Beer brewing has become something of a cult – and, for many people, a fascinating hobby. So it goes without saying that Swiss Post is commemorating the art of brewing with two special stamps. But what lies behind the fascination with this time-honoured “barley juice”?

Caroline Huber

Daniel Keller sits and drinks a beer from the bottle
Daniel Keller sits and drinks a beer from the bottle Copyright: Monika Flückiger

Both his father and his godfather brewed beer. Later on, his wife sparked his taste for beer brewing with a birthday gift. Today, they work together, brewing and experimenting with hops and malt. We are talking about Daniel Keller, Customer Advisor at PostFinance, and his wife Claudia.

Finding the perfect recipe

After numerous experiments with different recipes, the Kellers have developed their “Chäswiler Dorfbier”, a fruity amber Märzen beer. Daniel, a former chef, and Claudia, who previously worked in a laboratory, have the ideal backgrounds for identifying the most sophisticated flavour nuances. Of course, experimenting can involve slight mishaps. “On one occasion, the malt in the brew kettle, known as the mash, got stuck. There was a strong smell of burning, and we had to throw away 200 litres of beer. It was also a shame to waste 15 hours of brewing time,” adds Daniel. Practice makes perfect.

Daniel Keller checks the beer
After numerous experiments with different recipes, Daniel Keller has developed the “Chäswiler Dorfbier”, a fruity amber Märzen beer. Copyright: Monika Flückiger

The Kellers have brewed numerous different types of beer, ranging from light-coloured lager to dark ale. And with great success. At a football match, the Mayor of Deitingen happened to hear about a beer brewer who lived in the municipality. He soon commissioned the Kellers to brew the “Chäswiler Dorfbier” as the celebratory beer for the 775th anniversary of Deitingen. A challenge that the recreational brewers happily accepted.

beer bottles
Chäswiler Dorfbier from the fridge Copyright: Monika Flückiger

New system for the village fête

No sooner said than done. Although, as everyone knows, village fêtes mean a whole host of thirsty throats. So how could a system that produces about 30 litres of beer at a time cater to a village fête? That was no problem for the Kellers who, seizing the opportunity, built a real system with a cooling and fermentation chamber, not to mention bigger brew kettles. Capacity: up to 250 litres at a time. This allows the couple to brew sufficient beer. “Hopefully no one will go thirsty,” laughs Daniel. “We are looking forward to the fête and to the reaction from the guests.”

Overflowing beer glasses and breweries steeped in history: the special stamps celebrating “The art of brewing beer”

Swiss Post is issuing a new set of special stamps dedicated to “The art of brewing beer” to coincide with the launch of the “Chäswiler Dorfbier”. Zurich-based designer Dina Mory has portrayed the thousand-year-old cultural asset on a sheetlet containing eight stamps. The wonderful illustrations of the brew kettles and the raw materials – hops and wheat – depict the key elements of the art of brewing beer. The lager and dark beers and the two different beer glasses symbolize the wide variety of Swiss beers.

From beer concept to stamp

The special stamps were developed from a “beer concept” suggested by the Stamps & Philately Product Management team. The Product Management team is entitled to determine a certain number of the 30 stamp themes issued every year. These themes must satisfy certain conditions, address a broad target group throughout Switzerland and be culturally relevant. The stamps in “The art of brewing beer” collection more than satisfy these criteria and were therefore approved by the stamp commission. The special stamps even address different target groups, including beer lovers, stamp enthusiasts, collectors and philatelists. After all, the stamps are gummed and not self-adhesive – an important criterion for collectors.

The new special stamps are available from today in all Swiss Post branches and in the Postshop.

written by

Caroline Huber