Director of Communication and Institutional Relations of Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas welcomed the guests and in his words, after the inauguration of the exhibition, he said: “we celebrate today, June 22, precisely at this time at 4 pm, the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of this brewery in 1968; and exactly on the same day that Central de Cervejas celebrates its 84th anniversary since its foundation.”
“The 22nd of June is emblematic for us: we inaugurated Vialonga and Sociedade Central de Cervejas was founded. Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, founded in 1934, resulted from the merger of three independent companies competing in Lisbon – Companhia Produtora de Mate e Cerveja Portugália; Companhia de Cerveja Estrela, Companhia de Cerveja Jansen, which was also joined by a fourth company – Companhia de Cervejas de Coimbra”, he added.
This merger had its genesis, in addition to the need to gain critical mass and synergies in the Lisbon market, the desire to create a common beer brand, which resulted in the launch of SAGRES in 1940 and the vision of creating a unit which would allow the dismantling of the three original units, respectively at Avenida Almirante Reis; Avenida Sacadura Cabral and Rua do Alecrim. The brewery is born in Vialonga – whose earthworks started in 1966.
An ambitious project
This ambitious project from the very beginning, which, after 50 years, retains its original structure, on a perimeter of 35 hectares, was considered at the time as one of the largest and most modern breweries in the world. It had a production capacity of 110 million liters of beer and had 570 workers.
Today, Vialonga brewery has a production capacity of 320 million liters and there are about 400 employees in the operating area of Vialonga. We would like to mention that the founders of Vialonga were people of great vision and who looked to the future.
Despite the modernization that has taken place over the last 50 years, the brewery has practically maintained its initial lay out, and later in 1995 integrated the central and administrative services, which operated at Almirante Reis.
We should also highlight the social responsibility at the beginning, reflected in the well-being provision for the employees, such as a cafeteria, a medical post, clinical and curative medicine, later complemented with stomatology and physiotherapy.
Afterwards they were all invited to get to know the history of this brand of beers, through an exhibition that depicts different eras. After visiting the exhibition the approximately 80 guests moved to one of the main entrances of the building where an allusive plaque was unveiled by the administrator of SAGRES, together with the mayor of Vila Franca de Xira and the representative of the former shareholders.
To the sound of the Vialonga orchestra, a SAGRES project for young musicians of the county who instead of walking in the street learn the art education, Nuno Pinto de Magalhães focused the contribution and impact of Central de Cervejas in the country and in the communities to where the beer is exported, both in terms of innovation, investment, employability, promotion of national agriculture, concern with the pillars of sustainability and the consumption of the responsible area, and also its export role, its connection to culture, sport and leisure and the identification with its Portuguese identity, being SAGRES beer an example.
They have honored as he mentioned “the most important asset of the organizations”, the People, and stressed “and in them I include its founders, successive shareholders, all employees, our business partners, our suppliers and our reason for being: the clients and the consumers.”
They have focused on the great worker of the brewery, Caetano Barão da Veiga and the several colleagues who are in the company from the beginning – and whose paintings are displayed in the hall: Alcino Carvalho from barrels, Daniela Fraga from locksmithing, Albertino Marques from CO2, Eugénio de Jesus from electricity and Joaquim André from General Maintenance.
The French manager François-Xavier, CEO of Sociedade Central de Cervejas, producer of Sagres and bottler of Luso water, in his words, praised the company and its workers and asked for a round of applause for everyone.