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All You Need to Know About Beer in Switzerland: A Guide to the Best Brews and Brands

Updated: Mar 30

Switzerland, a country known for its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is also a hidden gem for beer enthusiasts. From mainstream brands to artisanal brews, Swiss beer offers a diverse range of flavors and styles. In this article, we'll explore some of the most notable Swiss beers and brands, ensuring that you savor the best of Switzerland's brewing scene.


Beer in Switzerland
Beer in Switzerland

Feldschlösschen: The Ubiquitous Choice

The most famous beer in Switzerland is undoubtedly Feldschlösschen. Available virtually everywhere, it has become a staple in the Swiss beer scene. However, despite its popularity, I would not recommend it as a top choice for those looking to explore the best of Swiss beers. Its widespread availability and consistent quality may make it a familiar option, but there are many other Swiss beers that offer more unique and engaging flavor profiles.

Eichhof and Appenzeller: Mainstream Favorites

Among the mainstream brands, Eichhof is my personal favorite, standing out for its distinct and enjoyable taste. It offers a unique experience compared to other mainstream options, making it a top pick for those exploring Swiss beers. When it comes to Appenzeller beer, the one to try is Quöllfrisch. This particular beer from the Appenzell region is known for its refreshing and distinct flavor, exemplifying the traditional brewing methods of the area. Both Eichhof and Quöllfrisch from Appenzeller represent the high-quality and diversity present in Swiss mainstream brewing.

Luzerner Bier and Baarer Beer: Central Switzerland's Finest

In Central Switzerland, Luzerner Bier and Baarer Beer are standout choices. Available predominantly in the Lucerne and Zug regions, these beers are celebrated for their great taste and high-quality brewing methods.

Valaisanne and Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes: French-Speaking Switzerland's Pride

For beer enthusiasts in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Valaisanne and Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes (BFM) are my personal favorites. These breweries have crafted exceptional beers that are both flavorful and reflective of the local brewing heritage.

Brauerei San Martino and Officina della Birra: Italian-Speaking Switzerland's Treasures

In the Italian-speaking region, Brauerei San Martino and Officina della Birra are the highlights. These breweries offer beers that not only taste delightful but also embody the local culture and traditions.

Schützengarten: Eastern Switzerland's Brewing Jewel

In Eastern Switzerland, the best beer to try is Schützengarten from St. Gallen. As the oldest brewery in Switzerland, Schützengarten has a distinguished history and offers a range of beers, including their renowned Black Beer. Their commitment to quality and tradition makes Schützengarten a standout brewery in the Swiss beer landscape.

Chopfab: The Supermarket Secret

For a hidden gem in Swiss supermarkets, Chopfab is my secret tip. This beer offers an extraordinary taste experience, rivaling even the most popular Swiss beers.

Darkbier: A Rare and Rich Experience

In the world of Swiss beers, Darkbier is a variety that's often hard to find but well worth the search. My favorite is a regional Darkbier from the Wädenswiler Brewery. Known for its rich, robust flavor, this Darkbier is a testament to the brewery's skill in creating a deeply satisfying beer.

How to Order Beer: Stange, Chübeli, and Herrgöttli

When visiting Switzerland and diving into its beer culture, understanding the common sizes of beer served in restaurants and bars is essential. The three typical sizes you'll encounter are Herrgöttli, Stange and Chübel.

Herrgöttli: 2dl or 7 ounces

Stange: around 3 dl or 10 ounces

Chübeli: about 5 dl or 17 ounces,


Conclusion

Switzerland's beer scene is as diverse and rich as its landscapes. From Feldschlösschen to Chopfab, and from Luzerner Bier to Schützengarten, the country offers a variety of beers that cater to every palate. Whether you're in the German, French, or Italian-speaking regions, there's always a local brew waiting to be discovered. So, the next time you find yourself in Switzerland, be sure to indulge in these delightful Swiss beers and experience the country's brewing excellence.

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