Sunday, October 13, 2013


As I was sitting here at my computer, taking a sip of my cool, refreshing beer on this hot night, trying to formulate some ideas on what physics is, then BAM, unexpected physics happens! I love it!

I've heard once that Carlsberg beer owns a majority of the Danish Royal Academy, so I decided to find out.

It turns out that it's not the case, but it isn't far off and the story is pretty cool. This is my very brief rundown. So go get a Carlsberg and enjoy the story.

Carlsberg brewery was founded by J. C. Jacobson in 1844 and named his brewery after his son Carl. Jacobson was a lover of science, politics, art and knowledge. He realised that beer should be industrialised and beer prodcution should be based on scientific methods. I Agree!

In 1876, the Carlsberg Foundation which was to have "firm obligations to the natural sciences" was formed in order to fund the Carlsberg Laboratory.  Jacobsen stated that the foundation should always own 51% of the brewery, but through interpretation this is more like 81% (depending on how you count). This 51% was the genesis of the "majority of Danish Royal Academy owned by Carlsberg" thing. It wasn't quite the Royal Academy, but they are in the same building!

The Carlsberg Laboratory was set up to "advance the biochemical knowledge especially relating to brewing", and it has certainly done that. Two pretty neat things that have come out of the Carlsberg lab are:
  1. The production of a pure yeast, saccharomyces carlsbergensis, used in the production of lagers basically eveywhere, 
  2. The development of the pH scale used in chemsitry by one of the Carlsberg labaroatory directors, Sorenson.
So, Carlsberg brewery set up a foundation to support and fund a labaratory that has produced some of the most important discoveries in science, all in the name of beer! It really is the beer of science.

The Carlsberg lab really has made a pretty big contribution. There are even links to Oersted, Hans Christian Anderson, Neils Bohr and many famons Dutch people. 

I like to think of it as drinking to fund science research.

To Science! Cheers!

No comments:

Post a Comment