La Zimbru Jassy beer token
? mm, brass
coat of arms of medieval Moldova: urus head bearing a five ray star between its horns, crescent at right and a five petal rose at left, inscription "LA ZIMBRU" meaning "AT URUS"
two rhombi, inscriptions "HALBA" and "JASSY" meaning "a half-liter capacity mug (or tankard)" and "IAȘI"

About the Wisent and the coat of arms of Moldavia

The token displays a natural head of an aurochs, also known as urus, in the midst of the astral elements in the Moldavian coat of arms.

At the times of Romanian national rebirth the aurochs (Bos primigenius) had since long become extinct as a aspecies. The last known exemplar (a female) died in 1627 in Poland. For this reason the central element of the coat of arms was mistaken for the wisent (Bison bonasus), as well in the case of the Zimbru (Wisent) brewery in Iași and its tokens. (Another example of confusion is the short novel "Wisent Head" by Vasile Voiculescu where the story was told about one "cap de bour - aurochs head", first Romanian stamp issued.) The restoration of the aurochs in the national and historical conscience started late during the inter-war period.

About Zimbru Brewery

According to [1], the Zimbru brewery has likely a bicentennial existence, being the oldest known brewery house known in Iași.

During the contemporary times, the Iași-an beer was bottled in multiple sorts: "Until 1990, the brewery house produced the brands sorts Breazu, Bucium, Carpați, Ciric, Copou, Iași, Moldova, Repedea, Unirea, Bucegi and Bere Hipoglucidică, and after 1990 Zimbru, Zimbru Pils, Zimbru Premium Pils, Moldova, Cascada, Derby, Star, Blitz and black beer Karl’s Beer Pils appeared" [1].

The building of the brewery house resisted, in ruins, on Păcurari street at no 95, over to approximately the year 2010. The production of Zimbru beer was stoped for Iași in 2002.

About Zimbru Brewery at the beginning of the National Recompletion War

While describing the atmosphere in the Moldavian capital the day Romania entered the war on the side of the Entente Powers (on the day of August 15th/27th 1916), historian and memorialist Nicolai Andriescu-Bogdan mentioned the Zimbru brewery and pub among the most important in Iași (inside work "Iașul. Leagăn al unirei neamului Românesc. Amintiri și însemnări din 1916 - 1918", printed under the name "Iași. Leagăn al unirii neamului românesc. 1916 - 1918. Reminiscențe și însemnări" [2]): "...And the bands from the public houses still play in the Union's Square, and the pints circulate on the arms of waiters and are sucked thirstily and greedily by those assaulting the places at the tables at Azuga, Zimbru, Luter, at the open-air theaters or other similar distractions as well".


1. Păunescu N., Istoria ultimei fabrici de bere a Iașului (History of the last brewery of Iași), accessed December 2019.

2. Bogdan N.A., Iași. Leagăn al unirii neamului românesc. 1916 - 1918. Reminiscențe și însemnări, Convorbiri literare and Timpul Printing Houses, Iași, 2019.

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