The name of Valmiermuiža has been etched into the annals of history since the turn of the 14th century, due to the existence of an impressive tavern that belonged to Valmiera Castle, where patrons could buy beer brewed by the Lord of the Manor. Originally, Valmiera Manor was located near Valmiera Castle, but around the year 1624 it was moved to the location where Valmiermuiža Brewery is currently based.
A fine inn for aristocratic guests
In 1762, the manor acquired a new landlord in the form of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Peter August Friedrich, who received the manor as a gift for his faithful service to the Russian crown. In 1764, he built an imposing hunting lodge here with a deer garden and other pleasures for the entertainment of guests. Such was the Duke’s hospitality that Valmiermuiža was lauded both near and far. Moreover, the castle was located near the road from Western Europe to Saint Petersburg, as a result of which it was often visited by aristocratic guests.
The rebirth of Valmiermuiža
Wars were not kind to Valmiermuiža, destroying almost all of its impressive buildings. Its rebirth began in 2006, when Aigars Ruņģis, a native of Valmiera, started to build a small brewery at the manor with the support of some enterprising partners, in order to revive the traditions of hospitality that once reigned here and to brew appetising beer that would once again make Valmiermuiža renowned far and wide. Construction work was completed in the summer of 2008.
However, when it came to brewing beer, the new landlord approached this challenge with utmost patience and diligence. It would be another year before he found the best hops and malts in distant lands, and only then, after a patient process of trial error, did he finally settle on a beer recipe and brew the first samples. It would only be in 2009 that the fastidious men of Vidzeme would finally sample Valmiermuiža light beer and nod their heads in satisfaction. Only then could the landlord finally rest assured in the knowledge that he could now offer his Valmiermuiža brew to each and everyone capable of appreciating the merits of decent beer.
In the realisation that customers in the capital city were longing to enjoy Valmiermuiža’s brews on a daily basis, the Valmiermuiža Beer Embassy opened for business in January 2011. Parallel to the opening of the shop, where one could buy all the items required for the festive table, a beer kitchen also welcomed its first visitors, offering them the chance to enjoy a hearty meal, and to savour the story of how beer and food complement one another. Significantly, the embassy was established in a place where the vapours of beer had historically wafted; over a century beforehand, a brewery had been located here.
A future built on the foundations of the past
If we want to grow and develop, we cannot stand still, which is why Valmiermuiža’s landlord and his associates are continually working to ensure that there is no shortage of good beer in Latvia, and that the culture of enjoying beer based on venerable traditions flourishes once more.
Unhurriedly brewing its popular beer varieties both in Latvia and abroad, Valmiermuiža’s specialists continue to search for new flavours with which to surprise even the most demanding beer lover. Accordingly, inspired by the history of the locale, in 2015, Valmiermuiža’s landlord revived the legendary Kokmuiža beer brand and began brewing ales. In the same year, the Valmiermuiža Summer house was opened on the shores of Lake Vaidava, in order to gratify relaxed holidaymakers with refreshing drinks and delicious snacks.
In order to promote Latvia globally, Valmiermuiža energetically works with foreign customers. This reflects the sincere commitment of Valmiermuiža’s landlord to ensuring that there will come a time, when the brewery’s products are once again as sought after and held in the same high esteem as Baltic porter was, back in the day.
Valmiermuiža Brewery’s owners
100% of the shares in SIA Valmiermuižas alus belong to SIA Valmiermuižas ieguldījumu fonds, which was founded in order to develop the Valmiermuiža brand in the long-term, to promote Valmiermuiža as a tourism destination for gourmands, and to drive exports of Valmiermuiža beer. 60% of the fund’s shares belong to the brewery’s landlord Aigars Ruņģis, 24% are owned by the Austrian investment fund Industrieliegenschaftenvervaltungs AG (ILAG) and 16% by the German company Thinkflink GmbH.
Each and every member of our community does their job, no matter how small, with caring hands, a sharp mind, as well as respect and integrity. On a daily basis, Valmiermuiža employs around 110 people, who collaborate harmoniously to do everything necessary to create delicious beer and look after their guests in both Rīga and Valmiermuiža. In summer, they are joined by 20 more hard working pairs of hands to make sure that there is always enough beer available to satisfy even the most thirsty beer lover.