History is being made in Berchtesgaden

New gin creation "Miner's Gin" presented, matured in the salt dome of the Berchtesgaden salt mine!

Deep in the Berchtesgaden Alps, where the golden eagle circles undisturbed in the white-blue sky, against the backdrop of the mighty and impressive Watzmann massif and the glittering Königssee lake, the Grassl gentian distillery has been gathering the finest juniper berries and distilling them into aromatic mountain schnapps for 325 years.Now the traditional Berchtesgaden distillery has presented its latest gin creation for the first time.And it's quite something, having undergone a maturing process of over three months 1,000 metres deep in the salt dome of the Berchtesgaden salt mine.How did the idea for this very special dry gin come about?“We wanted to pick up on the history of our wonderful region, the salt mine is celebrating 500 years of active salt mining this year and we have been distilling juniper schnapps continuously for 325 years,” says Florian Beierl, owner of the Grassl distillery.In addition, Florian Beierl, together with his brother Martin, is known for enjoying and successfully experimenting with their schnapps creations and bringing innovative delights to the market.And it all fits together well: the elixir of life, salt from the depths of the Alps, as a flavouring agent and the mountain gin with the finest ingredients, carefully composed from what the surrounding alpine meadows have to offer.The speciality of this gin already lies in its name:Miner’s Gin.Peter Botzleiner-Reber, head of tourism at the salt mine, sums up the uniqueness like this:“Distilled by hand in a copper pot still and matured in breathable clay barrels in the salt air of our 250-million-year-old salt dome at a constant 12° Celsius.” And this is what comes out of it:Full-bodied with the taste of purest nature and a hint of salt, of expressive mildness.The almost 80 guests at the first gin tasting from the underground clay barrel warehouse were enthusiastic, including Karl Rudolf from Munich, author of the book “Gin”, who praised Miner's Gin as a “well thought-out and delicious enrichment of the gin market”.To the beat of a miner's drum, the clay lid of the first 600-litre barrel was lifted after the seals had been removed by customs and the participants enjoyed a tasting directly from the source.And all those who could not be present at the Miner's Gin presentation last Friday underground can now purchase this rarity directly at the mine, online at Grassl or in shops.

Photos released for purposes of editorial publication

BU Gin Bottling:
The Miner's Gin with the special salt note distilled by tradition.
Photo:Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden


BU Gin Tonfässer:
Almost a thousand metres deep in the mountain:Germany's first maturation warehouse for gin in clay barrels in an active salt mine
Photo:Peter von Felbert

Berchtesgaden Salt Mine

Active salt mining since 1517, making it the oldest active salt mine in Germany

1517 by Gregor Rainer, Imperial Prelate and Provost of the Berchtesgaden Monastery

Operating time
Since its foundation without interruption

Brine production per year
approx. 1.000.000 m³

Wet mining

Mountain salinity
An average of 50 %

Approx. 100 at the Berchtesgaden site

Technical data
Extension of a drilling mud plant: up to 160 m long, 120 m wide, 125 m high
Active wet mining plants:30
Daily mining progress: approx. 1 cm upwards
Usable mining height:100 m
Operating life of a drilling fluid plant: approx. 30 years
Brine production per wet mining plant during the entire operating period: approx. 1.300.000 m³

Size of the deposits
South-West to North-East:4.5 km (2.5 km in mining)
North-west to south-east:1.5 km (1.5 km in mining)
Proven storage depth:500 m below the valley floor
Presumed bearing depth:1,000 m below the valley floor

Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG, Heilbronn
Spokesman of the Board, Ulrich Fluck
Board of Directors, Wolfgang Rüther

Duration of the guided tour through the visitor mine
1.5 to 2 hours including ticket purchase and changing clothes
(Overall partly with lighting elements for underground use)

Visitors per year
Approx. 382.000 (2016)

Salt shop:150 m²
Visitor centre:600 m²
Tunnels in the entire salt mine: approx. 30 km
Route length visitor pit railway:1.400 m
Length of the first slide:34 m
Length of the second slide:40 m

Opening hours
1 May to 31 October: daily 9 AM to 5 PM*
2 November to 31 March: daily 11 AM to 3 PM*
1 April to 30 April: daily 10 AM to 3 PM*
(*last admission)

Good Friday, Whit Monday, 1 November, 24 and 25 December, 31 December, 1 January

Site Manager
Raimund Bartl

Head of Department Tourism
Peter Botzleiner-Reber

Grassl Gentian Distillery

325 years of Grassl Gentian Distillery | Oldest Bavarian mountain distillery

In 1692, innkeeper Grassl was granted the rights to distil juniper and to keep the alpine pastures suitable for dairy cattle through moderate gentian root digging, as well as to produce gentian and masterwort spirit in the Berchtesgaden high mountains.

Successful family business, in the hands of brothers Florian and Martin Beierl.

Germany's only mountain distillers work at the Grassl gentian distillery:

Lukas Schöbinger and Max Irlinger | Four historic fire huts in the mountains

45 employees Market leader “Enzian”

Portfolio:35 Root brandies, liqueurs, fruit brandies, gin, herbal spirits, bitter; Distribution:LEH, two own branches, online trade

328 years of gin

The English King William III of Orange-Nassau made juniper schnapps tax-free in 1689 and elevated its distillation to a craft.


Press article

This text can be used for press publications.All rights remain with „Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden, Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG“.