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Celebrating 175 years of Carlsberg

Dive into the stories from the last 175 years - the heritage, the discoveries, the beer.

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1847

Carlsberg is founded

When his father died in 1835, J.C. Jacobsen took over his small brewery in Inner Copenhagen. Eventually, he decided he needed a new brewery with larger cool storage space. Therefore, he built a new brewery just outside Copenhagen, on top of a hill, where water was flowing. With that, Carlsberg was born in 1847. 

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J.C. Jacobsen, our founding father

J.C. Jacobsen was - quite literally - born to brew. In 1847, he founded Carlsberg.

Carl Jacobsen, son and competitor

Our founder J.C. Jacobsen had only one child - a son named Carl Jacobsen. Did you know Carlsberg is named after him?

While it sounds like they had a great relationship, it wasn't so simple.

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1867

The Carlsberg brewery suffers from a massive fire

J.C. Jacobsen uses the incident to modernise the brewery yet again and this time in fire-proof materials. Thus, while it was a devastating catastrophe, J.C. Jacobsen was resilient and built an even better brewery in short time.

He later installs a cooling system that improves product quality and leads to an increase in sales.

Jacobsen's son Carl returns from studying brewing process in Europe. He is invited to brew his own beer in the newly constructed Annex brewery.

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1868-69

Carlsberg makes its first export to Great Britain and Asia

J.C. starts his export business in the second half of the 1800's, among other initiatives by sending boxes of Carlsberg beers with ships to Great Britain, China and India, and he's even considering Australia.

Much later, in 1954, Great Britain is Carlsberg’s largest export market. At this time, a ship loaded with Carlsberg beer sails across the North Sea every 12 days.

The Carlsberg site in Copenhagen

Most of the original buildings from J.C. and Carl's hands are still standing at the Carlsberg site in Copenhagen, where our Central Office is also located today.

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Brewery horses - then, and now

When brewer J.C. Jacobsen built his Carlsberg brewery in 1847, a stable was - of course - also built.

In 1903 Carlsberg built its own bottling plant, and from then on, the brewery delivered bottles to the merchants. This increased the need for horses, and by 1925, Carlsberg had nearly 200 horses

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1875

J.C. Jacobsen founds the Carlsberg Laboratory

J.C. Jacobsen was driven by the question: How do you brew the best beer of the highest quality? In 1875, he therefore set up the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, convinced that he needed to understand the chemistry of beer and the physiology of the organisms involved.

As a brewer, J.C. Jacobsen spent his whole life acquiring the latest knowledge. As a teenager, he attended lectures given by H.C. Ørsted in the Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science. Here, he came to understand how scientific discoveries had increased productivity and quality within a range of industries. He reasoned that the same could be true for brewing.

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Purifying yeast and changing brewing forever

In the old days, brewing beer was an unpredictable process that often resulted in undrinkable beer. 

However, in 1883, in the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, a ground-breaking discovery was made. One that would revolutionize the brewing industry.

Inventing the pH Scale and revolutionizing brewing - and science

With the invention of the pH scale in the Carlsberg Research Lab, Carlsberg could ensure high quality of every beer.

The applications of the pH scale have since been countless throughout all fields. 

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1876

J.C. Jacobsen founds the Carlsberg Foundation

The Carlsberg Foundation is one of the world’s oldest industrial foundations. Here, ambitious brewing enterprise blossoms side by side with research and support for the finest science, art and culture. 

The Carlsberg Foundation is the principal shareholder in Carlsberg A/S and exerts a decisive influence on the brewery through its controlling shareholding. 

The Carlsberg Foundation supports visionary and innovative international basic research within the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Basic research that makes us smarter, helps us to address global challenges and benefits society.

1882

Carl enjoys success brewing beer and inaugurates a new brewery, New Carlsberg. He and his father J.C. are now competitors, and J.C. renames his brewery Old Carlsberg.

1886

Carl and J.C. Jacobsen reconcile.

1887

J.C. Jacobsen dies during a visit to Rome. A year later, the Carlsberg Foundation assumes ownership and management of Old Carlsberg.

1906 - New and Old Carlsberg merge to become Carlsberg Breweries

Carl Jacobsen becomes the first Managing Director of the Carlsberg Breweries. 

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1913 - The Little Mermaid

Carl Jacobsen donates The Little Mermaid statue to the city of Copenhagen.

The sculpture, designed by Edvard Eriksen, was inspired by the royal solo ballerina Ellen Price de Plane. On 23 August 1913, the sculpture is erected at Langelinie.

1914 - Carl Jacobsen dies

Carl Jacobsen dies in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen.

As the first Managing Director of the Carlsberg Breweries, he instituted an eight-hour work day to his employees.

 

 

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1966

First overseas licence is given and Carlsberg is brewed on license for the first time outside Denmark at the Photos Photiades Breweries in Cyprus

1970

Carlsberg and Tuborg merge to form the Carlsberg Breweries and the Tuborg Breweries, The United Breweries A/S.

1972

Carlsberg builds its first brewery in Asia – in Malaysia. In the following years a number of new breweries open in both Europe and Asia.

Becoming a global player

From its origins as a small regional brewery on a hill outside Copenhagen, the Carlsberg Group is now an international player with activities across the world.

But the journey is far from over.

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2017

Carlsberg launches Together Towards ZERO

Carlsberg takes lead on sustainability and launches a new sustainability programme, Together Towards Zero, with the ambitions of ZERO carbon footprint, ZERO water waste, ZERO irresponsible drinking and a ZERO accidents culture.

2018

Carlsberg announces a series of ground-breaking innovations to reduce plastic waste, including Snap Pack

2021

Carlsberg opens water recycling plant to make the world’s most water efficient brewery

2022

Carlsberg makes bio-based and fully recyclable bottles available to consumers

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2022

Carlsberg launches Together Towards ZERO and Beyond

The new ESG programme Together Towards ZERO and Beyond has updated targets and new focus areas. These include a roadmap to achieve net zero carbon emissions across the entire value chain by 2040, from the barley in the fields to the beer in hand.

Carlsberg Group today

Today, our beer portfolio spans +140 core beer brands, including local power brands and international premium brands, craft & speciality brands and alcohol-free brews.

We strive to brew better beers, today and tomorrow, in all our 150 markets. Doing business responsibly and sustainably supports that purpose – and drives the efforts to deliver value for both our shareholders and the society.

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Thirsty for more?

The invention of the pH scale

The invention of the pH scale

With the invention of the pH scale, Carlsberg could ensure high quality of every beer. The applications of the pH scale have since been countless throughout all fields. 

The discovery of how to purify yeast

The discovery of how to purify yeast

In 1883, Emil Chr. Hansen, head of the physiology department of the Carlsberg Research, made a ground-breaking discovery that would revolutionize the brewing industry.

Rebrewing the first quality beer using Carlsberg's original purified yeast

Rebrewing the first quality beer using Carlsberg's original purified yeast

Imagine if you could taste the world's first quality beer with the original ingredients, exactly as it was brewed in the late 18th hundreds. Now, a group of scientists from Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen have made that possible.