The old Terken brewery
The old Terken brewery

The old Terken brewery

The old Terken brewery

More than 80 years of history reduced to a pile of rubble

Roubaix, France

Destroyed in 2004, the Terken brewery was a huge industrial complex of more than four hectares. Located in the Union area in Roubaix, near Lille, the factory was, at one time, a symbol of "close symbiosis" between the company and its community through football clubs who wore its colors and customers service. With a history of over 80 years, it was at its peak, the largest independent brewery in France.

Back on the Terken brewey history

 In 1920 began the story of the Great Modern Brewery (GBM) while three breweries Roubaix Union, the Alliance Tourquennoise and Jean Ghislain decide to merge and create GBM. Initially, the distribution of products of the brewery was based on a network of pubs in the surrounding towns, but also home delivery where they made two-thirds of its sales. If the arrival of the mass distribution leads to the disappearance of home delivery, the company still continues to build on its original productions, mainly beer guard. In 1989, the company changed its name and adopted the one of its flagship product: Terken.

At its peak, more than 800 workers was working at the brewery but the number of employees will continue to decline in the 1980s due to poor business decisions and a increasingly competitive market. Its main problem was that the company was a big player in the small breweries market but a small player in the big breweries market, hence its precarious situation.

Then, in 2001, it's the beginning of the end when the company is found insolvent. The announcement to the 300 employees was terrible. The commerce tribunal of Roubaix puts the company in receivership. Unfortunately, despite the efforts and the concessions, it was announced in 2004 the permanent closure of the brewery and are fired at once the last handful of employees of the plant.

And today?

A large part of the industrial complex of the plant were razed and a city block of shops also. The site, heavily polluted and contaminated with asbestos has been decontaminated and cleaned, which increased the bill.

While some resist to the eviction orders like the Chez Salah bistro, the area where the brewery was located is now the heart of one of the largest projects in France: the new Kipsta headquarters, specializing in sportswear. This project is about a megastore dedicated to the Decathlon brand, offices, cricket and beach volleyball areas, food courts, etc.. A very green site also promises developers. While the work was initially started in 2011 to be completed in 2014, the site is still today in 2013 a vast wasteland.

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