The Gruber brewery / Alsa-Bräu

 The Gruber brewery in 1869


The brewery was named after its creator, David Gruber, born in 1825. After studies of Protestant theology, that he stopped at the end of the 3rd year, he prepared his pharmacist diploma. He studied the organic chemistry, and was one of the first to understand the scientific brewing processes of beer. Once he obtained his pharmacist diploma, he first run the small "Clausing brewery" in 1855, and later created his own company in Koenigshoffen: the "Gruber Brewery" was born. The development of his "Bock" beer, a pale lager beer that his competitors did not manage to imitate, made its fame. Gruber inovated the brewing process (new effort of asepsis, use of steam for heating, quality of the raw ingredients), as well as the means of preservation: he used the vast cellars in Koenigshoffen, cooled with ice he produced during the winter by inundating some grounds belonging to him. The ice thus obtained was kept just as it was during a whole year and was used to preserve great quantities of beer during the summer.


  Loading of a coach of the brewery

Before 1870, the brewery supplied the remainder of France and in particular Paris thanks to the railway line Strasbourg - Paris, which skirts the brewery. This proximity was a big advantage. Very quickly, Gruber, who had 60 refrigerating coaches, used special trains to convey his beer to Paris. This industrial rise brought an immense fortune to the Gruber family, which had hotel-breweries in all the large cities of France, in particular in Paris and Strasbourg. However, after the French-German war of 1870, exporting from Alsace was prohibited and the Germans introduced also their own beer, thus limiting the production and consumption of Gruber beer to Alsace.

Of all the breweries of Strasbourg, the Gruber brewery was, in 1885, the very first one to have been equipped with a cold store. Provided by the manufacturer Quiri (Schiltigheim), this installation was modernized in 1930.

After the armistice in 1918, the beer of Strasbourg, and in particular the Gruber beer, are appreciated more than ever and can then take again its rise. At the summit of its production, just  before 1870, Gruber ran out 50000 hl in the region, sold 50000 barrels and 1,2 million bottles apart from Alsace.

Become a limited company in 1930, the Gruber brewery merged in 1959 with the "brasserie du Pêcheur" (Fischer) located at Schiltigheim and ceased its activities in 1965.

The old buildings of the brewery always exist. They form the "Gruber Activities Park" and are occupied today by various companies.