The brewery of Colmar

Before being recognized as the capital of the Alsacian wine, Colmar used to be a big production centre of beer. About one hundred names of brewers are referred to in the archives of the town Colmar starting with Conrad Plinus in 1599 and ending with J. Molly in 1918.

Five breweries were operating in 1885 in Colmar. The one owned by Guillaume Molly, the Barben brewery, the Peterschmitt brewery, the Kress brewery and the Nico brewery. Various mergings were at the origin of the foundation of the breweries Ackerbräu and Bilger-Schmidt in 1895.

The Brewery of Colmar was created in 1919 resulting from the merge of some of these small breweries (Ackerbräu, Bilger-Schmidt and Molly).

In 1920, the Brewery of Colmar bought a ground in the north of the city and built its new production facilities there.  From 1925 on, its production volume reached 80.000 hectolitres. Later the brewery became a limited company and took the name of "Grandes Brasseries et Malteries de Colmar" (Great Breweries and Malts factories of Colmar).  Its production increased to 115.000 hectolitres in 1932.

Enamel sign around 1930


In 1935 the brewery went through a crisis which lead to its liquidation, but was finally saved and reorganized.

In 1952 the "Brasserie de l'Espérance" brewery and the Brewery of Mutzig took the financial control of it, to a value of respectively 40% and 34.4%.

The brewery was still producing 135,000 hectolitres of beers in 1969 when it joined the group “L’Alsacienne de Brasserie” (Albra) gathering the follwing breweries: Brasserie de Mutzig, Brasserie de la Perle and the Brasserie de l’Espérance located in Schiltigheim and Brasserie Haag located in Ingwiller.

1972 Heineken became the main shareholder of the group Albra. The grande Brasserie of Colmar was closed the 30 April 1975 and its premises were pulled down in 1978.

The “Colmar Pils” trade mark was available on the market until 1978. The designation "Colmar beer" has not been used for a long time, but since 2005, the label is used again by a supermarket chain. Nevertheless, the mystery remains as far as its brewing location is concerned...