The History of BECK’S
HOW IT ALL BEGAN – FROM 1873 TO TODAY
- 1873 – FOUNDATION OF KAISER-BRAUEREI BECK & MAY O.H.G
- 1874 – IMPERIAL HONOURS
- 1875 – FRESH COMBINATION
- 1876 – AND THE WINNER IS...
- 1886 – NO PASSAGE WITHOUT KAISERBIER
- 1888 – ALWAYS ICE COLD, ALWAYS FRESH
- 1921 – REVOLUTION ON THE LABEL
- 1928 – BARREL-FRESH INNOVATION
- 1931 – THE STEP TO BECOMING AN INTERNATIONAL BREWER
- 1948 – NEW BEGINNING
- 1953 – DELICIOUS BEERS FOR ON THE GO
- 1955 – BECK’S BEER QUENCHES MEN’S THIRST
- 1968 – BECK’S SIX-PACK
- 1984 – SETTING SAIL
- 1993 – FRESH, FREE AND POPULAR
- 2002 – MILD GOLD
- 2005 – BECK'S GREEN LEMON
- 2008 – BECK'S ICE
- 2012 – FOLLOW YOUR INNER COMPASS
- 2017 – LEGENDARY
- 2018 – GREEN LABELS
- 2019 – BECK’S LEMON BREW
- 2021 – BECK’S UNFILTERED
FOUNDATION OF KAISER-BRAUEREI BECK & MAY O.H.G
Kaiser-Brauerei Beck & May o.H.G. was founded by master brewer Lüder Rutenberg from Bremen, master brewer Heinrich Beck and merchant F. G. Thomas May on 27 June.
From the very beginning, the Kaiserbrauerei, or “Imperial Brewery”, bottled its beer in green long-neck bottles. This set the Kaiserbier apart from other beers, which were only sold in brown bottles. At the international agricultural fair in Bremen, the company was awarded a gold medal by the later Emperor Friedrich III. This still adorns the label today.
The master brewer and partner of the Bremen-based Kaiserbrauerei founded in 1873, Heinrich Beck, created a smooth pilsner beer that retained its fresh taste even when transported over long distances. The beer was already shipped to the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, in its first year.
AND THE WINNER IS...
At the World’s Fair in Philadelphia, Kaiserbier beat competitors from Holland, Denmark and Ireland to the title of best European beer. The BECK’S label still features a reminder of this today.
NO PASSAGE WITHOUT KAISERBIER
The Kaiserbrauerei exclusively supplied all the ships of Norddeutscher Lloyd. These carried the name of the beer all around the world. It was soon in demand in port cities across the globe.
ALWAYS ICE COLD, ALWAYS FRESH
A Linde ice machine meant that the brewery was no longer dependent on natural ice supplies. Brewing could now continue even in particularly hot summers.
REVOLUTION ON THE LABEL
The company signed a contract with C. H. Haake AG. At the same time, Kaiserbrauerei renamed itself Exportbrauerei Beck & Co. From now on, they only produced beer for export. The Beck & Co. lettering took centre stage on the label.
Beck & Co. developed steel barrels to replace the pitch-lined wooden barrels. This meant that owners of beverage establishments received draught beer of the freshest quality and pure pilsner taste.
THE STEP TO BECOMING AN INTERNATIONAL BREWER
Breweries in Batavia and Singapore started production under licence: Beck & Co. moved even closer to the traditionally important markets in the Far East. Corporate investments – for example in Colombia – also contributed to international growth.
Having come to a complete standstill during the Second World War, production restarted hesitantly when the war was over. In Bremen, the first boxes were delivered to Thailand as early as 1948. In 1949, BECK’S was sold in its home market for the first time to reduce exposure to the uncertainties of international markets.
DELICIOUS BEERS FOR ON THE GO
Following the trend from the USA, BECK’S offered its pilsner in cans for the first time.
BECK’S BEER QUENCHES MEN’S THIRST
The first nationwide advertisements were placed in the news magazine “Der Spiegel”. The new slogan was: “BECK’S Bier löscht Männerdurst” (BECK’S Beer Quenches Men’s Thirst).
The six-pack with 0.33 l bottles was launched as a compact alternative to the large crate.
One of the most successful advertising campaigns was launched. To this day, the sailing boat “Alexander von Humboldt” and the song “Sail Away” are part of the BECK’S identity.
FRESH, FREE AND POPULAR
Thanks to the innovative combination of a special mixing process and gentle vacuum distillation, the fresh pilsner taste also came through without alcohol. German retailers rated BECK’S Alkoholfrei the most successful new launch of the year.
The new BECK’S Gold quickly gained popularity with its mild taste. BECK’S Gold was the most successful new product launch in the history of the German beer market and established the first clear glass bottle for beer with UV protection.
BECK'S GREEN LEMON
A new market was discovered for beer mixed drinks, which are loved by consumers. BECK’S Green Lemon offered a deliciously crisp, refreshing, limey taste with just 2.5% alcohol.
BECK’S Ice created a completely new taste experience and an extraordinary transparent look. The new beer mixed drink with the fruity, refreshing taste of lime and mint was produced using an innovative filtration technique. This process filters out the beer colouring while retaining the typical BECK’S taste.
FOLLOW YOUR INNER COMPASS
The new campaign “Folge Deinem Inneren Kompass” (Follow Your Inner Compass) encouraged independent thinking. Highlights include the unique BECK’S Art Labels 2012: five musicians let their creativity run wild and designed their own labels.
BECK’S kicked off a legendary summer in 2017 with the new “Legendary” campaign: lead the way, take life in your hands and show the world what you’re made of. You are what make it legendary.
In 2018, BECK’S dispensed with its best-known brand feature: the bottle label. Under the motto “Mach’s zu deinem BECK’S” (Make it Your BECK’S), the whole of Germany was called upon to get creative and create new, individual labels with their own designs, texts and pictures. The result was more than 27,000 creative ideas from which 40 winners were chosen.
BECK’S LEMON BREW
The first “Naturradler” (natural shandy) with naturally brewed lemonade. 50% BECK’S with 50% brewed lemonade and 100% natural taste: less sweet with fermented notes. With BECK’S Lemon Brew, BECK’S fundamentally redefined the natural shandy segment!
Another new launch followed in February 2021: BECK’S Unfiltered. Inspired by the original brewing process dating back to 1873, BECK’S Unfiltered is a BECK’S in its most original and natural form. The result is a naturally cloudy pilsner with a smooth, refreshing taste.