J.C. Jacobsen founds Carlsberg

In 1811, Jacob Christian Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg, enters the world. When his father dies in 1835, J.C. Jacobsen takes over as a brewer. J.C. was born to brew. Driven by his passion for beer and an early interest in the natural sciences, J.C. Jacobsen sets out on a lifelong journey to improve the quality of beer. His first stop is Bavaria where he studies the brewing techniques for a new beer at Gabriel Sedlmayr's zum Spaten brewery in Munich. In the summer of 1845, carrying two pots of Spaten yeast in a customized hat box, J.C. returns to Denmark by stagecoach.


On this long journey, he keeps the yeast cool by stopping frequently and dousing it with cold water. J.C. Jacobsen's first batches of lager are made in his mother's copper wash basin. They are refined in his brewery till he gets them just right.  This new lager needed a new brewery with larger cool storage space. Taking the name of his five-year-old son, Carl, and the Danish word for hill, "bjerg", he builds his new brewery just outside Copenhagen. With that, Carlsberg is born in 1847. International approval came just 21 years later when the first Carlsberg beer was exported to Great Britain.


The Carlsberg brewery suffers from a massive fire


1904 - Carlsberg pilsner is brewed for the first time

The Danish architect and artist, Thorvald Bindesbøll is commissioned to design the label that will redefine the look of Carlsberg beer forever. During the same year, Carlsberg also becomes the first Danish brewery to receive an appointment to supply beer to the Royal Danish Court. The crown in the Carlsberg label is a testament to this prestigious honor. Carlsberg's natural ingredients are symbolized by the label's hopleaf. For J.C. Jacobsen and son Carl, the look of the Carlsberg estate was also very important.  Both father and son believed that attractive surroundings like art could raise a man's spirit. They wanted to explore new architectural styles for their industrial buildings and strove to create an aesthetic brewery.

Carl Jacobsen wanted to prove that a factory's chimney could be a work of art. He had Carlsberg's famous twisting chimney built in 1900. The star gate at the original entrance bears the symbol of the 12 pointed star. The 12 pointed star is the trademark of old Carlsberg. Carl Jacobsen's elephant tower is perhaps the best-known building on the estate. The elephants symbolise Carl's four surviving children. Jacobsen chose the symbol of the elephant because it represented strength, loyalty and industriousness; the perfect match to his motto Laboremus Pro Patria (let us work for our country).


New and Old Carlsberg merge to become Carlsberg Breweries. Carl becomes the first managing director of the Carlsberg Breweries. He institutes a pension fund and introduces an eight-hour work day to his employees.



S.P.L Sørensen develops the pH scale


Continued export and expansion activities


Carlsberg establishes an export department and regular visits to import agents are initiated


Bottle agreements are signed with companies in Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta to bottle Carlsberg beer for their local markets


First overseas licence is given and Carlsberg is brewed for the first time outside Denmark at the Photiades Breweries in Cypres


Between the years 1968-1981, Carlsberg increases its international focus by opening up breweries in various parts of the world. The first overseas brewery opens in 1968. In 1972, 1974 and 1981, Carlsberg opens up breweries in Malaysia, the UK and Hong Kong, respectively.

In the period after 1976, sales of Carlsberg and Tuborg outside Denmark exceed domestic sales by far. The success of Carlsberg and Tuborg's products in all parts of the world is attributed to the quality consciousness, the know-how and the technological proficiency.

Carlsberg's international presence continues to grow in the 1990s as the company increases the degree of ownership or acquires new shareholdings in breweries in Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Vietnam, China, Poland, Latvia and Croatia.



Carlsberg is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange


Carlsberg's iconic tagline 'Probably the best beer in the world' is created



Carlsberg launches a new company strategy - SAIL'22



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