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De Brauhotel Bascharage - History of the Brewery 2

History of the Brewery

A brewing history from 1764

1764 The beginning

During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, around 1670, the first breweries opened in Plaetis Street, located in the Grund district of Luxembourg City. Nearly a century later, in 1764, one of them transformed into the Funck Brewery.

1780-1808 La dynastie Funk S'Étend

In 1780, the Linden family became the owners of another brewery on Plaetis Street. Fast forward to 1808 when one of the Linden daughters, Anne-Catherine, married Henri Funck. The Funck family also owned a brewery in the Grund district.
From this union, several brewing dynasties were born: the Funck-Nouveau, Funck-Erdmer, and Funck-Bricher families. The 10th and current generation includes Mathias Lentz, the director of the current Brasserie Nationale, and Isabelle Lentz (married von Kunow), the Chief Operating Officer of Munhowen. Munhowen is the primary beverage distributor in the Greater Region, managing the entire brand portfolio of Brasserie Nationale along with over 2500 other brands. This family legacy has not only shaped Luxembourg's brewing history but has also left a lasting impact on the regional beverage distribution industry. The Lentz family remains instrumental in the ongoing success of Brasserie Nationale and Munhowen.

1844 The birth of a new brewery in Luxembourg

On February 18 and March 19, 1844, the Municipal Council of Bascharage, and subsequently the Government Council, granted approval to JeanBaptiste Bof erding for the construction of a brewery in the heart of Bascharage: Bof erding Brewery.

1862 La dynastie Funk-Bricher continues to grow

The construction of road and railway networks in Luxembourg played a pivotal role in fostering the development of Luxembourgish breweries, particularly Bof erding Brewery and those located on Rue Plaetis. The latter, following an industrialization trend, equipped themselves with their first industrial machinery.

During the same period, Mathias Funck, born in 1834 and the leader of the brewery on Rue Plaetis, married Catherine Bricher. The couple had seven children, all without descendants. In light of this, Mathias renamed the brewery on Rue Plaetis to Funck-Bricher Brewery, giving rise to a new dynasty within the Funck family. This marriage and the subsequent rebranding marked a significant chapter in the history of the brewery, solidifying its place in the evolving landscape of Luxembourg's brewing heritage.

1916 Funk-Bricher becomes the official supplier to the court

While the breweries in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg faced challenges in meeting a very low demand since the outbreak of World War I, Funck-Bricher Brewery emerged as a supplier to the Grand Ducal Court, securing a mark of quality in the Luxembourgish market.

1927-1837 The first modernization of the breweries

Despite facing setbacks in their development due to the wartime context, Bofferding and Funck-Bricher breweries chose to invest in the modernization of their facilities.
In 1929, the Grund Brewery inaugurated a new machine room and a more modern brewing room, followed by new cellars between 1934 and 1936. During this period, Victor and Joseph Funck, owners of the Funck-Bricher brewery, proudly marketed their establishment as "the most modern in the Grand Duchy" in their advertisements.
On the other hand, at Bofferding Brewery in Bascharage, modernization efforts began in 1927 when the children of Léon Bofferding took over its management. These efforts continued until 1930, involving the installation of a new brewing room, a proper machine room, and refrigeration elements for ice production.
In the 1930s, Bofferding and Funck-Bricher beers received international acclaim with the Grand Prix at the Liège Universal Exposition in 1930 and in Brussels in 1935, as well as the Diploma of Excellence at the Paris International Food Institute competition in 1937. These accolades underscored the breweries' commitment to innovation and quality on the global stage despite the challenges of the era.

1937 Foundation of the Brasserie Battin

Charles Battin, a spirits trader, founded his own brewery in the train station district of Esch-sur-Alzette in 1937. He made this decision to supply a significant local market, considering the challenging circumstances of strong competition and the lingering impact of the 1929 stock market crash on the brewing industry.
One notable aspect of his brewery was his excellent business relationships, which played a crucial role in achieving rapid success. The strategic location of the brewery also facilitated the timely arrival of raw materials. However, Charles Battin's most significant competitive advantage was the presence of a talented master brewer, Kurt Mocker. Trained in Pilsen, Mocker brewed exceptional quality beers using original recipes that delighted the taste buds in the mining basin, contributing to the development of the small local brewery.

1949-1974 The second modernization of the breweries

The Funck-Bricher and Bofferding breweries continued their modernization efforts despite the significant impact of World War II on Luxembourgish breweries. Old bottling stations were replaced, and wooden barrels transitioned to aluminum barrels. It wasn't until 1963 that national production volumes comparable to pre-war levels were regained.
In 1963, the new managers of Bofferding Brewery in Bascharage, Paul Bofferding and Georges Molitor, initiated a forward-looking policy of development and modernization. Numerous transformations, extensions, and technical improvements, including the automation of the beer production process in 1974, enabled the brewery to increase its production by over 30,000 hl/year over the course of 11 years.

1975 The birth of the Brasserie Nationale

In 1975, the Brasserie Nationale was born through the merger of Bofferding and Funck-Bricher breweries. The new company, jointly owned by the Bofferding and Lentz families, decided to consolidate all its production facilities on the Bascharage site before eventually phasing out the Funck-Bricher brand. This strategic move aimed to enhance production under a single brand, streamlining operations and consolidating the strengths of both original breweries within the unified Brasserie Nationale.

1986-1995 Modernization of the Breweries

From 1986 to 1995, Brasserie Nationale executed a series of modernization projects for both machinery and buildings to scale up production. This included the implementation of gas heating and a steam boiler in 1988, the incorporation of five new fermentation and storage tanks in 1990, allowing for a total production capacity of 258,000 hl, and the modernization of the brewing room in 1993.
These efforts bore fruit in 1995 with the prestigious DLG Grand Prize, which acknowledged the quality, production methods, and taste characteristics of Bofferding beer. This recognition marked a significant milestone, showcasing Brasserie Nationale's dedication to excellence and innovation in the brewing industry.

1992-1999 Acquisition of Hippert Boissons & Munchowen Distribution

As part of a beverage distribution reorganization strategy, Brasserie Nationale acquired Hippert Boissons in 1992. In a subsequent move, Munhowen Distribution was also acquired in 1999 and merged with Hippert Boissons, while retaining its original name. This strategic initiative aimed to strengthen and streamline Brasserie Nationale's distribution network, consolidating its market position and optimizing operational efficiency.

2004 Acquisition of the Brasserie Battin

In 2004, Brasserie Battin, with whom Brasserie Nationale had a longstanding and amicable commercial agreement, was acquired. Its production was integrated into the Bascharage site, discontinuing operations at its Eschsur-Alzette location, which posed challenges due to its downtown setting. This strategic move allowed Brasserie Nationale to consolidate production facilities and optimize its operational efficiency.

2018 Revival of the Funk Bricher brand

More than 30 years after its discontinuation, the Funck-Bricher brand is resurrected in 2018 and reintroduced with a new beer brewed at Brasserie Nationale. Crafted from organic malt and hops, this beer stands as the only one in the Brasserie Nationale lineup recognized as both organic and vegan. The revival of the Funck-Bricher brand not only brings back a historic name but also underscores a commitment to quality and innovation, particularly in the realm of organic and vegan beer production.

2020 Foundation of the Lodyss brand

In 2020, Brasserie Nationale announced the launch of its mineral water brand, Lodyss, sourced from Bascharage.

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