Photo © Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
- Also Known As:VEB Diamant-Brauerei Magdeburg-Neustadt, Actien Brauerei, Brauerei A.&.H. Wernecke
- Location Genre:Brewery
- Age:171 years
- Demo / Renovated:N/A
- Decaying for:20 years
- Last Known Status:Abandoned
In 1841, two brothers Albert and Hermann Wernecke started a small brewing company in their parent's house in Magdeburg Germany. With Albert being a skilled brewer and his brother trained in banking and the grain business, the Brauerei A.&.H. Wernecke company quickly prospered. The facility was moved to the current location in Magdeburg-Neustadt in 1843 with it's own 40 horsepower steam engine. After the founding brothers passed away, the facility changed its name to the Actien Brauerei, and large castle-like buildings were constructed from 1887 through 1888 to further expand beer production, adding an ice house, fountain, larger steam engines, malting operations, and even its own railway station. The company had 180 employees by 1888.
In 1937, the Diamant beers became a trademark name for the brewery; the well known slogan was heard all over the country: Stadt und Land trinkt Diamant! (The city and country drinks Diamond [brand]!) By 1941, the facility became the largest brewery in the province with 680 workers.
After World War II, over 70% of the buildings were destroyed by artillery, but production resumed just one year later and the brewery quickly sprang back to life; in 1947, the brewery became a state-owned enterprise (VEB). Equipment was modernized in the 1960s and 1970s, including a pasteurizer and 22-meter high fermentation tanks. By the time the GDR came into power, the facility produced over 14.5 million gallons of beer since its founding. The Russian national beer Kwas was brewed at the facility during GDR occupation.
The brewery continued production until the Diamant brand slowly disappeared from the market. In 1994, the brewery was shuttered and the facility became a crumbling industrial ruin, except for a small portion of the campus which was brought back to life as a small brewery and restaurant.