The History of the Peroni Brewery

By May 29, 2019 Prosecco

Our bubbling beer of choice has a long, impressive history behind it. That background and brewing experience is what has made Peroni Nastro Azzurro into the popular premium lager that it is today. Let us talk you through the years of Peroni.

Beery Beginnings

The Peroni brewery first opened in 1846, in Vigevano, Italy. Led by Francesco Peroni, the location was chosen thanks to its excellent growing climate and the fact that it was so close to the mountains, allowing easy access to ice and fresh glacial water. Birra Peroni was created using premium ingredients, making for a beer that was pale in colour and medium in strength. The combination made a huge impact on the alcohol industry.

A second brewery was opened in 1864 to help meet demand for the drink. Based in Rome, it was managed by Francesco’s son, Giovanni and soon became the company’s headquarters. The beverage’s popularity continued to grow, until the brewery became the biggest in the country.

Finding Inspiration

In 1933, the country found great pride in a luxury Italian liner called SS Rex. The passenger liner won a prize for being the fastest boat to ever cross the Atlantic, earning itself the Nastro Azzurro (meaning Blue Riband) title. This seemingly unrelated event did not go unnoticed by the Peroni company, who chose to name their new premium beer in honour of the celebrated ship some thirty years later.

In the 50’s, the Italian economy started to expand, with a large increase in consumerism and a trend of people moving towards the bigger cities, including Rome. The Peroni company made the most of this improved economy status and sales of Birra Peroni were even more in demand than they had ever been!

As a tourist destination, Italy really came into its own in the 1960s, as politicians, members of royal families and A-list celebrities decided to take their holidays in the country. Many Italian brands were able to capitalize on their international reputation, including Peroni, who had released their second premium offering in 1963.

Advertising for Success

Not content with simply taking the beer’s name from the boating world, all advertising campaigns around Nastro Azzurro had a nautical theme, with customers buying into the idea of freedom and adventure that the marketing suggested. The blue ribbon logo design on the bottle was emulated on sailor’s hats in all advertising, so that the symbol very quickly became recognizable all over the world.

The company’s success continued well into the 2000s, but in 2005, the Nastro Azzurro brand was internationally relaunched after being bought by London brewing company SAB Miller. Part of the marketing campaign surrounding this included the opening of a boutique store on London’s prestigious Sloane Street. Nestled amongst the fashionable Italian clothing shops, it was made for window shopping only, doing a great job of getting passersby to talk about the brand. The idea won the 2008 award for International Innovation in Media.

Now, Peroni Nastro Azzurro is one of the most popular beer brands in the UK. Owned by Asahi Breweries, it is widely sold in bars, restaurants and supermarkets, and even cute little craft carts like ours!