The first beer factory during the Ottoman rule in Turkey was opened in Istanbul’s Feriköy district in 1890 by the Swiss Bomonti brothers. In 1902 the Bomonti Beer factory was moved to its new location in the Şişli district on an area of over 10 acres, which consisted of several buildıngs attached to each other. The neighborhood in the Şisli district is called today ”Bomonti”, where the buildings of the beer factory still exist but are used as a cultural and commercial venue. The roof of the main brewery cornered with its steep towers had the touches of Neo-Gothic architectural design.
Bomonti beer placemat 2020
Bomonti factory Beer Garden served the public between 1930 and 1950
Bomonti beer placemat 2020
Beer and malt production was done in the same building, using horizontal and vertical circulation and initially Bomonti Brothers enjoyed the rewards of being the only beer producer in the market. In 1909 the London based Nectar Brewing Company started their own brewery in the Büyükdere district by the shores of Bosphorus. The fierce competition between these two European breweries resulted in1912 in the merger of the two with the name Bomonti-Nectar Combined Beer Factory. Bomonti- Nectar also founded a raki factory in the Aegean city of Izmir. To encourage beer consumption, the brewery opened a beer garden in 1930 at their Bomonti location. The beer garden was open to the public and was frequented by women as well as men and soon led the way to new beer gardens all over the Marmara and Thrace regions as well as in Central Anatolia ; in Ankara and Eskisehir. Also with the orders of Atatürk in 1925 a new beer factory was established in Ankara in the suburban area of Ciftlik with baring the name of the capıtal city.
In 1938 the State took over and monopolized all alcohol production under the name TEKEL ( One hand) and the Bomonti beer factory was renamed Istanbul Tekel Beer Factory. Tekel beer factory was producing over 37 million liters of beer in 1976, but with the liberalization policies in the last quarter of the 20 th century leading the way to fierce competition with imported beers as well as newcomers like Efes and Tuborg beers, production in the brewery started a hard decline and finally the factory was closed by the State in 1991.
Today the “Bomonti” brand beer is still produced by the leading producer of beer in Turkey, the Istanbul based company Anadolu Efes. The European pale lager style beer is differentiated in four products : The Black stout Beer, The Unfiltered , The Red Ale, and the Fabrika, the malt beer. As far as the old beer factory, it has gone a complete renovation with the name Bomontiada and became
a complex with hip restaurants, art galleries, shops and a concert hall .
February 4, 2020
A video by istanbullite : Ara Güler Museum at the Bomontiada Art Center
Istanbul Mimarlık Rehberi Galata, TMMOB, 1 Mayıs 2015, Istanbul