There are 88 breweries in Bern – more than in any other canton in Switzerland – and they are all vying to please their customers. In addition to the long-established traditional businesses, there are numerous new breweries, run by connoisseurs for connoisseurs, such as the Brauerei Thun AG with its Porter and Golden Ale.
Another such operation is the Brauerei Seeland Bräu. "The range of beers available today is extremely pleasing," according to owner Hansruedi Suter. His brewery produces over ten different beers. Like many other microbreweries, Seeland Bräu not only produces excellent beer but is also a delightful destination in itself. The beer is fermented on the premises of the Lago Lodge hostel – right on Lake Biel. The following is a selection of Bern's beer breweries.
Altes Tramdepot – Bern
The "tram beers" at the Altes Tramdepot are all unfiltered and natural and are produced without any chemical additives. Each year, the Altes Tramdepot brewing team develops around 30 new speciality beers. The classics include the Tram-Helle, the Tram-Märzen and the Tram-Weizen. Depending on the season, they are brewed four to six times a week in the middle of the restaurant, which corresponds to approximately 3,100 hectolitres of beer per year. On request, the Altes Tramdepot offers a 20-minute guided tour for those interested.
Felsenau (Bärner Müntschi) – Bern
Founded in 1881, Bern’s Felsenau brewery has a long history behind it. The most popular Bernese beer in Switzerland is the naturally cloudy Bärner Müntschi (Müntschi means kiss in the Bernese dialect). The locals are especially proud of it. Also, the light Bärni and the dark Bärner Junker beer are often enjoyed. Upon request, the Felsenau brewery offers a 45-minute guided tour including beer tasting.
Barbière – Bern
The Barbière opened in the heart of Bern’s popular Breitenrain district in March 2014. And as the name implies, this bar is all about beer. The heart of the restaurant is its own microbrewery, which is located at the back of the restaurant in a former garage. This is where high-quality special beers and ales with influences from the Belgian, English and American brewing culture are produced.
Burgbier – Ringgenberg
What emerged from a beer-related idea has become a hobby, a passion, and a slice of Ringgenberg. Since October 2011, the Burgbier team has been brewing beers at Ringgenberg for Ringgenberg and with water from Ringgenberg. The recipes were mainly developed by amateur brewers themselves and come in a wide range of flavours.
Hairy Cow – Interlaken
The Hairy Cow Brewery was established in Interlaken 3 years ago. Our company has only 2 staff – Andy Taylor & Glynn Gillies. (Although we have many friends who like to come to the brewery to help us on busy days !) We are originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, and are School & University friends. Andy has lived here for approximately 22 years and Glynn for 8 years.
We started making Craft Beer approximately 9 years ago, when the choices of beer at that time was limited to mainly Lager Beers and we wanted to drink beer like it was for us in the U.K. – Traditional Beers / Ales ( top fermenting ). So, being passionate about beer, we started making a 20 Litre pot, in Grindelwald, which soon became very popular with our colleagues. Now we manufacture 1000 Litres per week, making 5 different main beers, and occasionally special release beers.
We brew modern interpretations of classic styles with an emphasis on bold flavours and new world hops, producing a tastier unique product with lots of aromas and flavours. As much as possible, we use the finest materials locally and from around the world, and we recycle where allowed. Around 90% of our sales are to Bars, Restaurants, Hotels & Online Distributors all over Switzerland. It is very clear that people are looking for a change from regular beers. The demand has been so high that Canton Bern Has the highest concentration of Micro Breweries in the whole of Switzerland!
JungfrauBräu – Brienz
The beers are passionately hand-brewed at this small speciality brewery in the Bernese Oberland. The JungfrauBräu produces two classic bottom-fermented beers (known as lager beers) as well as modern craft beers with fancy malt blends, special hop varieties and top-fermented yeast cultures. The classics at the JungfrauBräu include the Jungfrau HELLE, a "Zwickelbier" with 4.8% alcohol as well as the Jungfrau STEDLIBIER (5.4% alcohol), a special beer which is also natural. The Jungfrau LAGER is a filtered pale lager that meets the requirements of the classic beer drinker.
Haxli Schwändi Bräu – Heiligenschwendi
Far above Lake Thun, in Hagsbüel, there is a small, impressive microbrewery. It all started in 2006 with Marcel’s first attempts at brewing with beer kits. Shortly afterwards he also infected Marc with his beer brewing virus and brewing beer was to become their shared future hobby. The first brewing trials were carried out in 2008 with a 20-litre Speidel’s Braumeister. A few years later they expanded to a 50-litre Braumeister. Since 2017, they have been using a 50-litre 2-vessel Gruber brewhouse (Kleinbrauerei KB50). The old 50-litre Braumeister is used as the second cooking pan for the double brewing option (capacity 100 litres). Various beers are seasonally available and can be ordered in a 9 or 18 litre keg including rental of the dispenser for small to medium-sized events.
Thun Bier – Thun
We brew our Thun beer in Thun with wholehearted passion and a focus on quality. To preserve the beer’s unique qualities, only the finest ingredients are used in our brewing pans. No matter whether it is light, cloudy, bitter, salty, sweet, fruity, aromatic, refreshing or full-bodied – Thun beer is currently available in three different varieties. To start, we recommend our tasty Golden Ale, a light beer. Or do you prefer it stronger? Then our Pale Ale and Porter will suit your taste. Our carefully hand-brewed beer is meant to stand out from the crowd and trigger a wow effect from beer lovers. Served in a beautiful glass, Thun beer is not only a great companion when socialising, but is also an excellent accompaniment to a fine meal.
Strättligen Bier – Thun
When Patrik Feller brewed his Strättligen beer for the first time in autumn 2003, he first used a beer kit before going on to the short mash method. He retained this method until 2007. From then on, the Strättligen beer was "released" from a specially made 36-litre BrauEule system. Patrik Feller brews a variety of different beers and beer styles, mainly speciality beers.
Mikro Bier-Brauerei Old School – Faulensee
Hand-brewed beer = CRAFT BEER OLD SCHOOL, fermented with fresh brewer's yeast, bottled unfiltered and cold-aged in the cellar. The Mikro Bier Brauerei Old School operates out of an old school building at Interlakenstrasse 44 in 3705 Faulensee. Three fermentation and aging tanks each produce 150 litres of the finest craft beer. The experimentation with hops, spices, fruits and special yeast results in exciting and highly palatable beers.
Mikrobrauerei Travertin – Diemtigtal
At the foot of the Wiriehorn in the Diemtigtal there is a small home brewery operating out of a house with the name of Travertin. Hence the beer brewed there is called Wiriebier. About a dozen beer-drinking friends have joined forces as the "Friends of Wiriebier" to support the courageous brewer, to socialise and to research the beer production carried out by the micro and small breweries in Switzerland. This excellent beer is not only reserved for club members but is sold in the local outlets as "Diemtigtal beer".
Brauerei Stögu-Bier – Thun
It is not known exactly when Markus Niederhauser made his first attempts at brewing but it was probably around 2001. Stögu beer got its name at a very late stage; in fact, as late as 2008. It is either brewed in a Braueule or in large pots on a gas burner. Both methods produce 20 litres each, mostly stouts and ales. Stögu beer is mainly brewed for friends, family and personal use, but it is also rarely available on special occasions or at the Mühlistübli in Steffisburg.
Walther's – Goldiwil
Reto Walther has been brewing Walther's beer since 2009 in Goldiwil at 1,000 metres above sea level. He uses simple brewing equipment and mainly makes strong ales with lots of hops. He also experiments with wood and honey. His brewing capacity of 20 litres per brewing day is rather modest and hence the beer is very rare. He mainly makes beer for friends, relatives and anyone who is fast enough to grab one. New creations and the current stocks are detailed on Walther's Facebook page.
3970 Nordwand Bräu – Grindelwald
This beer is brewed in Grindelwald at the foot of the legendary Eiger North Face. It is a light, top-fermented beer made from selected ingredients and is created using the Pilsner brewing method. This Grindelwald beer is an authentic, unadulterated beer that is worthy of its name.
Bärgbier – Adelboden
Adelboden is famous for its wholesome spring water – so why not enhance this natural resource with barley malt, hops and yeast? Andy Schranz and Jürg Gyger are two restaurateurs who have been in the throes of brewing fever since 2015. The people of the Engstligtal call their product "Bärgbier", and it is now available in six varieties – including soft wheat, bitter IPA, and dark beer with roasted malt. They are all top-fermented – as befits a "beer from the mountains".
Simmentaler Braumanufaktur – Lenk
This brewery at the foot of the Wildstrubel Massif, near the Simmen Falls, produces various lagers and special beers. Björn, David & Tristan make sure that the storeroom is always full and that the customers are satisfied! This Simmental beer is produced entirely at Lenk in the Simmental. The bottles are all filled, sealed and labeled by hand. Only the finest malt and hop varieties are used. Together with the fresh Simmental mountain water, this creates a unique beer. The by-product of the brewing process, the malt residue, is enjoyed by the cows in the Simmental mountains. The Hopf Schwiiz fan lager, brewed from fine blood oranges and Cascade hops, was especially launched for the Soccer World Cup in Summer 2018.
Brasserie la Marmotte Bienne – Biel
The little Brasserie la Marmotte brewery is located in the heart of Biel's Old Town. This beer quickly made a name for itself and is now available at many bars and shops in Biel and around the region. Four different beers are brewed: La Coquine de Bienne, Le Vrai Mec de Bienne, Marmotte blanche and Marmotte blonde.
Aare Bier – Bargen
The brewery is housed on a building area of 1,000 m2. The Aare beer is brewed with clear spring water from the Bargenschanze and the finest aromatic hops in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. All these beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised.
Bier Bienne – Biel
The Bier Bienne beer shop has been open since 1998. As beer enthusiasts, the team had long wanted to brew its own beer. When the Aare Bier brewery opened in Bargen in 2006, the long-standing friendship between the owner of Bier Bienne (Daniel Trignani) and the then managing director and current owner of Aare Bier (Cesare Gallina) led to the opportunity for collaboration. Since that time, they have been brewing their own beers in barges as Gypsy brewers.
SeelandBräu – Nidau
After a break of almost 100 years, a brewery was once again opened in the Seeland region in 1999. The founder and owner of SeelandBräu is Hansruedi Suter. The brewery is located in the bistro of the associated Lago Lodge Swiss hostel and can also be visited. For more than 100 times a year the brewing is carried out in the attractive 10 hectolitre brewhouse directly behind the bar. Bio Suisse accredited SeelandBräu beers are produced in an environmentally friendly manner with water heated by the sun and electricity produced on the roof.
Mon œil Bräu – Biel
For more than twenty years, Danu had brewed small quantities of beer in the kitchen at home. In the spring of 2013, he and Nico began to brew with their small Speidel’s Braumeister (20 litres) in the cave les terrasses in Biel. This was a lot of fun and, of course, so was the result. After gaining experience and positive feedback, they decided to expand their infrastructure and bought a Speidel's 50-litre Braumeister and several steel tanks for fermentation. Since April 2014, they have been officially registered as a Swiss taxable brewery and are allowed to sell the beer. As far as possible only certified organic ingredients are used. The beers are not filtered, and are therefore naturally cloudy and ripen in the bottle.
Brasserie Bières & Co – Corgémont
A range of beers has been produced in the small village of Corgémont in the Bernese Jura since 2013. The six young brewers work as volunteers and the income is reinvested in their equipment. This passion has led to the creation of five original beers. A limited edition, corresponding to the season, is regularly created.
Saane Gutsch-Brauerei – Saanen
Saane Gutsch – this Saanenland beer stands for quality, purity and exclusivity! The beer, which is brewed from two barley malts, top-fermented yeast, the finest hops and local water, is noted for its balanced taste, its full-bodied character, its light, naturally cloudy colour and its effervescence. The malt used during the brewing process continues to be used in other ways. It is used in bread, sausages and as high-quality food for livestock (cows, horses) use. Saane Gutsch is brewed by a family-owned company in Saanen and bottled or kegged so as to be served by the glass. Saane Gutsch is distributed under the "Gstaad Authentique" label and is already available at 20 restaurants and shops in the region.