Switzerland: Is Carlsberg Reviving Basel's Warteck Brewery?

With over three decades having passed since Feldschlösschen closed the Warteck Brewery in Basel and relocated production to Rheinfelden, discussions are now underway at the brewery regarding the revival of this iconic beer, as reported by Handelszeitung.

The closure of the Warteck Brewery in Basel in 1991 created a void in the city's brewing landscape, and when Carlsberg acquired the Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann Group in 2000, it appeared that the fate of the brand was sealed.

Several Swiss breweries have shuttered over the years, with only a handful surviving under new ownership. The Eichhof Brewery in Lucerne likely remained too significant for Heineken to entirely relocate production to Calanda in Chur. Likewise, Carlsberg retained the Valaisanne Brewery in Sion due to the local brand name Valaisanne and customers refusing to accept a brewing location in Aargau.

With the emergence of numerous brewpubs and local craft breweries in recent decades, the market has undergone significant transformation, sparking rumors of a Warteck revival.

Questions persist regarding potential revival methods, such as establishing a brewpub. Presently, there is a growing trend among large breweries to acquire smaller ones for experimental purposes or to accommodate visitors. Independent breweries like Schützengarten in St. Gallen or Locher in Appenzell may serve as a blueprint.

To date, neither Feldschlösschen nor Carlsberg have divulged any specific plans for Warteck. When questioned by Handelszeitung, Feldschlösschen declined to comment, stating, "There are currently no specific projects for Warteck that I could share with you," according to a spokesperson.

The former Warteck site in Basel has since the closure of the brewery undergone a transformation into a cultural hub and may serve as an ideal starting point for a revival.

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