Carl JacobsenCarl Jacobsen

Carl Jacobsen

It all started with one man’s passion.

The original grand tour.

Today, it’s common for students to go on exchange programmes abroad. This wasn’t the case when Carl was young. But his father was, as usual, ahead of his time and wanted Carl to be educated around Europe. Carl spent four years in France, Germany, Austria and Scotland where he became familiar with top-fermented British beers. He came home with the two treasures of his life: a great knowledge of beer and his bride-to-be, Ottilia.

Like father, like son.

When Carl returned, in 1871, JC gave him a new brewery to run. J. C.’s plan was that Carl would produce Ale and Porter, leaving the lager to him. He underestimated his son’s inherited desire to produce better beer though. Soon Carl was brewing lager in competition with his dad. In 1882, Carl set up his own brewery, calling it Ny or New Carlsberg. J. C. didn’t want Carl to use the same name and took him to court. Carl won the battle. J. C. had met his match.

Beauty is to be shared.

Carl was not just obsessed with beer though and had a passion for art. He grew up surrounded by art and started his own collection early. Believing in the transformative nature of art, he opened his private collection to the public, and in 1882, he founded the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. As his father had established the Carlsberg Foundation to support science, Carl established the New Carlsberg Foundation to support art. Father and son probably had more in common than they would ever have admitted.

Together is better.

In 1906, New and Old Carlsberg were officially reunited under the Carlsberg Foundation and Carl became the first managing director of Carlsberg Breweries. He instituted a pension fund and introduced an eight-hour work day to his hard-working employees, did this make him the most popular boss in the world? Probably.