Unser Bier’s humorous campaign against Carlsberg, which declared Basle a “Calrsbreg free zone” (the misspelling was intentional) during the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, is well-remembered (Photo: Unser Bier)
07 May 2020

Swiss craft brewer Unser Bier expects to weather covid-19

Switzerland | The country’s oldest craft brewer Unser Bier from Basle, calls itself lucky that 2019 was another profitable year and that it is debt-free. It is already noticing a massive drop in turnover as the on-premise, where it makes half of its revenues, has been shuttered since 16 March 2020.

Unser Bier (“Our Beer” in English) was founded in 1997 and started operations in 1998. It has seven full-time staff and is owned by more than 10,000 shareholders, who don’t receive a  pecuniary dividend, but are liberally beered and dined at the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) instead. 

Despite increased competition from Switzerland’s major brewers Carlsberg and Heineken, which have pushed into the craft beer segment with their own offerings, and a growing number of domestic microbreweries, Unser Bier has managed to maintain its net turnover at CHF 2.8 million (USD 2.9 million) in 2019 on beer sales of about 6,800 hl. Its net profit reached CHF 196,000 (2018: CHF 177,000).

We shall survive

Although covid-19 will have a negative impact on its 2020 results, Unser Bier said on 14 April 2020 that it expects to master a difficult year thanks to its cautious and proactive management over of the past few years, which has provided the brewer with solid financials.

Unser Bier’s AGM will be held on 14 May 2020 and will be live streamed, as shareholders, unfortunately, cannot be present in person. Its AGM is usually a big event, attended by more than 2,500 shareholders.

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