When a tiny private brewery was set up in the small North German town of Jever in 1848, nobody would ever have guessed that about 155 years later people all over the world would be reading about it on the Internet. How could they? After all, back then they were merely interested in brewing excellent beer. Right up to the present day, nothing has changed in that respect. Except that we now use state-of-the-art technology.
The Friesian Brewery in Jever now has ultra-modern brewing equipment. The new brewing house was opened in 1992. This 28 x 20 metre complex with its four-kettle brewing facilities makes any brewery enthusiast's heart beat that bit faster. And we are constantly enhancing our production technology. An exemplary eco-management system ensures environmentally compatible brewing processes and efficient use of resources. In 1996 we were awarded an ISO 9001 certificate for high standards in quality management. In future, we will continue to invest large sums in our equipment to satisfy the huge demand for our beers.
Beer has always been a popular drink - at least over the past 6,000 years! Some history. Ours, however, is somewhat shorter. When a brewmaster known as Diedrich König opened his "micro-brewery" in the small Northern German town of Jever in 1848, there were already more than 20 tiny breweries in the town and surrounding region - plus innumerable inns and pubs. Diedrich König was not put off because he firmly believed his beer was something special. He was proved right and less than 20 years later, he was able to build a larger brewery. After his death, his son sold the brewery to a certain Theodor Fetköter in 1867.
Theo Fetköter - the best beer on the market
Theo Fetköter was a bundle of energy, and his family no less dynamic. Not satisfied with merely brewing an excellent beer, Theo wanted to have the best beer on the market. So he placed the first advertisements for his beer in the local paper, had special bottles designed and was even active in local politics. But his main interest was in improving the brewery's equipment. He and, later, his son introduced numerous innovations. The father initiated the search for a new well for the Brewery's use and had the first water pipes laid for the brewery, and the town of Jever, in 1894. Thanks to Theo's untiring efforts the small brewery expanded significantly.
War and crisis
The outbreak of World War I led to one of worst crises ever to hit the brewery. Theodor Fetköter JR, who had taken over his father's business, fell on the front. Gerhard Arends took over the business but things went from bad to worse. The most important ingredients, hops and barley, were in short supply and galloping inflation combined with the difficult economic situation made a sale of the brewery inevitable.
In 1932 the local paper reported that the Brewery had become an "exemplary modern business".
Even in those days, Jever beer was popular well beyond the town's boundaries. Businessmen in "far-away" Hamburg had become interested in the Friesian Brewery and in 1922 it was sold to the Bavaria-St.Pauli Brewery. A lot happened in Hamburg and Jever during the next few decades. The Jever Brewery was comprehensively modernized and enlarged so that in 1932 the local paper reported that the Brewery had become an "exemplary modern business". In those days Bavaria-St. Pauli beer was brewed and sold from the Brewery in Jever and it was not until 1934 that Jever Pilsener was sold for the first time under that now known famous name.
The crises of the thirties and forties and World War II shook the very foundations of German society. A chronic shortage of fuel after Germany's capitulation in 1945 meant that beer was only supplied to those who collected it direct from the Brewery. The staff themselves had to cut turf from the local moor to stay warm during work and Jever's commercial manager was forced to drive from farm to farm to buy or barter for barley.
The 50's - things got better
But the fifties saw a change in the Brewery's fortunes. A number of beers were then brewed in Jever but in those days, Jever Export (brewed until 1990) was the most popular. Jever Pilsner, as we now know it, still had to make its mark on the market. The Brewery was also modernizing. Increased sales of bottled beer made new facilities necessary. In 1951 the bottle-filling plant had an hourly output of 1,000-1,200 bottles. Today's modern plant manages up to 60,000 an hour.
The "pils trend" in the sixties boosted sales of Jever Pilsner and a new brewing house had to be built. Work began in 1968 and before long the new mash tuns, a lauter tun and a main filter station were completed. Things were changing at a corporate level too and in 1971 the Bavaria-St. Pauli Brewery was taken over by the Reemtsma Group.
From the 80's till today – a story of success
Preparations for construction of another brewing house began in the late eighties and after its completition, the Brewery could safely claim to be one of the world's most modern - though it still draws its water from the original spring discovered by Theodor Fetköter.
In 1990 the Brewery changed hands again. März AG took over the Bavaria-St. Pauli Brewery, and with it the Friesian Brewery in Jever, before selling both to Brau und Brunnen AG four years later to which it still belongs.
Production improved as well. An exemplary eco-management system now ensures environmentally compatible brewing processes and efficient use of resources. In 1996 the Brewery was awarded an ISO 9001 certificate for high standards in quality management. 1998 was a year for celebrations with numerous events throughout the year marking the 150th anniversary of the Brewery's establishment.
Jever Pilsener continues to be an extremely popular beer. So in future the Brewery will continue to invest large sums in equipment to satisfy the huge demand for its beers.