In the first part we present the first steps in the development of the monopoly industry, both national and regional. In Polish vodka production, the precursors, apart from Haberfeld, were the Baczewski families from Lviv (1782), Potocki families from Łańcut (1784) and Hartwig Kantorwicz families from Poznań (1823). They were able to develop their manufactories into large companies. The production around Oświęcim and in the city itself was much smaller. However, there was a large concentration of distillers here: Henoch Henenberg, Wiktor Leiblert and S. Kurtz. These are the significant names closely related to the history of distillery in this area. In Brzeszcze Jakób Finder ran the Małopolska Wine, Fruit Juice and Beer Warehouse Factory, which, however, in its offer, contrary to the company’s name, had vodkas, rum and liqueurs.
The second part of the exhibition is dedicated to the fate of the Jewish Haberfeld family. Perhaps there wouldn’t be a factory in Oświęcim at all if it weren’t for love at first sight. The history of the family in Oświęcim begins in the second half of the 18th century. Living in the Slovak town of Tura Luka, Simon Haberfeld went to visit his friend. It was then that he met Jacheta Reider, a woman from Oświęcim, with whom he decided to bond for the rest of his life. The fruit of their love was Jakob, who, as a precursor of entrepreneurship in 1804, opened the Steam Vodka and Liquor Factory. It was not only the first industrial factory in the city, but also one of the first of its kind in the country.
In this part of the exhibition we get to know together the stages of the factory development, through the period of dynamic expansion to the end of its existence. The Haberfeld family bought a castle adjacent to the factory from the city in order to use it as a warehouse. In its history, Jakob Haberfeld’s Steam Vodka and Liquor Factory was given the honour of representing the Archduke’s Żywiec Brewery and poured a golden beverage into its bottles, marking its signed bottles with Żywiec labels. The factory also bottled water and produced non-alcoholic beverages, including juices.
The factory is primarily the front-end quality liquors that conquered international markets and won a number of awards and distinctions. The most valued were: Old Polish Whisky (or kind of Old Polish Whisky), Castle Liqueur, Kontuszówka, Najprzedniejsza Czysta, Pół na pół, Kwaśna, Korzeniówka, Było nie było, Magister, Basztówka, Zgoda or Cognac Façon Jakob Haberfeld. All the alcohols were closed in company bottles of glass or porcelain, specially manufactured for the company. Labels were produced in Opava and Bielsko.
In this part we will show how the production in the Jakob Haberfeld Factory looked like, but also what other methods in the history of distillers were used to create pure or coloured alcohols from potatoes or rye. At the end of the visit, we invite our guests to a tasting combined with a short instructional alcohol consumption course. The tasting of products prepared on the basis of old recipes, in a craft way, based only on natural ingredients, which is confirmed by one of the most prestigious Manchester Beth Din certificates. And for our little ones we prepared unique, natural, handmade chocolates made by the Polish Master Confectioners.