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Beervana Basel

Two events this summer intend to prove that beer is of particular importance in the Basel area: first there is the “Brautag” at Voltabräu on 12 August, followed by the 5th Beer Market at Vogesenplatz on 25 and 26 August.

Picture by Wikimedia

By Martin Pütter

When it comes to beer the people in Basel seem particularly pampered. Pioneering work for small and micro breweries was done in their city over 40 years ago. The pioneer was Hans-Jakob Nidecker who in 1974 started to brew the still popular Ueli Beer in his restaurant, the Fischerstube. Today there are around ten breweries in the Canton of Basel-Stadt alone. It used to be more than ten, but a couple of them, due to lack of space, decided to move to the neighbouring canton – where there are twice as many small and micro breweries.

Whether city or countryside, what the brewers have in common is that they put blood, sweat and tears into their work. The resulting beers have led one small brewery in Basel, Tiboris, to call the city a veritable “beervana.” This attracts brewers from far and wide, as two events, among others, are proving this summer.

The guest list for the public “Brautag” (brewing day) at Volta Bräu on 12. August includes guest from abroad. Among others there is the Braukollektiv from Freiburg i.Br. plus Degen Beer from Zofingen (Aargau) and the White Frontier Brewery from Martigny (Valais). Spectators will be able to follow how these breweries produce the wort, a significant ingredient, for a number of different beers which will eventually be made available for consumption at the beer festival “Wortspiele” on 28 October. For laypersons: The first significant step when brewing beer is creating the wort,  the liquid that has not yet been mixed with and fermented by different yeasts – these will be added at a later stage, together with hop and (if it is not brewed according to the German Purity Law) various fruit and spices.



Beer Market
Organising an event on the same weekend as the ever-popular Klosterbergfest, and then holding it outside the city centre, could be seen by many as being a massive risk. However, as the number of visiting breweries proves, there is a huge demand – and previous events have been well attended the last few years. In total there will be 45 small and micro breweries this year: 20 on the first and 25 on the second day.

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