Is Zurich a beer town? This question formed the basis of a long discussion (last Wednesday in Gonzo,) at the bar with a new friend, (some guy with long hair whose name i have forgotten.) After a healthy and (sometimes,) heated chat, fuelled by the self same product, we came to this conclusion: Zurich is home to more and more breweries but is it a beer town? Have a look at the list and and i’ll let you decide.
What is it? A former locals bar which has been rebuilt with space for it’s own brewing system and has been named Bierlab. This is the first brewery in district 4 to have it’s own bar and serves eight home brewed beers as well as two guest beers. Good to know: They offer a tasting selection of either four or eight beers. A great way to try a variety of beers without getting hammered. Takeaway? Only for sale on site i’m afraid.
What is it? The Oerlikon Brewery existed between 1985 and 1905 before it was purchased but the Uetliberger brewery, (which was then bought by Hürlimann which was in turn owned by brewing giants, Feldschlössschen) The brand was revived in 2015 and now offers five craft beers: the light, tasty and unpronounceable Oerlik-Öhlsch, the Oerlik-IPA, Oerlik-Ginsiceaux (a Ginger lager), Oerlik-Why10 (a wheat beer) and the Oerlik-Glapglap3. (a Belgian tripple) Good to know: If you see their craft beer fondue buy it, even in summer. You won’t regret it. Also visit their website and move the mouse over the bottles for a disco light show. Takeaway? They sell beer on Saturdays (called Samstagrampe,) between 10am and 1pm. Check the website for the date.
What is it? Since 2017, Dr. Brauwolf offers a wide range of fresh, local beers for craft beer lovers. They offer five varieties as well as a monthly special beer. Specials: The Hopfenwasser is a delicious alternative to non-alcoholic beer. Takeaway: Thursdays & Fridays from 5pm to 8pm.
What is it? Hirnibräu has been producing a small selection of beers since 1997 (and since 2010 in the iconic Trafoturm, located behind Buecheggplatz). They produce a blond lager, a slightly smokey dark blond beer, a malt accented dark beer and a golden, sparkling spelt bier. They also do the Bock blond which at 7.2% is ideal for those looking for a powerful alcohol delivery vector. Fun Fact: The conversion of the Trafoturm into a small brewery was planned by those architects who had previously turned the Grossbrauerei Hürlimann into a thermal bath (Margrit Althammer and René Hochuli) Fun Fact 2: Hirnibräu translates a “Brain Beer,” although it does not state whether it is good or bad for the brain. Let’s hope the former. Takeaway: Every Friday from 17.00 - 20.00.
What is it? Since 2005 a fine beer has been brewed on the Flühgasse in Seefeld. Just one. No more, no less. «S’Bier» is available in 3.3dl bottles, 10 or 24 bottle crates and 10 or 20 litre barrels. Not a six pack in sight! Fun Fact: Leopold Haas, originally from Bohemia, played an important part in Zurich’s brewing history. Today, Urs Egger, his great-grandson, is responsible for s'Bier. Takeaway: Saturdays from 10.30am - 12.30pm.
What is it? Here you can eat amongst the paraphanalia of a brewery. You can either imagine yourself as the master brewer or Heisenberg on his lunch break. The beer choices are a lager, a wheat beer, a pils or an IPA as well as special seasonal beers. Fun Fact: The Friedrich Steinfels company produced soap, detergents and candles here between 1897 and 1987. I am assured they use different containers to make the beer. Takeaway: Does not really happen here but beer can be ordered and picked up or chugged in the restaurant.
What is it? In 1997 three beer lovers, lamenting the ruin of Zurich’s brewing tradition decided to brew their own beer in the industrial quarter, next to the turbine production plant of Sulzer-Escher-Wyss. Thus, TurbinenBräu was born. Today, TurbinenBräu supplies around bars and catering companies and is the largest brewery in the canton. The offer the ubiquitous Sprint and Record as well as the lesser known Gold Sprint and seasonal specials. Fun Fact: A special beer named after and depicting the late Nepalese king, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev nearly caused a diplomatic incident. Takeaway: Monday - Friday: 8.30am - 6.30pm & Saturday: 10am - 4pm.
What is it? His grandfather was a master brewer, his father was a master brewer so it made sense for Christopher Fink, one of the two heads of Zurich Braulager, to follow in the family tradition. Five beers are produced each month with an output of around 15,000 litre. That’s a big hangover right there.
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