No inquirer delving through the strata of Denmark’s past in search of its well-springs can fail to strike a flood of beer, gushing forth in endless variety and profusion.
Down through the centuries beer remained an essential element in the diet. Brewing has been a household art practised all over in town and country alike. Beer and Brewing in Pre-industrial Denmark examines the productive activities by virtue of which the nation’s beer requirements were met. Brewing made use of one of the nation’s economically most prominent crops. The first chapters contain an account of old-time brewing involving a discussion of the character of the beer, then follows the emergence and establishment of commercial brewing under the aegis of a guild, relations with the municipal authorities and the central government, furthermore foreign and domestic competition, taxation, price control, government orders and trade conditions. The Copenhagen rota brewing system, a sales cartel, is considered separately. This leads on to depict some of the main themes of development during the eventful 19th century, when large scale brewing was introduced based on top-fermented beers, improved refrigeration, quality control due to new insight in the laws of nature, as well as improved quality of barley and other raw materials.
Professor Kristof Glamann, Hon. FBA, was born in 1923. He held the chair in Economic History at the University of Copenhagen between 1960 and 1981 and was founding member of the International Economic History Association as well as of the Academia Europaea. From 1976 to 1993 he has been chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation and president of Carlsberg Ltd. He is a cosmopolitan scholar covering Danish as well as international topics. After his retirement he has written two biographies of the two founders of the Carlsberg Breweries. Both became bestsellers.