The acquisition of Aurora SA in May 2004 rounded up SABMiller's operations in Romania up and proves once more SABMiller's commitment to the local values of the Romanian beer market.
For all Brasov dwellers and others as well AURORA was a renowned company, which along the time strived to provide the beer consumers with quality beer and meet their demands through permanent diversification of the products on offer. Should we tell the story of AURORA, we could compare it with the tale of the perpetual youth, its “heroes” being the generations of brewers who constantly fought to keep the key of their success, making use of arms such as competence, tenacity, hard-work and commitment.
The story began in 1892 when the FRIEDRICH CZELL & SONS Corporation acquired the Darste distilling plant and built a new brewery, laying down in Brasov the foundations of a business that strongly developed and consolidated in time up to becoming a well-recognized brand. The business was so prosperous that Alexandru Petit writes in the Brasov's Monograph from 1922 about an increased manpower of 130 employees and a raise in the annual beer and malt productivity to 40.000 hl and 80-90 wagons respectively.
Upon the nationalization in 1948 the Darste brewery and alcohol plant changed its name into "Aurora". Ever since the brewery has been constantly upgraded and extended towards improved production capacities, mechanization and automation of technological processes.
As a result the production capacity for malt increased between 1954 and 1959 by constructing a malt plant with a production capacity of 10,500 t of barley/year, which added to the already existing capacity transformed the malt plant into the largest one in the country, with an overall production capacity of 11,000 t of barley / year.
Another major step in the development of the brewery took place between 1971 and 1974 when mashing and fermenting shops have been set-up.
Several types of beer, such as blonde, brown and Porter beer were produced between 1965 and 1971, as well as two new types of beer - Carpatina and Turist - in 1972.
After 1980 the beer brands were diversified with the start of the production of Poiana or Piatra Craiului beer brands and of the high-quality beers Aurora (Bucegi), Barsa (Valea Prahovei) and Cerbul (Carpati). Moreover, Ciucas beer, highly demanded on the market, had also been launched into production.
After 1984 the old mashing shop was replaced with a new automatic line manufactured in Romania. The beer can production line with a daily output of 3 tons was launched in 1987.
In 1993 the company made a major step in ensuring beer stability by acquiring the SCHENK filter, a landmark in the beer filtering sector in Romania. The increase of beer stability from 7-10 days to more than 30 days was one of the most important achievements.
1995, S.C. AURORA S.A. became a private company with 100% Romanian private capital. Investments in equipment at international standards were made within less than one year:
• purchase of a stainless steel KEG-barrel bottling line fitted with automatic pasteurization, bottling and control systems with an output of 100 KEGS per hour.
• full automation of the beer bottling line with an output of 32,000 bottles per hour.
From 2000 to 2001 a new primary and fully automated fermentation shop was commissioned and process computers taking the charge of controlling the fermentation and pasteurization processes. The shop was fitted with 12 cylindrical-conic beer must fermentation tanks, yeast propagation system, beer yeast preservation systems and CIP pasteurisation system.
Further to the acquisition of Aurora SA by SABMiller in 2004 the development of the employees has been an on-going concern. Therefore the employees were enrolled in various training, specialization and professional development programmes. The plant’s development and modernisation projects have also been continued:
• important investments in improving the employees’ working conditions;
• modernisation of the Mashing section in 2005, through the set-up of a fully automated Mash Filter ’’Meura 2001’’ and of a malt grinding mill;
• the modernisation projects in the Mashing section continued in 2007, when a German –made Whirlpool was installed by GEA HUPPMANN, the renowned company in the field of the plants.
Significant amounts have been invested in projects aiming at sustainable development and environmental protection:
upgrading of the Cooling Station by replacing the existing refrigerating compressors and plants with a new modern and fully automated GEA GRASSO plant,;
The acquisition and commissioning of a dust processing and separation system, originating from the malt transportation;
upgrade of the internal sewage system;
major investments in reduction of the utilities consumption (water, electricity, thermal power, carbon dioxide) ;
setting up of a pre-treatment water plant for the industrial waste water resulting from the production process, totaling approximately EUR 3 million;
2012 works have started to build a new carbon dioxide caption station released during the fermentation process and the reuse of the dioxide in the beer production and bottling process.