The 105 year-old Maribo Bryghus, which is Maribo’s second largest company, is something of an institution on the islands of Lolland and Falster. Not only is Maribo Pilsner, with its market share of 50% in the Lolland-Falster retail sector, the most popular beer in the region. Maribo Pilsner is also one of the most popular discount beers in Denmark.
How it all began
The history of Maribo Bryghus began when Christian Jørgensen, a brewer of mild ale, travelled in 1885 from Køge to Maribo, where he took out a lease on an existing brewery. In 1895, he founded his own brewery, Thor, which later became Maribo Bryghus.
In 1906, Christian Jørgensen died. His wife managed operations until 1911, when their son Axel Jørgensen took over. The Bavarian type beer from Maribo Bryghus was launched in 1934. The following year, the production of the Pilsen type lager began, and in 1948 the brewery began producing mineral water.
During World War II, the company was converted into a limited company. In 1956, Kjeld Hansen, head brewer, took over management of the brewery, and 10 years later its name changed to Maribo Bryghus to distinguish it from the Thor brewery in Randers. In 1970, Maribo Bryghus acquired a brewery in Store Heddinge.
After 34 years at the helm, Kjeld Hansen handed over management to his son, Michael Hansen, in 1990.
In 1993, the then 82-year-old Marrebæk Bryggeri on the island of Falster was acquired. In 1997, Maribo Bryghus was sold to Albani Bryggerierne.
Popular beer and soft drinks
The company in Maribo has a staff of approximately 40 and produces 360,000 hectolitres of beer and soft drinks annually.
Its most popular beer brands, in addition to the lager Maribo Pilsner, are Blå Nykøbing (The Blue) and Herkules. Maribo Bryghus’ soft drink series is called Frisco, and one of the reasons it has gained in popularity is that many of the soft drinks are sugar-free.