The history of the Holsten-Brauerei AG is closely associated with the history of the German cities of Hamburg and Altona. For this reason, this chronicle includes several events from the cities' common and uncommon past.
1270 The Hamburg shipping codex classified beer as the most important trading merchandise.
1537 First historic mention of the town of Altona.
1867 Altona became a part of Prussia.
1890 The royal Commerz-Collegium zu Altona* ("Altona Commercial Council") - a predecessor of the Altona Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement, concerning the Holsten-Brauerei in the early 1890s: "Initially intended for a production volume of 60,000 hectolitres, the brewery plant soon had to be expanded to a production capacity of 100,000 hectolitres in order to meet the demand of its rapidly increasing distribution area." This was accomplished in part through the installation of steam engines with up to 60 horsepower. In Hamburg and vicinity there were 32 breweries, of which 14 were limited companies.
* The Commerz-Collegium zu Altona still exists today as a foundation-like adjunct to the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for the sponsorship of beneficial community projects.
1893 The Holstenstra?e train station was opened directly beside the brewery.
1906 A beer tax increase led to the "Beer War" between breweries and pub owners which lasted for 25 days.
1914 "Vereinsbrauerei der Hamburg-Altonaer Gastwirte" (Altona Publicans Association Brewery) taken over by Holsten.
1918 Takeover of "Brauerei Germania" in what is now the Wandsbek district of Hamburg.
1920 Takeover of "B?rgerlichen Brauhauses" in Hamburg.
1914-1920 Raw materials bottlenecks during and after the First World War. Survival only possible through the sale of real estate.
1922 The Holsten-Brauerei AG acquired the "Brauerei D.H. Hinselmann & Co.", in Neumunster near Hamburg.
1923 The monetary reform in the form of a massive devaluation brought about a reduction of asset valuation from 519 trillion to 9 million.
Takeover of Harms-Brauerei Boes R. Berkhoff of Neumunster.
1927 Extension of production capacity to 700,000 hectolitres.
1937 The Hamburg suburbs of Altona, Wandsbek and Harburg-Wilhemsburg were incorporated into the city of Hamburg by Reich's governmental decree. Overnight nearly 500,000 people became new citizens of Hamburg, among them 242,000 in Altona.
1939 Beer sales collapsed with the beginning of WWII, due in part to new production regulations and a drastically increased beer tax. A silver lining was the brewing of "Provisions Beer" for the Wehrmacht (military forces). Conscription soon led to staff shortages in the brewery.
1943 More than 100 bombs and incendiary devices hit the Holsten-Brauerei AG between 25th July and 3rd August.
1946 Beginning of the reconstruction of the Holsten-Brauerei AG. Soon the company's breweries in Hamburg, Kiel and Neum?nster were provisionally operable. Because it was not possible to allocate barley to the breweries in the British occupational zone, a "beer ersatz beverage" was brewed, called "whey beer" by the people who had to drink it.
1948 Lowest point on the German per capita beer consumption curve, only 25 litres per person! In 2001 the per capita consumption was 123 litres.
1952 Holsten began to export beer in cans.
1953 The Holsten-Brauerei AG again reached pre-war production levels with 500,000 hectolitres.
1954 Acquisition of majority stake in Germania-Brauerei C. Dressler GmbH of Bremen.
1956 Acquisition of majority stake in Bill-Brauerei AG of Hamburg, including its Moravia Pils brand.
1990 Beginning of licence production in China.
2005 Carlsberg Deutschland GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carlsberg A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark, acquires a 100% interest in G?ttsche-Getr?nke, a North German beverages wholesaler.