Zug, 13.03.2020

Family-run company has been making fruit liquors for 150 years

Etter Söhne AG is one of the oldest companies in the Canton of Zug. Managing director Gabriel Galliker-Etter emphasizes that running a distillery is by no means out-dated, and reveals the plans for the anniversary.

In the canton of Zug, the name Etter is synonymous with the Bundesrat (Federal Council) and Kirsch (cherry liquor): former Federal Councillor Philipp Etter, who died in 1977, was a member of the Federal Council from 28 March 1934 until 31 December 1959, and served as Federal President four times between 1939 and 1953.  Etter Söhne AG, on the other hand, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, with the fourth generation already distilling kirsch in the family business in Zug. The distillate is also being used for another purpose at the moment, as manager Gabriel Galliker-Etter revealed on Thursday afternoon.

Gabriel Galliker-Etter appeared with a large stainless-steel tank full of high-proof cherry distillate. "Ideal for anyone who, in the times of the corona virus, wants to disinfect their hands using a natural method," he says. It’s true that there are always customers who want to buy kirsch as a disinfectant, although this is not really profitable for the company.

Photo 1:  Three generations of the Etter family in one picture: Managing Director Gabriel and Eveline Galliker-Etter (from left) with their sons, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors Hans Etter and his wife.
Photo 2:
  Toasting the 150th anniversary of Etter Söhne AG: The distliiery masters  and the family work closely together.

But high returns are not the goal of Etter Söhne AG, and haven’t been for decades. The company, with its 24 employees, is still kept deliberately small. "Because of our limited supply of raw materials, we don’t want to continuously grow. This is also not possible, and we are therefore, so to say, swimming against the current, because we do not want to cover every taste," emphasizes Gabriel Galliker-Etter. When asked whether fruit brandy distillates are being phased out due to changing customer needs, the manager shakes his head. The constant demand keeps the family business profitable, and more and more young customers are discovering a taste for fruit liquors, says Galliker-Etter.

 ”It goes without saying that we produce a niche product. But it’s also well received and is popular in more than 25 countries."

Etter Söhne AG is celebrating its 150th anniversary with various events. An open day with guided tours of the distillery at Chollerstrasse 4 in Zug is planned for Saturday, November 7th. Etter has also created a limited-edition anniversary kirsch with a label recreating one that was used in the year 1900. Gabriel Galliker-Etter also reveals that a 150-centiliter bottle is also coming onto the market this year specially for the anniversary, which can be filled with Kirsch or Williams on request. The company also plans to launch a new product over the course of the year.

Further information on the anniversary year can be found at: www.etter-distillerie.ch