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The Carlsberg Group

It began in 1847 with the first 10 casks of beer at the brewery on Valby Hill outside Copenhagen. Today, Carlsberg produces 140 different beer brands spread all over the world.

Carlsberg – a heart made of malted barley, hops, yeast and water

Carlsberg has been on an impressive journey. Having started out as a small regional brewery on top of Valby Hill outside Copenhagen, Carlsberg A/S is now an international player with activities all over the world. And the journey is far from over: the Carlsberg Foundation will do all it can to ensure positive, value-adding growth for the brewery.

The Carlsberg Group holds leading positions in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia, while the rest of the world is serviced through export and licence agreements. The brewery is the world’s third largest with 41,000 employees, 140 brands and an annual net revenue in 2014 of DKK 64bn.

A proportion of the Carlsberg Group’s business comes from new, innovative products such as cider, energy drinks and brewed beverages, where the Group is way out in front.

However, beer is still the natural and historical focus of the Carlsberg Group. Beer is the very heart of the company ‒ a heart made of malted barley, yeast, hops and water. Brewed with passion, inspiration and care. That’s how it’s been since 1847, when Brewer J.C. Jacobsen opened the first cask of Carlsberg beer at his brand-new brewery on Valby Hill outside Copenhagen.

Three women enjoying a Kronenbourg at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

Brewed from knowledge

When J.C. Jacobsen founded Carlsberg, it was difficult to make good-quality beer. It was generally being brewed with varying results in small craft breweries, where conditions were unhygienic and customers often complained about the taste and strength.

J.C. Jacobsen set about changing this. His modern brewery at the site just outside Copenhagen provided him with cellar space, air and clean water ‒ a great basis for improving the quality of the beer.

Throughout his lifetime, J.C. Jacobsen’s mission was to show that methods and research from chemistry and biology could be applied in the brewing industry. More research and knowledge meant better-quality beer. He therefore established the Carlsberg Laboratory and insisted that Carlsberg’s products should be continuously improved to the highest possible quality.

Today, the Carlsberg Laboratory is the world’s leading research laboratory in the beer industry, and research and innovation are still the prime building blocks of the Carlsberg Group. So there is a straight line from the results of research into barley, yeast, ingredients and brewing technology to the new, innovative products that the Carlsberg Group introduces to consumers. Research is thus vital for the Group’s future growth and financial bottom line.

The combination of global vision and local expertise is an important set of values in the Carlsberg Group. The photo shows two brewery workers in front of the finished produced Baltika beer at one of Carlsberg's Eastern European breweries.

Global quality

Since it was founded, Carlsberg has been an organisation characterised by entrepreneurship and pioneering mentality. Both J.C. Jacobsen and his son, Carl Jacobsen, questioned the status quo and were not afraid to tread their own paths to achieve new and improved results.

In a constantly changing world, it is necessary to be agile, flexible and always one step ahead. For the Carlsberg Group, it is therefore vital to be able to make quick decisions and shorten the time between idea and execution. It is also a matter of combining global outlook with local expertise – the glocal approach – by sharing experiences and exploiting the diversity that is represented in the wider Group.

Finally, the transparency embodied by J.C. Jacobsen and Carl Jacobsen still prevails throughout the organisation.

Without transparency, there is no trust, no innovation and no progress. Transparency is the key to the future.

These values permeate and underpin the whole Carlsberg Group and its many products – from the international brands such as Carlsberg, Tuborg, 1664, Grimbergen and Somersby to the local power brands such as Ringnes in Norway, Feldschlösschen in Switzerland, Chongqing in China and Baltika in Russia.

It is these values that are vital for the Carlsberg Group’s continued success.

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