Our company history

It all began in June 2005 with the idea to do something new and to make a living from something other than "only" computer science! But one step at a time!


The motivation

With the purchase of a time-honored 300-year-old property in Mörschwil in 2000, we (Ana and Dieter Messmer) had more than enough space for our lives and our family. In December 2004, a 6-year global IT project ended successfully and suddenly there was a feeling that there was the space and time for new things. And this is how the idea of Glen Fahrn was born.

In essence we wanted to convert our passion for spirits into our very own unique specialty shop.  Since the mid-1980s, we have traveled extensively to Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. And as a consequence we have developed a great network and most importantly, a lot of experience with noble distillates, port, champagne and wines. This is what we really wanted to share with our friends and customers and in June 2005 it was finally time: Glen Fahrn GmbH was born.


The name "Glen Fahrn"

But why "Glen Fahrn"? "Glen" means "narrow valley" and symbolizes the location of the house. "Glen", however also has a very strong association to Scotland and whisky - large and famous distilleries like Glenlivet or Glenfiddich also use it in their names. "Fahrn" means "homestead" in the old-Swiss word-usage. Thus, the house "im Fahrn" stands at the Fahrnstrasse 39 in Mörschwil. So simple!


Our logo the "Glen Fahrn Lion" 

Each company needs a logo and symbolic image representing their philosophy. The lion stands for strength and justice (as king of the animals) and has been used for heraldry for thousands of years. As early as the year 2000, when the exterior façade and window shutters of the house were renovated, Ana decided to draw and use the lion as a protector of the house. So it became the obvious choice to use it as the figurehead for Glen Fahrn.


The development 

As soon as 2005 came to an end, a fundamental change was made to the still very young enterprise. The focus on only one shop and the choice of products only from Swiss importers was too restrictive for a professional and long-term existence. Therefore, the next major decision was to expand the business into two sales channels: the specialist chain "Glen Fahrn" for private customers and the trading unit for on-trade and off-trade customers. Within a few years the company had achieved the successful implementation of both these sales channels. In order for the company to develop and take on the organizational and structural requirements for the future, it transitioned from GmbH into a stock corporation in 2013. All shares remained 100% in family ownership.


The products 

With the expansion of the business segments in 2006, new products were needed for the Swiss market. Unfortunately many major international products were already in the hands of the big producers and importers. Which is why we decided to focus on „new" niche products which no-one else had on their radars, yet. And so our product portfolio started to develop. Our first three brands were Cognac Meukow (today our most powerful cognac brand), Grappa Berta (today the most important grappa in Switzerland) and Säntis Malt (probably the greatest success story of Swiss Whisky overall). Over the years, we have expanded our portfolio and are today importer for over 1,000 products. But we have always been faithful to our beginnings - Glen Fahrn is still the home for significant niche and new products. We dedicate all our strength and support so that they will one day find their way to success. And quite some have done so in the last 10 years!

But to offer only niche products would be too little. That is why we offer more than 4,000 premium spirits and ports from over 3 centuries. In addition to the normal spirits, Glen Fahrn has an incredible collection of old and rare bottles. These products are partially displayed in our web shop under “old & rare”. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you want to complete or even sell your collections!


What we offer 

Our name “Glen Fahrn” may trick you into thinking that we are solely about Whisky, but do not be fooled, this could not be further from the truth.  At Glen Fahrn you will find everything from Whisky to Cognac, Armagnac, Grappa, Rum, Gin and many more delicious spirits. 

We are also strongly dedicated to the so-called "Fortified Wines", such as Port, Sherry, Vermouth and Pineau des Charentes. We also have rare and very old bottles from Madeira, Marsala and Malaga in our collection.

And what would life be without wine? Glen Fahrn has a "manageable" range of just a few hundred wines, all of which are from smaller producers. Small is not small in quality, but rather small in price. We are especially proud of our selection from Swiss and European producers. "Noble Wines of Young Winemakers" is our motto, while under "young" we understand winemakers who have not yet attained national and international fame, however some are very much on the rise. As long as we are able to offer you their wines at reasonable prices, they remain with us, something we are very proud of (some examples include, Marco Abella from the Priorat or Groszerwein from South Burgenland).


 Our specialist stores 

Since the company was founded in 2005, we have been developing and advancing our specialist stores with the utmost passion. 


Glen Fahrn ‘the Origin‘

Founding and opening of the first store in Mörschwil


Glen Fahrn ‘the Pearl‘

Opening of our second shop in the heart of Zürich Old Town


Glen Fahrn ‘the Museum

Opening of the third store at Paradeplatz Zürich.

This store was unfortunately limited to three years.  


Glen Fahrn ‘the Store’ (Glen Fahrn Germany)

Establishment and opening of the first shop in Germany (by taking over the former Whiskey Shop of Günther Wagner) in Hohentengen a.H. (30km north of Zurich). 


Glen Fahrn ‘the Lake

Opening of the fourth CH-store in the lake restaurant Rorschach in co-operation with the Berest Gastro Group. Due to the sale of the hotel, this wonderful location had to be left again after only one year.


Glen Fahrn Partner Shops

The concept of Glen Fahrn was so popular with the Swiss market that we introduced a partner concept. Specialized partners with a clear focus on the Glen Fahrn philosophy and offering received the possibility of the Glen Fahrn branding. Over the years, some twenty partners have expanded the world of Glen Fahrn. 


Glen Fahrn im Globus Glattzentrum

Opening of a shop-in-shop concept in the shopping center at Glattzentrum in Wallisellen. This shop was unfortunately limited to five years. 


Glen Fahrn ‘the Independent’ (Glen Fahrn Germany)

Opening of the second specialist store in Germany in Rheinfelden near Basel


Glen Fahrn ‘zum Turm’

Opening of the fifth CH specialist store in the heart of the old town of St.Gallen. "Wein zum Turm" was an indispensable address for wine for almost 40 years. That is why we decided to take over and continue the location, but with focus on spirits. We wanted to maintain the tradition of wine in any case, but we also built up Glen Fahrn`s Wine offering for the first time, with a selection of hand-picked, "small" wines. For once we did not pick an English nickname for this specialist store, but kept ‘zum Turm’, referring to its old and well-known name.


Glen Fahrn ‘the Park

Opening of the sixth CH specialist store in the shopping center Rheinpark in St.Margrethen. By taking over from the previous wine shop business, the area was further strengthened. Although ‘the Park’ is located in the immediate vicinity of the border (Austria and Germany), customers from all three countries enjoy our special shopping experience. ‘the Park’ proves Glen Fahrn's competitiveness at European level. 


Glen Fahrn und Zweifel Weine

Not least due to their mutual friendship, both companies decided to cooperate and capitalize on their potential synergies. All Zweifel stores became Glen Fahrn partners, all Glen Fahrn stores took on “Zweifel Vinarium Partner” status.


Glen Fahrn ‘the Clanach

Opening of the seventh CH specialist shop in Unterägeri. Following the passing our partner and friend Roland Matter, we decided to continue his legacy and expand his shop "the clanach dubh no.13" largely. Another jewel among our specialty stores. 


Glen Fahrn ‘the Villa

Opening of the eighth CH specialist store in Zollikon at Zurich’s so-called Gold Coast. For the first time, we opened a flagship with an entirely new operating concept. Like in no other shop, we can offer our guests an individual and private shopping experience within a perfect setting with a breathtaking view of Lake Zurich.  ‘the Villa’ houses special and rare collections that are second to none. It is also the trade office for central Switzerland with a special showroom for on- and off-trade partners. Visits are by appointment.

The Glen Fahrn Team 

The major key to our success is our team. And that is not just a management cliché, but our team spirit is evident and growing every day. The competencies of our team are confirmed by many compliments from our customers. Wherever work is done, challenges arise. However, dealing with the unexpected is important. We make every effort to inform you quickly and transparently, to offer alternatives where needed and to always offer solutions.

The work in the spirits industry is subject to the restrictive Swiss legislation on alcohol, which is why we are only allowed to employ employees over 18 years of age. This also applies to our apprentices. Since there is no training as a spirits specialist in Switzerland, all our team members learn their knowledge on-the-job through internal training and visits to our producers. All the members are distinguished by their passion for spirits. We attach great importance to the knowledge and the personal development of our employees. The gratitude we receive is our joint success as Team Glen Fahrn.

Swiss legislation on spirits and fortified wines 

Selling rules 

Distilled products (distillates) can only be sold to persons over 18 years of age and we stick to this rule strictly, both for sales offline through our specialist stores, as well as online through our webshop. In our stores, we carry out age checks, but in online business we have to rely on your self-declaration regarding your age, as well as the age of the recipient of your order. We cannot be held liable for infringements. We ask you to comply with the legal requirements.

The sale of wines is allowed in Switzerland to 16 year olds. We ask for your understanding that we sell wines and any other alcoholic products only to persons who are 18 years of age.

The sale of vouchers is free of an age limit. In case of redemption, however, the application of the 18 years rule applies again.


Discounts & Coin Loyalty Scheme 

Other than for beer or wine, the Swiss Alcohol Legislation prohibits any form of incentivation for purchasing or consuming spirits and fortified wines. Therefore we cannot offer discounts, “instead of”-prices or other forms of rebates. With a Friends-of-GlenFahrn membership, however, you will receive loyalty coins for your purchases. You can find the redeeming opportunities and offers for your Coins in the section "Friends of Glen Fahrn" on our Online-Store and on the special website www.fogf.ch (coming soon).


Advertising & Merchandise 

The restrictive legislation and its interpretation in Switzerland prevents us from selling any merchandise items, such as T-shirts, umbrellas, bags, etc., with the imprint of spirit brands or distilleries. Only glasses and carafes are tolerated. That is why in Switzerland we are bound to sell these coveted articles. However, this does not apply in Germany. You will find many articles in our German stores and our German webshop.


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