The History of Spezi – Das Original
From beer to one of the most famous non-alcoholic beverages in the last 50 years.
“A good friend” for summer refreshment is coming to Croatia.
Interestingly, Spezi used to be a brand of beer, starting in 1956 in the Riegele Brewery in Augsburg. The first Spezi was beer; today it is one of the most famous soft drinks in the world. It is made from orange and lemon juice, cola and mandarins and many other little secrets that can be found today only in Spezi, Das Original.
Many people do not even know that Spezi has a meaning that is very symbolic in this context. To be more specific, in the Bavarian dialect Spezi means “a good friend,” and beer was always considered a social product, that is, a product that was almost always consumed in good company. Today, the name “Spezi” is protected, but it still reflects the atmosphere of pleasant socializing with a refreshing drink.
During this period, Riegele was among the first breweries to develop the parallel production of non-alcoholic beverages. Realizing that guests in their restaurants were asking for a mixed drink made from cola and orange juice, after which large amounts of beverage remained and this required additional effort by the hosts, managers came up with the idea of offering a ready-made mixed beverage with cola and orange flavor that carried the already existing name of Spezi. Its success was enormous and the original Spezi cola-orange, as we call it today, was created. Completely by chance, the masters from the Riegele Brewery had created a new hit beverage that went from Germany to other European countries, including Croatia. Spezi was known in Dalmatia precisely as a mixed drink, and it reached the height of its fame in the 1980s, the years of good music, tights, high stockings, big hair and fantastic fun.
Because of the great demand and the limited capacity of the brewery, they decided to find partners who would produce Spezi under license. In 1977, they founded the association Spezi Markengetränkeverband Deutschland e.V., whose board of managers consisted of volunteer members. It was run by a director and a small administrative staff. Thus, the original recipe was kept, and Riegele succeeded in achieving an optimal product appearance, advertising and improved sales. To strengthen further the licensed producers of Spezi, the partners founded a cartel of small and medium-sized companies in 1986.