The rise of Carlsberg
1835, the year that would mark the beginning of a journey for an upcoming brewer from Denmark. His name? Jacob Christian Jacobson or J.C. for short. J.C., who was a Danish industrialist and philanthropist at the time, had his path laid out before him after the death of his father and that path was to become a brewer.
For J.C to fulfill this, he had to make the journey to Bavaria where he would study the brewing techniques at Gabriel Sedlmayr's zum Spaten brewery. And with this new understanding of brewing, J.C. returned to Denmark in 1845 with two pots of yeast; it’s these two pots of yeast that would spark the beginning of J.C. able to accomplish brewing his first lager.
In 1847, J.C. founded the Carlsberg Brewery outside Copenhagen. The word ‘Carlsberg’ came from J.C.’s son's name, Carl and the Danish word for hill “bjerg” due to the brewery being built on the hill of Valby.
Everything was going smoothly until a fire broke out and burnt down the brewery in 1867. This did not put J.C. off from brewing beer, in fact, he installed a cooling system that helped improve the quality of the product and saw an increase in sales.
By 1868, 21 years after Carlsberg Brewery was founded, the first barrel of Carlsberg beer was exported to Edinburgh, Scotland.
35 years after Carlsberg Brewery was founded, J.C.’s son, Carl, opened his own brewery called ‘New Carlsberg’ after falling out with his father who had different ideas of how to brew beer. This forced J.C. to rename his brewery to ‘Old Carlsberg’. New Carlsberg progressed better than Old Carlsberg with the forward-thinking of Carl by using new technology to help shorten the beer maturation time.
So in 1906, both breweries merged together to become ‘Carlsberg Breweries’ with Carl having total control right up to his death in 1914.
Carlsberg in the 20th & 21st Century
As the 19th century came to close, which proved to be an impressive and prosperous century for Carlsberg as well as the early years of the 20th century, it could only get better from here for the company. With the merging of the two breweries, the introduction of the Carlsberg Pilsner logo and the exporting of beer to Asia, Carlsberg had now become an international sensation. By 1939, Carlsberg became the largest import beer to the UK. But they didn’t stop there!
During the late 60s, Carlsberg established breweries in Malawi, Malaysia and the UK, and in 1976, Carlsberg merged with another brewery called Tuborg which proved to be quite profitable, too. In fact, Carlsberg also brews Kronenbourg, Baltika, Grimbergen, Somersby cider and 500 other local beers! But beer isn’t the only thing that was on the company’s mind, they also like to get involved in sponsorships.
Carlsberg Brewery has been a huge sponsor of football, especially with the Euros: Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. They had also sponsored Liverpool F.C. between 1992 and 2016; but also continue to sponsor football teams such as Havant and Waterlooville and F.C. Copenhagen. Golf and skiing were also under Carlsberg radar of sponsorship, too.
Carlsberg Foundation (which was established in 1876 by J.C.) also follows the Brewery’s path but instead looks to sponsoring the arts and science, strongly. And where can this great sponsorship of science be seen? At The Institute of Theoretical Physics. Famously known as the birthplace of quantum mechanics, the Institute was founded in 1921 by the Foundation which helped the Institute to strive, successfully, through large funding.