Friedrich Hafner

Friedrich Hafner was born in the small village of Höngg near Zurich, Switzerland in 1904. He began his apprenticeship as a Tonnelier or barrel maker at the age of 16.

In 1925 he moved to Couvet Switzerland and took a job at the Flückiger distillery as a cooper (barrel maker).

After the interdiction in Switzerland Fritz Flückiger reprised the production facilities at this distillery and began making a substitute to absinthe called “BONALO” as well as the usual assortment of schnapps, flavored brandies, Sirops, and Eaux De Vie.


When the Flückiger distillery closed Fredrich opened his own company as an independent barrel maker serving distilleries throughout the region. Much of the demand for his work came from illegal absinthe distilleries in the Val De Travers. Many of Herr Hafner’s barrels were used to store and ship clandestine absinthe during the interdiction in Switzerland.

Herr Hafner purchased many of his tools from the Pernod factory. You can see here that most of his tools still bare the Pernod markings.

Friedrich HafnerAfter he retired Her Hafner began making decorative barrels especially the petite barrels pictured here.

The images pictured here were taken at the Old Absinthe Dryer in the Val de Travers, Switzerland. All of the tools in the images are from Frederich Hafner’s private collection and were used throughout his life. Many of the tools were purchased from the Pernod Distillery and still bare the Pernod markings. The collection is on loan from Mrs. Hafner.