The story of Feldschlösschen starts with two men: Theophil Roniger, a brewer from Magden and Mathias Wüthrich, the son of a dairy farmer from Olsberg.
Roniger is born the son of a peasant, general store merchant and innkeeper in Magden. He learns the craft oft brewing and travels through German brewing cities and facilities as a journeyman for three years. Theophil Roniger comes back with ideas – great ideas.
Wüthrich is born in a neighbouring village of Magden as the son of a wealthy farmer. He wants to be and remain a farmer, with cows, land and horses. His father urges him to forge a partnership with the brewer Roninger. Mathias Wüthrich is down-to-earth and financially strong.
With Wüthrich’s money they buy the old factory property near the new railway station of Rheinfelden. By the end of January 1876 they invest 365,000 Swiss francs in the reconstruction, state-of-the-art brewery equipment and raw material – a huge sum at the time.
The brewer and the farmer found the “Kollektivgesellschaft Wüthrich & Roniger Brauerei zum Feldschlösschen” and on 8 February they brew beer for the first time. It is the date of foundation of both the Feldschlösschen brand and company. During the first year of operation, a total of 3,600 hectolitres are produced.
Especially the initial years are associated with almost insurmountable difficulties. The winter of 1877/1878 is so warm that none of the lakes in the area freeze. Automated ice production has not yet been invented and without ice, beer can neither be produced nor stored.
A Feldschlösschen team is deployed with horses and carts from Rheinfelden to the Klöntal in the Canton of Glarus in order to collect ice on the frozen lake. The ice obtained by spending large sums of money is then transported to Rheinfelden by rail. In this year, the prices for hops and malt also rise to an unforeseeable level.
Many observers predict that the start-up company will close soon.
The founders have opportunely read the signs of the times. The future belongs to professional, high-quality breweries. The Feldschlösschen beer is popular and the sales area is systematically expanded. The company evolves very quickly and dynamically.
The partnership of the two very different entrepreneurs is proving its worth. The brewer creates a top-quality product. The farmer organises the transportation to the brewery and the customers with his horses. The profit is continuously invested.
In 1882 the production facilities are extended for the first time from a capacity of 15,000 hl to 30,000 hl per year. New buildings in 1887 result in an increase to 45,000 hl. With each building, the style of the castle emerges more clearly.
The direct rail link from the brewery to Rheinfelden railway station and therefore to the rail network of the future SBB (Swiss Railways) is constructed.
The partnership becomes a public limited company.
With the first ice maker, the company gains independence from natural ice, which could only be obtained in winter at great cost.
13 years after the foundation, the turnover of Feldschlösschen beer is twelve times greater than in the year of foundation. Feldschlösschen now invests in the infrastructure of the direct rail link. Time saving, lower costs and a progressive infrastructure appropriate to the tempestuous rise of the company, are the reason for the investment project.
The direct link to the Swiss railway network becomes a trend-setting trump card of brewery logistics. In 1907 Feldschlösschen procures its first own hauling engine.
The rapid growth of the company results in the inexorable expansion of the production facility in Rheinfelden and brings about the expansion of the distribution network across almost all of Switzerland.
The founders feel compelled to give the company a new legal form. On 1 October 1890, the “Aktiengesellschaft Brauerei zum Feldschlösschen” is founded in the former “Feldschlösschen” restaurant on the Spalenberg, nowadays Hotel Basel. Its first Chairman of the Board of Directors is Fritz Brunner, industrialist and subsequently mayor of Rheinfelden. 14 years after its foundation, Feldschlösschen is deeply rooted within the people. Feldschlösschen shares are a smart investment. Mathias Wüthrich and Theophil Roniger are respected entrepreneurs and reputable citizens. Their leadership of their company as employers is exemplary.
On 8 February 1909, Theophil Roniger’s great vision comes true: 33 years to the day after Feldschlösschen’s foundation, the first brew is made in the new brewhouse on 8 February 1909.
The meticulous architectural design of his brewery is very close to Theophil Roniger’s heart. From the outset, he entrusts specialists with the planning of the buildings. The initial plans of his brewhouse vision are implemented by the Architekturbüro Langeloth architectural firm from Frankfurt on the Main; subsequently a second firm, the Planungsbüro Zimmermann planning office from Freiburg im Breisgau, is called in to join the project.
Planning starts in 1906. In November 1907, Roniger submits the final plans to the Board of Directors and has them approved for implementation.
In 1913, Theophil Roniger passes away and his son Adolf takes over the management of the brewery. He manages the company through two world wars, as well as a number of raw material crises and collapses in the market.
Like his father, Adolf Roniger is a tireless builder-owner: aside from the expansion of the production capacity, looking far ahead, he pays particular attention to securing at-risk inns as points of sale by purchasing and systematically renovating them.
Adolf Roniger works at Feldschlösschen for 60 years.
First brew in the extended brewhouse
Inauguration of the fourth brewing line
First annual output of more than 1 million hl
Theophil Roniger already allowed for a future extension of the brewhouse in his initial plans. He left enough space to facilitate an extension of the same size.
From 1957 the extension adjoining the existing brewhouse was planned and completed in 1959. The second part of the brewhouse was modelled on the older one, but without the monolithic pillars and the Art Nouveau details. Instead of the Roniger glass window, the second building features a bust of his son Adolf Roniger.
The third brewing line was commissioned on 8 February 1959.
In 1965 the fourth brewing line is inaugurated. With this, the brewhouse has grown to its current size of twelve coppers.
In 2001 the brewhouse undergoes extensive technical reconstruction; in the process, both the architecture and the twelve original coppers are preserved and state-of-the-art technology is carefully integrated into the venerable brewhouse. Feldschlösschen’s long history means both commitment and an incentive to us.
To this day, the popular Feldschlösschen beers are brewed in the more than one-hundred-year-old brewhouse.
Merger with the Hürlimann brewery from Zurich and renaming it Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding
Feldschlösschen becomes a part of the globally active Carlsberg Group, which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark
Feldschlösschen celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Art Nouveau brewhouse