A UNIQUE GROWTH STORY

Many inspiring leaders have offered their passion, time and energy to develop a family business into an international food industry group. Ever since the start of the business in 1883, Polttimo’s owners have actively participated in the development of the company. Today, already the 5th generation of the family has taken its place in the Polttimo Board of Directors.

POLTTIMO
135 YEARS OF QUALITY, CRAFTSMANSHIP AND COOPERATION

Polttimo was established in 1883 as a spirits distillery.

Founder Ferdinand Frigren.

The ownership has stayed within the family; today the owners represent the 5th generation.

Over the years the business moved from spirits and yeast production towards malt and food ingredients.

Export started in the 1960s.

In the 1971 the first malt production unit abroad (Sweden) was established.

Today Polttimo Oy is the parent company of the group.

Polttimo is a responsible and far-thinking owner and an active business developer.

HISTORY MILESTONES

1883

Oy Lahtis Bränneri Ab (Lahden Polttimo) was established as a spirits distillery in Lahti, Finland during the time of strict legislation on alcohol.

1888

Ferdinand Frigren started beer brewing.

1897

Yeast production started.

1919

Finland enacted prohibition.

1931

88 breweries in Finland, using 3 100 tons of malt.

1932

After a national referendum, the prohibition was ended due to increased smuggling, violence and crime rates.

1934

Malt production started. Finnish breweries now used over 3 800 tons of malt.

1952

The first and so far the only Summer Olympics in Finland. Use of malt in Finnish breweries: 13 500 tons.

1959

Export of malt started.

1964

Use of malt in Finnish breweries nearly 18 500 tons of which approx. 12 000 tons from Polttimo.

1969

3rd Category Beer to grocery stores in Finland.

1970

Extension of Seeger Maltings in Lahti, Finland.

1971

The first Finnish food industry company to invest abroad. Nord-Malt AB was established, maltings in Söderhamn, Sweden.

1978

Lausmann Maltings built in Lahti, Finland.

1979

Oy Maltax Ab was established.

1984

Maltax’s new malt extract factory started production.

1984

Oy Biofincon Ab was established.

1988

Finnish Yeast was established.

1989

Roastery built in Lahti, Finland.

1993

Finnish Yeast was the only yeast company in Finland after the acquisition of the Rajamäki yeast factory.

1993

Polttimo bought AS Saku Linnas, a malting house in Estonia (closed down in 1999).

1994

Nordic Yeast was established.

1995

Finland and Sweden entered EU.

1995

Nordic Yeast bought 51 % of the shares in Rigas Raugs in Latvia.

1995

Polttimo sole owner of Finnish Yeast Ltd.

1997

Svenska Malt AB was established, maltings in Halmstad, Sweden.

1997

50 % of UAB Litmalt was acquired, maltings in Panevezys, Lithuania. Joint Venture with Svyturys-Utenos Alus (BBH).

1998

LP Research Centre was established.

1999

Euro introduced as the currency in Finland.

1999

Saku Linnas in Estonia was closed down.

2002

Viking Malt Oy was established. Maltings in Finland, Sweden and Lithuania.

2003

Nordic Yeast sold its shares in Rigas Raugs to its owners Polttimo and Jästbolaget.

2004

Investment in new malt houses in Halmstad (Sweden) and Panevezys (Lithuania).

2004

Doubling of malt extract capacity at Maltax.

2005

Viking Malt malting house in Söderhamn (former Nord-Malt)  closed.

2006

Finnish Yeast Ltd sold to Lallemand GmbH.

2007

Polttimo sold its shares in Rigas Raugs, Latvia.

2007

Polttimo sole owner of Biofincon after acquiring the shares previously owned by ICI.

2007

Viking Malt acquired full share capital of UAB Viking Malt (former UAB Litmalt).

2008

Polttimo bought Bonafiber Oy.

2008

Oy Maltax Ab, Oy Biofincon Ab and LP Research Center merged into Senson Oy.

2009

Senson Oy started its operations in January 2009.

2011

Viking Malt bought Raisio Malt.

2012

In January the malting house in Raisio was closed down.

2013

Polttimo celebrates its 130 year anniversary.

2016

Viking Malt doubles its capacity by acquiring Danish Malting Group. Six sites in 5 countries operate under the Viking Malt brand.

2017

Polttimo Group uses 1 000 000 tons of maltable grain annually.

Polttimo’s history has been published in several books:

  • Lahden Polttimo 100 years by Heikki Vehviläinen in 1983
  • History Part II by Olavi Latikka, concentrating in the internationalization period of the company in 1971–2003
  • Nord-Malt History, Nord-Malt 20 år 1971–1991 by Hans Undin, 1991 (in Swedish)
  • History Part II, Nord-Malt 25 år by Hans Undin, 1996 (in Swedish)
  • Finnish Yeast History 1897–1997 by Olavi Latikka, 1997 (in Finnish)