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Carlsberg Group

Carlsberg Group
Publicly traded Aktieselskab
Traded as OMX: CARL A, CARL B
Industry Beverages
Founded 1847
Founder J. C. Jacobsen
Headquarters Copenhagen, Denmark
Key people
Cees't Hart (President and CEO), Flemming Besenbacher (Chairman)
Products Beers, ciders, soft drinks, bottled water
Brands Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Baltika, Grimbergen, Somersby
Revenue DKK 64.506 billion ($9,528 billion) (2014)[1]
DKK 9.227 billion ($1,363 billion) (2014)[1]
Number of employees
40,435 (FTE, average 2014)[1]

The Carlsberg Group (; Danish: ) is a Danish Kronenbourg, Somersby cider, Russia's best selling beer Baltika, Belgian Grimbergen abbey beers and more than 500 local beers.[2]

After merging with the brewery assets of Norwegian conglomerate Orkla ASA in January 2001, Carlsberg became the fifth largest brewery group in the world. It is the leading beer seller in Russia with about 40 percent of the market share.[3] In 2009 Carlsberg ranked fourth worldwide, and employed around 45,000 people.[4]


  • History 1
  • Regional operations 2
    • Eastern Europe 2.1
    • Northern & Western Europe 2.2
    • United States 2.3
    • Asia 2.4
  • Beers 3
    • Carlsberg 3.1
    • Special Brew 3.2
    • Elephant beer 3.3
    • Other brands in Carlsberg Group's portfolio 3.4
  • Visitors Centre 4
  • Advertising 5
    • Sponsorships 5.1
  • Gallery 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


J.C. Jacobsen standing in his winter garden known as Pompeji, next to a table with laboratory equipment, a bottle of lager, a beer glass, and books by Louis Pasteur and Emil Christian Hansen. Painting by August Jerndorff (1886)
Diplome d'Honneur Antwerp 1885 expo

Carlsberg was founded by J. C. Jacobsen, a philanthropist and avid art collector. With his fortune he amassed an impressive art collection which is now housed in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in central Copenhagen. The first brew was finished on 10 November 1847, and export of Carlsberg beer and glass began in 1868. Some of the company's original logos include an elephant (after which some of its lagers are named) and the swastika. Use of the latter was discontinued in the 1930's because of its association with political parties in neighboring Germany.

Jacobsen set up the Carlsberg Laboratory in 1875, which worked on scientific problems related to brewing. It featured a Department of Chemistry and a Department of Physiology. The species of yeast used to make pale lager, Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, was isolated at, and named after, the laboratory. The Carlsberg Laboratory also developed the concept of pH and made advances in protein chemistry.[5] The laboratory was part of the Carlsberg Foundation until 1972, when it was renamed the Carlsberg Research Center and transfered to the brewery.

The old brewery in Copenhagen is currently open for tours. Famous visitors have included Winston Churchill, Yuri Gagarin and Queen Elizabeth II.

The first overseas licence for brewing was given to the Photos Photiades Breweries, and in 1966 Carlsberg glass and beer was brewed for the first time outside Denmark at the Photiades breweries in Cyprus. The first brewery to be built outside Denmark was in Blantyre, Malawi in 1968.[6][7]

Carlsberg acquired Tuborg breweries in 1970[7] and merged with Tetley in 1992.

In 2008 Carlsberg Group, together with Heineken, bought Scottish & Newcastle, the largest brewer in the UK, for £7.8bn ($15.3bn).[8]

In November 2014, Carlsberg agreed to take over Greece’s third largest brewery, the Olympic Brewery, adding to its operations in the country already and effectively transforming the firm into the second biggest market player in Greece.[9]

Regional operations

The Carlsberg Group divides their operations into three market areas: Northern & Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.[10]

Eastern Europe

Baltic Beverages Holding is currently owned by Carlsberg. Previously, it was a joint venture between Carlsberg and J. C. Jacobsen in Russia.[8] The company is a significant operator in the brewing industry in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic countries, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It has a majority interest in OAO Baltika Breweries, the largest brewery in the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe.[11]

Carlsberg is in early-stage negotiations to sell its subsidiary in Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government claims the subsidiary owes $4.6 million in taxes from unreported revenue. Lower courts also claim that Carlsberg illegally produced 1.6 million liters of beer from 2008 to 2010. For these reasons, in March 2012 Carlsberg suspended production at its Uzbek plant and asked its employees to take an unpaid leave.[12]

Northern & Western Europe

Carlsberg acquired the Aldaris Brewery in Riga, Latvia, in 2008.[13] The brewery was founded in 1865, and produces Aldaris brand beers.[14]

Carlsberg Polska is the Polish subsidiary of the Carlsberg Group. Carlsberg acquired 100% control of the Okocim Group, which included the Okocim Brewery, in 2004. The subsidiary owns four brewing plants and employs a staff of 1,250. It is the third largest brewing company in Poland with a 14.4% market share.[15] Brands include Harnaś, Kasztelan, Okocim, Piast, Somersby and Carlsberg.

Carlsberg Sweden (Sverige) is based in Stockholm, and owns the

  • Official website
  • Carlsberg Visitors Centre
  • Carlsberg Beer website

External links

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ Carlsberg – Brands home
  3. ^
  4. ^ Carlsberg Canada Chooses GJP
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Carlsberg – The Carlsberg History
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Carlsberg – Poland
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ - Carlsberg Hof
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Visit Carlsberg
  34. ^ [1][2] dead links
  35. ^ Carlsberg Brewery
  36. ^
  37. ^ Archived 13 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^


See also


The Institute of Theoretical Physics (also known as the "Niels Bohr Institute") in Copenhagen, which was one of the leading international centers for theoretical physics during the 1920s and 1930s and is said to be the birthplace of quantum mechanics, was created in 1921 with significant funding from the Carlsberg Foundation.

Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel is the first ever World Wide ambassador for Carlsberg. The cooperation started in 2012, with Schmeichel active around the Euro 2012 for Carlsberg.

Carlsberg also sponsor F.C. Copenhagen, Havant and Waterlooville, Odense Boldklub, Pirin Blagoevgrad and are also the secondary sponsor (after Eircom) of the Republic of Ireland national football team and Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. Carlsberg also sponsors other sport events, such as golf and skiing. On 13 July 2011 Carlsberg signed a sponsorship contract with Hajduk Split. As of August 2011 Carlsberg also became Arsenal F.C's official beer sponsor. Carlsberg has also sponsored the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in 2011. Carlsberg was also the sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab in season 4 of the league, with its logo appearing on the caps and helmets of the team.

Carlsberg Brewery was one of the major sponsors of Euro 2008 and also Euro 2012. Carlsberg was one of the major sponsors of the 2004 European Football Championship and use the promotional slogan "probably the best lager in the world"; they were also a sponsor of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Carlsberg were best known in the UK as the main and shirt sponsors of Liverpool F.C. having sponsored the club from 1992 until 2010. With Liverpool being the only UK city exhibiting at the World Expo in Shanghai – its twin city, the Carlsberg logo on the Liverpool F.C jersey was written in Chinese for the league match against Chelsea F.C on 2 May 2010.

Sponsorships from Carlsberg comes in two forms, sharply separated: either from the Carlsberg Brewery as part of their commercial campaigns, or as significant contributions to arts and sciences via the Carlsberg Foundation (who owns the brewery).


In 2011, "That calls for a Carlsberg" was introduced as the new Carlsberg tagline and has appeared in various television adverts since.[40] The new-look marketing campaign was rolled out across 140 markets and included a new 30-second TV ad called 'Spaceman'. The company wants to boost sales in Asia and the Far East, but there were fears that 'probably' was too subtle as a tagline.[41][42]

Carlsberg has been criticised for breaking their own code of conduct for alcohol advertisement in Malawi.[39]

Carlsberg was featured in the film Ice Cold in Alex (not, however, in the book on which the film was based) as the lager the main cast get to drink after driving across the desert. Lines from the film gave rise to one of Carlsberg's best known advertising slogans in the UK: "worth waiting for".

Carlsberg's tagline "Probably the best beer in the world" was created in 1973 by Saatchi and Saatchi for the UK market. It began to appear in company corporate ads around the world from the 1980s onwards until it was replaced in 2011 in most regions by new tagline "That calls for a Carlsberg".[36] The voice over for the original ad in 1975 was voiced by actor Orson Welles,[37] his voice has been used repeatedly over the years. The Canadian-born voice-over artist Bill Mitchell was also used when hiring Orson Welles became too expensive. In some countries the tagline has been adapted to "Probably the best lager in the world".[38]


The Carlsberg Visitors Centre is located at 11 Gamle Carlsberg Vej, 2500 Valby, Denmark at the location of the first Carlsberg Brewery. In the courtyard is a smaller replica of the Little Mermaid Statue that Carl Jacobsen donated to Copenhagen. Also located in connection with the Carlsberg visitors Centre is the Jacobsen House Brewery, a micro brewery creating the Jacobsen speciality range of hand-crafted beers.[34] The entry ticket includes a free drink at the bar. The center can be reached by bus no. 18 or 26 from downtown Copenhagen.[35]

Visitors Centre

In total, Carlsberg Group brews more than 500 different beers. A selection of brands brewed by breweries owned by Carlsberg Group.

Carlsberg beers

Other brands in Carlsberg Group's portfolio

In 1901, on brewer Carl Jacobsen's initiative, the Architect Professor J. L. Dahlerup created a tower resting on four elephants carved in granite from the Danish island Bornholm. Brewer Jacobsen was inspired by this gate by the obelisk supporting elephant on the Piazza della Minerva in Rome.[33] The four elephants each bear the initial of one of Carl Jacobsen's four children: Theodora, Paula, Helge and Vagn. This became known as The Elephant Gate and is a landmark entrance to the brewery. To the west of the gate, Carl Jacobsen's motto was inscribed: Laboremus pro Patria (Let us work for our country). Since then the Elephant has been a famous part of the Carlsberg Family, especially after the strong Elephant Beer was created in 1955 under the name “Export Lager Beer” and featuring the Elephant label. The Elephant is still brewed in Carlsberg Breweries in Copenhagen and exported around the world. A few markets brew their own Carlsberg Elephant beer locally according to the original recipe.

Elephant beer
The Elephant Gate in Copenhagen

Elephant beer

A single can (500ml) of Special Brew contains four and a half units of alcohol, whilst the maximum recommended daily intake for a man is four units. In January 2015, it was reported that Carlsberg will reduce the units per can to four (in line with a UK government pledge that no single can should contain more than four units). The change – a reduction either in the size of the can to 440ml or the alcoholic strength of the beer – is expected to take place later in 2015.[32]

At 9% alcohol, Special Brew is part of a group of strong lagers that are termed "super-strength" in the UK and malt liquor in the USA. This beer is often associated with street alcoholics.[31]

Special Brew is a strong lager brewed in Denmark and the United Kingdom. It was initially brewed by Carlsberg to commemorate a visit to Denmark by Winston Churchill in 1950.[30] The flavour incorporates "cognac flavours among its tasting notes" as Churchill was partial to brandy. In May 1951 two crates were delivered to Churchill's London home. In a thank-you letter Churchill called the drink "Commemoration Lager". In Denmark the drink was called Påskebryg ("Easter Brew"), but the Easter Brew has since been replaced by a weaker beer (Carls Påske). For the British market Carlsberg called the drink Special Brew and production was started in Northampton in the 1950s.

Special Brew

In Denmark the beer is often known as Hof (court) due to its Royal Warrant. This nickname was adopted into the brand in 1931 but discontinued in Denmark in 1991. The term is still used in other markets such as the UK and Sweden.[29]

The introduction of the Carlsberg pilsner also saw the introduction of the Art Nouveau-style logo that later has been used nearly unmodified ever since, and later became the logo of the entire company. It was designed by Thorvald Bindesbøll, a key figure on the European Scene and Denmark's most original designer to date.

Carlsberg is the flagship beer brand in Carlsberg Group's portfolio of more than 500 brands. It is a 5% abv pilsner beer with a global distribution to 140 markets.[27] It is also known as Carlsberg Lager, Carlsberg Beer and Carlsberg Pilsner. It was first brewed in 1904,[28] and was created by Carl Jacobsen, son of Carlsberg's founder JC Jacobsen.

A 33cl Carlsberg profile bottle




In January 2013, Carlsberg announced the formation of a joint venture with the Myanmar Golden Star (MGS) group to establish a beer production facility in the Bago Industrial Zone, about an hour's drive from Yangon, Myanmar. Carlsberg will hold a majority 51 per cent stake in the venture and will provide seed capital in the range of $35 million to $50 million, with construction slated to commence in February. [24]

Brands under Calrsberg Malaysia include Carlsberg Green Label, Carlsberg Gold, Carlsberg Special Brew, Kronenbourg 1664, Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, Asahi Super Dry, Somersby Apple Cider, SKOL beer, SKOL Super beer, Danish Royal Stout, Corona Extra, Jolly Shandy Lemon and as well as non-alcoholic Nutrimalt drink. In addition, Carlsberg Malaysia through its subsidiaries, has a wide range of imported international beer brands including Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Budweiser, Grimbergen and Beck’s.

Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Berhad (Carlsberg Malaysia) was incorporated in December 1969, and began brewing Carlsberg Green Label locally in 1972. Since then, the brand has become one of the leading beer brands with more than a 50% share of the Malaysian market. It manufactures and distribute beer, stout and other beverages mainly in the domestic market and has investments in Sri Lanka, Singapore and in a Malaysian alcoholic beverage company.

Brands include Wusu (Northwest China) and Halida Beer (Vietnam).

Carlsberg India Pvt. Ltd. currently employs over 700 people and is headed by Søren Lauridsen.

  • Alwar (Rajasthan)
  • Aurangabad (Maharashtra)(both of which started in the summer of 2008)
  • the former Hacke-Beck brewery in Paonta Sahib (Himachal Pradesh) (where brewing commenced in July 2007)
  • Kolkata (West Bengal) opened in September 2009
  • Patna Brewery (Patna) opened for brewing in 2014.
  • Dharuhera Brewery opened in 7 May 2013
  • Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) opened in December 2010

Carlsberg India Pvt. Ltd. headquartered in Gurgaon, India is a foreign direct investment company formed to brew and market Carlsberg beer in India. The company has also brought the Tuborg and Palone brands into India. Palone is sold as a 'strong' beer with 7.5% alcohol by volume. Strong beers dominate the Indian market, estimated in 2008 to total approximately 17 million hectolitres with over a 72% share. Carlsberg is available in most states of India, with five operational breweries:

In August 2011, Carlsberg announced to form a new joint venture with Chongqing Brewery and Chongqing Light Textile Holding. Chongqing Light Textile Holding is a major shareholder of Chongqing Brewery. The joint venture, to be called Chongqing Xinghui Investment Co., Ltd, would operate 12 breweries in China in Chongqing, Sichuan, Guangxi, Guizhou and Hunan. Chongqing Brewery would contribute five breweries and Chongqing Light Textile Holding would contribute seven breweries into the joint venture. Carlsberg would inject 160 million Danish crowns (about US$30.90 million) and have a 30% interest in the venture.[23]

In 2008, Carlsberg sold its remaining interest in the Shanghai brewery to Tsingtao Brewery.[22]

In 2003, Carlsberg acquired the Kunming brewery and the Dali brewery in Yunnan province. At the time, the Dali brewery is the largest beer brewery in Yunnan.[21] In 2004, Carlsberg became a major shareholder in Lhasa Brewery in the Tibet Autonomous Region. At 3,700 metres above sea level, Lhasa Brewery is believed to be the highest altitude brewery in the Carlsberg Group.[20]

Carlsberg started to export beer to China in 1876.[18] In the late 1990s, Carlsberg had two breweries in China – Huizhou and Shanghai. The company acquired Huizhou Brewery in Guangdong Province in 1995, which started to supply both the Chinese and Hong Kong market. The brewery is one of the best quality breweries of Carlsberg around the world.[18] Carlsberg invested around US$30m in its Shanghai brewery, and started production in 1998. In 2000, Carlsberg sold a majority stake in its Shanghai brewery to Tsingtao Brewery.[19] Carlsberg formerly had a brewery in Tai Po, Hong Kong, which was established in 1981, but shut it down in 1999[20] due to high costs.


Imported by St. Killian Importing, based in Everett, MA.

United States

Other European brands include: Birrificio Angelo Poretti (Italy), Feldschlösschen (Switzerland), Holsten (Germany), Jacobsen, Karhu (Finland), Kronenbourg (France) and Tetley (UK). A result of the take over of Scottish and Newcastle, Carlsberg now control the San Miguel brand in the UK.

Norway brands include: Arendals, Dahls, Frydenlund, Nordlands, Ringnes and Tou.

[17] brand lagers, are brewed in Falkenberg.Falcon and Pripps, along with the Baltic porter, a 5.5% abv Carnegie Porter [16]

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