I should probably call this Adler Brauerei Labels, because I’m not going to tell you much about the beers.
And what labels. They’re amongst my favourites. Not just my DDR favourites, but my all-time favourites. The oval Bock label is stunning. Simple and striking. Makes me want to just grab one of them Bocks off the shelf. If they ever were to be found on the shelves.
A little history. The brewery was founded, appropriately enough, as the Kaiser Brauerei in 1894, during the Gründerzeit. The Dirr family became involved soon afterwards and they owned the brewery until 1972, when it was nationalised. It only brewed beer for three more years, but seems to have continued to produce soft drinks. After reunification the brewery was returned to the Dirr family. Not for long, though. Definitive closure came in 1991. The buildings lay empty for decades before they were demolished in 2014.*
The brewery was in Brandenburg an der Havel, about 20 km East of Berlin. The name was changed from Kaiser to Adler in 1942. Not sure what that tells us.
1972. You’ll see that date come up more often. Until then, many middle-sized companies remained in private hands. Then, on the orders of the USSR, the maximum number of employees allowed in private firms was drastically reduced and swathes of the economy nationalised. Friends who grew up in the DDR tell me this was a disaster for the economy and when everything started going tits up.
You wonder what the point of nationalising the brewery was when they stopped making beer there a few years later. None, probably.
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