There’s not a lot of beer coming from Turkey. Efes is probably the one most known to us westerners. The first brewery in Turkey was started in 1890 by two brothers from Switzerland, the Bomonti brothers. In 1902 they built a new facility in the southern part of Istanbul which still stands there today. It is situated in the Bomonti district, which of course takes it name from the factory. Beginning in 1938, it was known as the Istanbul Tekel Beer Factory. It was abandoned in 1991, and locals returned to calling it the Bomonti Beer Factory. It’s a beautiful seven-story building.
Earlier this week, Global Investment Holding along with Çelebi Holding announced their intention to turn the building in Turkey’s biggest hotel by 2009, to be operated by Marriott International and known as the Marriott Bomonti Hotel Convention Center.
Today, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry disclosed they will reject and cancel the offer regarding the 49-year operating lease for the Bomonti Beer Factory because the price was too low. So the factory is once again available. Hopefully, someone will put it too good use. It’s a terrific looking building with great possibilities, not to mention a piece of brewing history.