In Russian Empire the state monopoly for products and sale of alcoholic beverages was implemented with the decree of the Finance Minister of Russia Sergey Juljevich Vitte in 1896. In 1901 the monopoly came to Moscow. «Moscow State Wine Warehouse №1», the future plant "Cristall", was located on the bank of the Jauza River, and was the largest and the most powerful enterprise. In a year it had to produce 2.100.000 wine buckets (about 2,6 million decalitres), while two other "warehouses" only 1.050.000 buckets (a state vodka bucket - 12 litres).
One and a half thousand people worked at Warehouse № 1 at that time. The building of the warehouse - a remarkable sample of industrial architecture of the beginning of the XX century – it keeps its historical appearance to present day. From the very beginning future "Cristall" was an advanced industrial complex with the most up-to-date equipment and multistage monitoring system of product quality.
The opening and consecration of Warehouse №1 was in June 24, 1901. In the beginning of its history the plant was producing only three kinds of vodka: "simple", "improved" and "boyarskaya". It was originally planned to produce 600.000 buckets of first-rate quality vodka per year. However a week later after the plant opening, the question of increasing its production arose because of huge demand for state wine of the supreme clearing. For this purpose it was offered at first to increase the number of batteries (filters) for release of high-quality vodka and then «to reconstruct the whole warehouse in order to produce wine of supreme clearing».
By 1914 production assortment had extended up to five names: at that time it was producing vodkas «Moskovskaya Osobennaya», «Hlebnoye Vino» (“Grain wine”), «Stolovoye Vino» (“Table Wine”), "Gorilka" and nalivka “Zapekanka” ("Baked pudding"). «Moskovskaya Osobennaya», perhaps, is the most famous kind of Russian vodka developed by great chemist D.I.Mendeleyev.
Between the wars
Since October 31, 1914 the plant was closed because of "the dry law” implementation for the period of war in the country. The military hospital was situated for some time in its building, however an interdiction on production was not absolute. Warehouse № 1 was allowed to make spirit for needs of the Army and «establishments of national health», to sell wine to foreign citizens and diplomatic department, to carry out orders for delivery of spirit to allied France. The part of capacities was reoriented to produce medicines on alcohol basis.
In 1917 the Revolutionary Government prolonged the interdiction for producing and sale of alcoholic beverages. In August 1923 the Central Executive Committee and SNC of the USSR issued a joint decision about renewal of manufacturing and trade of alcoholic beverages. By January 1, 1924 the plant had produced 844720 litres of nalivkas with concentration 20° (more concentrated liquors were under the interdiction). Only since 1925 the plant restarted to produce more concentrated beverages - 30° and higher. In 1937 unified recipe standards on all assortment of released products were implemented in all vodka distilleries of the USSR. In the same year strong liquors (chartrez, benedictine, queurassaux) and dessert liquors (pink, chocolate, vanilla) appeared in the Distillery’s assortment.
In 1940, the Moscow Distillery was a place where recipe of famous Stolichnaya vodka was created. Its creator was the top class distiller, process engineer Victor Grigoryevich Svirida.
World War II
During the Great Patriotic War the Distillery mastered military professions. Its workshops, besides traditional products produced dry alcohol; «Molotov’s Cocktail» was poured into bottles for vodka and wine. Despite of bombardments (the main building of the distillery was almost completely burnt out on the 22nd of July 1941 from the bomb hit during the massive strike of Moscow by German aircraft), flammable products were put on production line by self-denying efforts of the Distillery workers. For work during the war the Distillery was awarded with the Banner of the State Defense Committee. After the Great Victory the Distillery turned completely to peace production.
In 1945 Workshop №1 was opened that made the highest quality beverages for the Kremlin elite. Each bottle that left workshop was supplied with certificate with the list of surnames and personal signatures of experts responsible for its release.
Second half of the 20th century
In 1961, on the occasion of celebration of an important event – the first human space flight, the Moscow Distillery once again accepted the governmental order (5 thousand bottles of Stolichnaya vodka).
The Moscow Distillery produced N. S. Khrushchev’s favorite beverage – Gorilka with pepper based on the high quality Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya vodkas in shop No.1 on the customized basis.
In the early 70s, the Moscow Distillery started production of the whole series of new vodkas in different bottles (0.5 l, 0.75 L and 1.75 l) including Posolskaya, Golden Ring, Russkaya and Extra vodkas.
In the 70s after signing of the historical Helsinki Final Act that was the start for international lessening of tensions in the world connected with armaments drive, the Moscow Distillery delivered its high quality product for formal receptions of the delegations to the USSR, heads of all the European countries.
In 1980 the Moscow Distillery was the only distillery in the USSR that was an official supplier of its products for ceremonial receptions of the Moscow Olympic-80.
In January, 1987 the distillery received its present official name Cristall. In 1993 Open Joint-Stock Company the Moscow Distillery Cristall and its trademark were registered.
In 1998 a branch – Korystovo Distilling Plant located in the Greater Moscow Area joined the Moscow Distillery Cristall OJSC. In 2009, the Moscow Distillery Cristall OJSC started developing its new production site for liqueur and spirit at the Korystovo branch.
Since April, 2012 liqueur and spirit production at Korystovo started in full capacity.
The Moscow Distillery Cristall constantly improves technologies used in accordance with the advanced world standards. High-technology equipment and experience as well as the many years of traditions and stable quality make the Moscow Distillery Cristall a unique enterprise, the products of which are in high demand both in Russia and worldwide.