Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on July 6, 2022

Who was behind the man with the moustache? 

Luigi Moretti’s “Beer and ice factory” was founded more than a century ago in Udine, in the Friuli region. There was a climate of unrest due to the region being Austro-Hungarian Empire and patriotic uprisings in the city were frequent; however, 37-year-old Moretti decided to build his brewery.


The first bottle of Birra Moretti was sold in the summer of 1860. Even if it looked a little different to today’s bottles, the quality of the product has certainly remained the same. The machinery used then was extremely advanced for its time, just as that used today is also at the cutting edge. From the 1990s on, Birra Moretti went from being a Friuli-based beer to a nationally-distributed beer, constantly growing and conquering new fans and admirers. 

In 1942, the nephew of Luigi Moretti, saw a pleasant-looking man sitting at a table in the Trattoria Boschetti in Udine. There was something unique in that man. He somehow was embodying the real values of his beer: authenticity, tradition, genuineness. Eventually Mr. Moretti went up to him and asked if he could take a picture of him. When the man was asked what he wanted in return, the only thing he asked for was another Birra Moretti beer. Since that day the image of that man is on every single label, ‘reminding us where we come from and who we brew our beer for’.


When the billboard was sent out to retailers, many people thought they recognised themselves as the moustached drinker, proof that Commander Moretti had successfully chosen a “real” and genuine character. Over the years, the role of the moustached man has been played by various actors and even by a famous artist, Bruno Bozzetto, who in the 1970s produced a series of cartoon advertisements with the Man on the Label as his main character, accompanied by his trusty Moretti mug of beer. 

Today, Birra Moretti is exported to over 40 countries around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan and has won important international awards. In 2006, it was the only Italian brand to have been awarded both gold and silver medals at the World Beer Cup, the most important international competition in the industry.


At the same time, it was awarded 5 other medals at the Australian International Beer Awards—a high level competition in the southern hemisphere—something which confirms the high quality of beer. For the Birra Moretti group, these awards are certainly triumphs, especially as it is the only Italian beer to have come out on top in categories that are usually dominated by German or American beers.

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About the author

Chloe Lewis

Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine. 

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