Brau- und Malzkombinat Sternburg
THE ABANDONED BREWERY IN GERMANY
‘Brau- und Malzkombinat Sternburg Lützschena’ is an abandoned brewery in Lützschena, a city in Germany close to Leipzig.
Still today, the silhouette of the former brewery with the green dome of the brewhouse, and the clock tower of the workshop, dominates the skyline of Lützschena. Nobody can say exactly where its history started. All that is certain is that the brewery, belonging to Gut Lützschena was granted the privilege in 1785 of being allowed to sell its beer in Leipzig “because of its strength and quality”. But the history of Sternburg probably goes all the way back to 1278, when it was first brewed in Rittergut. Maximillian Speck, who bought the property, moved the brewery to Leipzig. While 12 thousand hectoliters of beer were brewed in 1883, the demand soon outstripped supply. A new steam boiler, ice and cooling machines were therefore purchased in 1888 to increase production.
In 1890 a new brewhouse with steam cooking was put into operation, new fermentation vats and storage casks had to be used. In 1906, the bottle cellar and the cold store were expanded, the brewery started to brew the well-known Sternburg beer. Sternburg is better known as Sterni.
At the beginning of the Second World War, the annual beer production was 250 thousand hectoliters. After the war, in 1948 the brewery became a state-owned enterprise, as was common under the government of the DDR. In 1989, 500 thousand hectoliters of beer were produced in the brewery by 500 employees. Eventually after the German re-unification in 1990, it became an independent venture again. However, with the end of the DDR it was also the end of the brewery. On August 31, 1991, the brewery was closed despite the occupation by employees and the objections of the local council.
Meanwhile the business was sold by Sachsenbräu. Not much later the new owner closed the brewery at Lützschena, continuing production at their Reudnitzer Brewery. In 2006 it had 9.5% of the market share in the eastern provinces of Germany. I visited ‘Brau- und Malzkombinat Sternburg Lützschena’ in 2009. More abandoned breweries can be found here.