The history of Sobieski Distillery (formerly: Fabryka Wódek Gdańskich S.A.) goes back to the mid-19th century. It was then that Herman Aleksander Winkelhausen came from Gdańsk to Starogard Gdański in 1871 to open the first steam refinery in the region then known as West Prussia. Over time, Winkelhausen built a distillery at Rycerska Street, and he developed it successively, establishing the first spirit and wine distillery in Pomerania, equipped with state-of-the-art technical equipment. In 1889, the factory also started to produce wines, cognacs, rums and arracks.
Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Winkelhausen’s distillery was a significant enterprise in northern Poland with more than 500 employees.
After the Second World War, it was rebuilt as state property, belonging to Przedsiębiorstwo Przemysłu Spirytusowego “Polmos” in Warsaw, associating all Polish alcohol-producing plants.
In 1991, Zakłady Przemysłu Spirytusowego “Polmos” were divided into 25 independently operating state enterprises. On the 1st of November 1998, Starogardzkie Zakłady Przemysłu Spirytusowego “Polmos” was transformed into a company wholly owned by the State Treasury, known as Fabryka Wódek Gdańskich w Starogardzie Gdańskim S.A.
In order to effectively compete on the market, the company offered various kinds of pure vodka, flavored vodka, milk and egg creams, liqueurs, such as Krupnik, and Goldwasser vodka with flakes of gold. Much effort was also put into development of the technological process; the company used ingredients of the highest quality and pre-war recipes.
In August 2001, the Ministry of the State Treasury signed a contract for sale of Fabryka Wódek Gdańskich to Belvedere Dystrybucja Spółka z o.o., being a part of the French spirit company Belvedere S.A. On the 1st of October 2003, the company name changed from Fabryka Wódek Gdańskich w Starogardzie Gdańskim to Destylarnia Sobieski Spółka Akcyjna. At present, Destylarnia Sobieski S.A. is a part of the MBWS Group.