Brewing heritage

Related tags Brewing Elizabeth ii of the united kingdom

Kronenbourg's premium beer, 1664, commemorates the date when a cooper named Jerome Hatt first brewed in Strasbourg. He based his small brewery in the...

Kronenbourg's premium beer, 1664, commemorates the date when a cooper named Jerome Hatt first brewed in Strasbourg.

He based his small brewery in the cellars of a tavern called Au Canon on Place de Corbeau (Raven Place), close by the Customs House on a tributary of the Rhine.

Au Canon survives today, but is now a restaurant.

Hatt quickly won great acclaim for the quality of his beer, but, in winter, the river often overflowed its banks and flooded the cellars of Au Canon.

In 1850, his descendant, Frederic-Guillaume Hatt, moved the brewery to a new site in the suburb of Cronenbourg, which means the crown of a hill.

The site was ideal for digging deep lagering cellars beneath the brewery, and the spelling was eventually changed to the Germanic Kronenbourg.

The company achieved national status in the 1920s with a bilingual beer called Tigre Bock ­ Bock is a strong lager in Germany, while tiger emphasised the strength of the beer.

After World War Two, the company took over many other breweries in Alsace and Lorraine and was renamed Societe Europeene de Brasseries.

Kronenbourg 1664 was launched in 1952 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Britain ­ a rather curious piece of marketing for a brewery in a strongly republican country.

Perhaps the owners thought "Kronen", or crown, would appeal to the British.

In 1970, Kronenbourg lost family control when it was bought by the giant food and drinks group BSN, known today as Danone.

In the same year, BSN bought and merged the Kanterbrau group with Kronenbourg, forging a brewing giant that dominates France.

Kanterbrau was founded in 1897 as La Grande Brasserie de Champigneulles near Nancy by Victor Hinzelin and Victor Trampitsch.

Trampitsch came from Slovenia and learned his brewing skills in the world-famous brewing centre of Pilsen.

When the group was bought by BSN, the name was changed to Kanterbrau in honour of a German master brewer, Maitre Kanter, who had come from Germany to brew in France.

A romantic image of him in a broad-brimmed hat and holding a foaming beer mug adorns the labels.

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