Fifty years of Hurbanovo maltery
In April 2017 it was exactly half a century since construction work on malting plant was completed, and in October it was 50 years since the first tonnes of Hurbanovo malt had been produced. The maltery was then a part of the state-owned enterprise Západoslovenské pivovary a sladovne, Bratislava. Once everything was completed, the maltery consisted of 64 steeping tanks, 16 Wanderhaufen system lines and four double-floor kilns. The planned malt production capacity of 30,000 tonnes was already achieved in 1968. Organisational change in 1984 caused the creation of the separate state-owned enterprise Zlatý Bažant, Hurbanovo. After the new germination facility with eight Saladin boxes and two single-floor kilns were built and at the same time the steeping process was adjusted, the annual production capacity of maltery increased during 1986 and 1987 to approximately 63,000 tonnes of malt. In 1992, the brewery was transformed into a joint-stock company Zlatý Bažant and in 1995, the whole plant became a part of the Dutch company Heineken. In 1998, a new steeping room with nine cylindroconical steeping tanks took the place of the old steep tank system. Following adjustments of the technological process enabled the increase of total malt production capacity to 80,000 tonnes annually. Another organisational change happened in 2001, when maltery became an independent joint-stock company under the name Heineken Slovensko Sladovne. In 2002, there was a modernization, an increase in the capacity of six steeping tanks, a construction of six new circular germinating boxes and high-capacity single-floor kiln, thus extending the maximum annual production capacity to 150,000 tonnes. At the same time, the malt production in the outdated Wanderhaufen system floors and four original double-floor kilns was discontinued. The old Saladin boxes and two old singlefloor kilns were decommissioned gradually during 2012 and 2013. With an annual malt production capacity of around 111,000 tonnes, the maltery is the largest not only in Slovakia, but also in the entire Central Europe.