Faxe, which is Royal Unibrew's strategic export brand, was a generation ago just one of many breweries on Zealand. But since the 1970s, Faxe has effectively abandoned its limited local background to become nationally distributed, and is now the lager brand that represents Royal Unibrew in the European and overseas markets.
The young widow's successful brewery
The brewery in Faxe was founded in 1901 under the name Fakse Dampbryggeri by Nikoline and Conrad Nielsen. After Conrad Nielsen's death in 1914, his young widow continued to run the company with great success. At the end of the 1920s, Faxe Bryggeri, as the company was renamed in 1914, supplied especially mild ale, but also carbonated soft drinks to most of Zealand, Lolland-Falster and the Copenhagen Area.
The brewery grew concurrently with its sales success resulting in a problem: water shortage. In the 1930s, it was necessary to drill a well to ensure access to enough water. At 80 metres, they reached the limestone-filtered water that Faxe Bryggeri has since based its production on. The water turned out to be excellent as a mineral water and in beer, and Faxe Bryggeri now began to make a name for itself with lager and strong beers in its sales area.
In 1945, Nikoline retired, and Faxe Bryggeri was converted into a partnership headed by her three sons. In 1956, the brewery was converted into a limited company and under the management of the brothers the brewery steadily expanded until 1960. During that period, the three brothers all died within three years. In 1960, Nikoline's grandson, Bent Bryde-Nielsen, became head of Faxe Bryggeri. This was followed by a period of expansion, new product launches and the introduction of new marketing and distribution principles.
”Der grosse Däne”
Faxe gradually became one of Denmark's most dynamic breweries. The 1970s were golden years for the southern Zealand company: the draught beer Faxe Fad was launched in both cans and bottles, and the Danes were offered people's shares in the brewery.
In the 1980s, Faxe made major investments in sales and marketing as well as in the brewery's production facilities, which by now produced beer and soft drinks for both the domestic and international markets. Especially Germans and Swedes appreciated the taste of Faxe's beer. “Den store dansken” and “Der grosse Däne” (the Great Dane), inspired by Faxe Fad, is how many Swedes and Germans know the beer today.
Then there was the success of Faxe Kondi - today among leading brands of soft drinks in Denmark. Faxe Kondi was developed in 1971 in cooperation with Knud Lundberg, a sports physician and star footballer.
Major investments and high technology
In 1989, Faxe Bryggeri merged with Jyske Bryggerier to form Denmark's second largest brewery company, now known as Royal Unibrew.
In 1997-98, Faxe was expanded with a new basement building with tanks, which can hold up to 600,000 litres and a new can line, which can tap 90,000 cans per hour.
In 1999, DKK 115 million were invested in a high-tech and fully automated multi-storey warehouse with room for 18,500 pallets.