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Itkul distillery

The meaning of «itkul distillery»

Iktul Distillery is a Russian distiller based in Sokolovo, Zonalny District, Altai Krai. Founded in 1868, it's the oldest distillery in Eastern Siberia.

The Itkul Distillery was founded in the village of Sokolovo by Konstantin Pavlovich Platonov (Russian: Константин Павлович Платонов), a hereditary nobleman and former official of the Altai Mountain Region administration, and a Barnaul merchant by the name of Grigory Terentyevich Badyin (Russian: Григорий Терентьевич Бадьин). The distillery derives its name from the Itkul river, which flows through the village of Sokolovo. In 1867 Platonov and Badyin became the first entrepreneurs to receive permission to build a distillery in Altai Mountain Region, and on December 15, 1868, Itkul Distillery started operations. Vasily Andreevich Gusarov (Russian: Василий Андреевич Гусаров) from Saint Petersburg became the manager of the distillery and held the position until 1910.[1][2]

Local authorities initially set the production quota for the Itkul Distillery at 50,000 buckets (a Russian measure of capacity, roughly equal to 12,3 liters) of polugar (a Russian standard for a 38% ABV spirit) per annum (p.a.) However, the actual production volume would soon exceed this quota, reaching 100,000 buckets p.a. by the mid-1870s and exceeding 200,000 p.a by the end of the century. The distillery was modernized several times and became one of the first electrified industrial sites in the Altai Mountain Region.[3] In 1873, Platonov and Maria Aydarova (Russian: Мария Айдарова), the wife of an Altai Mountain Region administration official, established a glass factory in Sokolovo to produce bottles and glassware for the distillery and for sale.[2][4][5]

The Itkul Distillery remained the only distillery in Altai Mountain Region until the late 1890s, thus ensuring considerable profits for its operations. Over this time, the enterprise grew to include a liquor factory in Barnaul (established 1882) and 46 liquor houses to distribute strong drinks.[6] The annual revenue of the Iktul Distillery in 1882 amounted to 180,200 imperial rubles, accounting at the time for 42% of the turnover in goods produced in the Altai Mountain Region.[1] At the All-Russia Industrial and Art Exhibition 1896 in Nizhny Novgorod, the distillery was awarded a Bronze medal for its development of the liquor industry in the remote areas of the Russian Empire. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Iktul distillery had become the largest distillery in the Altai region and the second-largest in Siberia with a production volume of 219,000 buckets of polugar p.a.[4]

With the introduction of a state wine monopoly in Siberia in 1902, the profitability of the distilling industry greatly decreased. The liquor factory in Barnaul closed, and the glass factory would never be rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire. In 1912, the alcohol business, by that time solely owned by Konstantin Platonov's only son Ivan (Russian: Иван Константинович Платонов) went bankrupt with a total debt of 1 million rubles. Platonov retained the ownership of the Itkul Distillery and later granted it to his stepdaughter Nadezhda Nikolaevna Oljunina (Russian: Надежда Николаевна Олюнина). But in August 1914, a prohibition on the sale of alcohol accompanied the entry of the Russian Empire into the First World War, forcing the distillery to cease production. As a result, the distillery remained effectively non-operational during the years of the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.[4][7]

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