Today, 2nd September 2011, marks the 200th anniversary of Carlsberg's founder JC Jacobsen. Born in Copenhagen in 1811, it wasn't until he was 24 that Jacob Christian Jacobsen inherited his father brewery and became head of what would unquestionably become the most influential beer brewery in the world.
Jacobsen was well known for his explorative mind and entrepreneurial approach to things. And while he had no formal academic or scientific training, he believed that the production of beer had to be based on scientific methods and to be industrialised. In short, Jacobsen wanted to eliminate the element of chance when brewing beer caused by variable yeast quality.
In 1876, Jacobsen took on Emil Hansen to work at the Carlsberg laboratory. There, Hansen dicsovered that yeast was not a homogeneous substance but could be broken down into a number of strains, of which only a few were right for brewing. By 1883 he had isolated and propagated single-strain yeasts for the first time, to finally allow brewers the control over the fermentation process to guarantee a consistent product, brew after brew. Lager yeast is still known as sacharromyces carlsbergensis in Hansen and Jacobsen’s honour.
Dawn Allison, Brand Manager, Carlsberg commented; "Carlsberg is the world's original lager and JC Jacobsen was relentless in his efforts to create perfect beer. He revolutionised beer brewing and selflessly shared his discovery of pure yeast with other brewers so today, there is a little bit of Carlsberg in every lager beer! The brewers at Carlsberg work to live up to Jacobsen's golden words: 'To develop the art of making beer to the greatest possible degree of perfection'. Today is a very special day for the Carlsberg brand as we pay tribute to its founder, JC Jacobsen 200 years after his birth."