The Pupko Brewery

Pupko Beer was brewed in Lida for several generations, until the Holocaust. Click here for a page on beer brewing in Belarus, featuring Pupko Beer. This page includes a link to the present-day Lida brewery's site, featuring historic labels.  Sioma Pupko, the author of a section of Sepher Lida, was a member of this family. This page has labels from the Lida Papirmeister Brewery. Unfortunately, Pavel Egorov's site with illustrations of beer bottle labels from both these  breweries has moved where I can't find it or been taken offline as of late 2006.   Click here for part 2 of brewing in Belarus - Papirmeister.  There is  a  Polish language  site whose opening page is  impervious to online translation, but there are pictures of Papirmeister labels and Pupko  labels. (Scroll down to Lida on the left panel & click. This brings up two options in yellow, for each of the breweries. The actual URL remains hidden. I hope this site has some permanance.)

Information supplied by Leon Lauresh of Lida:

The brewery was founded in 1876 by Nosol [Nissan] Pupko.  It passed to his sons Mark [Meilach] and Simon Pupko, and was housed at Suwalskaia 88.  The authorized capital for the brewery in the era preceding World War II was 10,000Zloty.  The brewery had electric motors with a total power of 87 horsepower & included a steam mill & a saw mill.  In 1936, 28 workers and 8 technical specialists were employed at the brewery.  40,000 hectoliters of beer [4,200,000 quarts] were produced annually.  Raw materials used in 1936 were 157,3 ò. barley, 950 kg of hop, 87,7 ò. malt.  There were branches of the firm [at least bottling plants, as some of the details in labels formerly online showed] in Baranowiczi, Nowogrudok, Hrodno [Grodno], Wilno [Vilnius], Molodeczno, Luninec, Pinsk,  Bereza, & Wolkowysk.  [and Smorgon' - IN, from a label]. Leon has his own page on Lida beer.  [You'll probably want to use an online translator.] Offline as of 2022, paste into the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Arkadii Shulman has a web page in which he discusses the Pupko Beer factory, among other aspectes of life in Lida. (If the link gives you a safety exception, paste this into your browser: .) His grandfather was relocated to Lida in 1939 to do logging work. He refers to a book Память. Лида. Лидский район (Memorial. Lida. The Lida Region) in which there are lists of  those deported from Lida in 1939-1941, mostly Jews, mostly owners of stores - "enemies of the people". However, this was a blessing in disguise, as your chances of survivial in Siberia were actually considerably better than in Lida, if you were a Jew. After the first bombardment of Lida, the beer factory was still standing, though 80% of Lida was not - it was marked on the bombers' maps, because the Germans 'needed' the beer factory when they occupied Lida, to supply the soldiers. The beer received many medals (you can see that on the labels) including one in 1908 in Marseille. Another article, accessible from the same URL, by Valeri Slivkin contains much of the historical information Leon Lauresh gave me, but adds that Nissan Pupko died in 1900, and his heirs were his sons Itske, Girsh, Avram, and Meilach. Meilach was "CEO" of the factory from 1903 to 1934, when he died, at which point Mark and Semen (Sioma), his sons, took over. There were about 50 family members in Lida. (That's a conservative estimate). Thanks to Lena Gorina-Black for this summary of Shulman's pages.

I'd very much like to know how and where Nissan Pupko got the expertise to start the factory...  

Seal from a bottle of 2% beer;  "browar parowy"
means steam - powered brewery.  After WWI

This label is Cyrillic, therefore predates 1918


Copyright 2002, 2004, 2009 Leon Lauresh, Irene Newhouse
Updated 6/2015
Updated 7/2022
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