J. C. Jacobsen

Not to be confused with Jakob Jakobsen.
J. C. Jacobsen

Portrait by August Jerndorff
Born (1811-09-02)2 September 1811
Died 30 April 1887(1887-04-30) (aged 75)
Resting place The crypt, Jesus Church
Nationality Danish
Occupation Brewer and industrialist
Known for As founder of Carlsberg

Jacob Christian Jacobsen (2 September 1811 – 30 April 1887), mostly known as J. C. Jacobsen, was a Danish industrialist and philanthropist best known for founding the brewery Carlsberg.


He had no formal academic or scientific training (although he had attended some lectures by Hans Christian Ørsted). In the 1840s he had come to realise that production of beer, which had until then been done in numerous small breweries, now had to be based on scientific method to be industrialised.

Starting in 1847, he established his brewery Carlsberg (named after his son, Carl Jacobsen), in Valby on the outskirts of Copenhagen, on a site where it has remained since. Being extremely scrupulous as for the securing of high quality beer, in 1875 he founded the Carlsberg Laboratory.

He took much interest in public affairs and supported the National Liberal Party – being gradually more of a conservative – both as a Member of Parliament for some periods between 1854 and 1871 and as a strong supporter of the case of defence. Besides he was a well-known patron of art. After the fire of Frederiksborg Palace in 1859 he paid its rebuilding.

1876 he also founded “Carlsberg-fondet” - the Carlsberg Foundation that became his heir because of family problems of the next years. A bitter conflict with his son Carl led to the latter's foundation of the Ny Carlsberg (New Carlsberg) Brewery 1882. A reconciliation was however obtained 1886. This conflict was the theme of a debated Danish TV drama series aired in 1997.

His son Carl Jacobsen created one of the largest private art collections of his time. It is now housed in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a museum founded by him in Copenhagen.[1]


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