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Alfred Schladerer is a sixth generation distilling company run by Philipp Schladerer. Properly titled ‘Alte Schwarzwälder Hausbrennerei GmbH’, which translates as Alfred Schladerer Old Black Forest House Distillery Ltd, Schladerer is highly regarded internationally for the quality of its fruit brandies eaux-de-vie (unaged brandies distilled from fermented fruits).
Recognising this and the fact that Schladerer lies in the heart of Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region, in 2013 Sebastian Brack and Maximilian Wagner approached Alfred Schladerer to become the production partner in their new German vermouth brand, Belsazar. Philipp Schladerer not only contributed his expertise and facilities, but also and most crucially for the new vermouth brand, Schladerer fruit brandies are a vital component and distinguish Belsazar from other vermouths.
The origins of the Schladerer distillery start in Bamlach am Oberrhein near Basel, Germany with the birth of Sixtus Balthasar Schladerer in 1790. When at the age of 23 he started distilling fruit at his family’s home, he laid the foundations for Schladerer’s success story.
Sixtus Balthasar Schladerer
His son, also called Sixtus Balthasar Schladerer, inherited his father’s passion for distilling fruit and in 1844 he married the daughter of the Kreuz’s innkeeper in Staufen im Breisgau and took over the coaching inn (Kreuz Post). Naturally, he started making and selling kirschwasser (cherry brandy) there and word of its quality spread.
Sixtus’ son Hermann Schladerer took over the running of the inn from his father and continued to develop distillation techniques to improve the family’s fruit brandies. However, it was Hermann's son Alfred Schladerer, who on returning from war in 1919 took over from his parents and set about growing the family’s fruit brandy business. In 1922 he closed the inn to concentrate on distilling, extending the Schladerer distillery and winery.
Alfred and Greta Schladerer
Alfred Schladerer was a qualified restaurateur who’d trained in France and England and he understood marketing and designed the now familiar square Schladerer bottle. Upon his early death in 1956, his wife, Greta Schladerer, inherited the business and under her direction, the Schladerer brand gained international recognition.
Today the business is run by Philipp Schladerer, who represents the sixth generation of the Schladerer family to distil fruit brandies, while the postal horn on the Schladerer crest serves as a reminder of Sixtus Balthasar and the origins of the family's distilling business in the coaching inn. When naming the new vermouth produced at Schladerer it seemed natural to also honour Balthasar and ‘Belsazar’ is derived from Balthasar –the first in the Schladerer dynasty.