Birra Moretti, sold in Switzerland as part of a marketing tam tam emphasizing its Italian character, is actually produced in Graubünden: today the SonntagsZeitung emphasizes this, devoting a long article to the subject.
According to Sunday in the last two years, the drink in question has gained a prominent place in the shops and restaurants of the Confederation, leaning on tradition and la dolce vita.
“Il gusto dell’Italia” or “Popular since 1859, tastes like Italian joie de vivre”, wrote the “Coop-Zeitung” recently. The ad speaks of “Italian authenticity, tradition and authenticity”, on Watson’s online portal the beer was listed among “9 Very Regional Items From Italy You Must Try”. The words “L’Autentica” are printed on the cans and the warnings next to the ingredients are written in Italian.
At the bottom, however, we read: “Produced under the supervision of Heineken Italia by Heineken Switzerland, Lucerne.” However, in the city of Kapellbrücke, the global beer giant only has the headquarters of the Swiss branch. Moretti beer for the Swiss market has been produced at the Calanda plants in Chur since 2019.
According to National Councilor Alois Gmür (Center / SZ), the advertising campaigns in question represent a scam. “Consumers think they are buying something original Italian and feel like they are on vacation when they drink beer: but they have been mocked,” said the deputy in statements collected by the SonntagsZeitung.
A completely different opinion has Bart De Keninck, director of the Swiss branch of Heineken, who invited reporters on Sunday to take a tour of the production center of the Rhaetian capital. The 42-year-old Belgian manager points out that the place of production is declared in accordance with the law and is clearly understandable. Furthermore, Italian is the national language of the Confederation. And anyway: “Beer is like pizza. If you want a good pizza in Switzerland, you’re fine if it’s cooked on site and not shipped from Italy.”
Moretti’s Swiss recipe is the same as that used by the Moretti brewery near Udine, as are the raw materials: hops, malt and corn are bought together on international markets. “Each week, our colleagues in Italy also send us a package of yeast that they have grown,” continues De Keninck. The only difference from the Italian product is the water used: “Ours comes directly from the nearby Graubünden mountains. There is nothing better.”