Holsten Brewery (Holsten-Brauerei AG) is a brewing company founded in 1879 in what is now Hamburg's Altona-Nord quarter. The group now has seven breweries in Germany. Its nationally distributed premium brand is the pale lager Holsten Pilsener. The company was acquired by the Carlsberg Group in 2004.
In 1902, Holsten Brauerei bought the Union Brewery, Point Pleasant, Wandsworth on the south bank of the River Thames in London. Trade suffered from anti-German sentiment during the First World War and it closed in 1920. Holsten Pils was first imported into the UK in 1952, creating the premium packaged lager market. In 1979 the first of many award-winning TV ad campaigns was launched featuring actor Donald Pleasence and in the mid-1980s Holsten became the UK's number one selling premium packaged lager. In 1991, Holsten acquired the Mecklenburgische Brauerei Lübz. Until 1999, Holsten UK operated as a joint venture between Holsten Brauerei and Scottish & Newcastle, but in that year the joint venture was dissolved and Holsten UK took over responsibility for the on-trade, followed in 2000 by the off-trade.
The present-day Holsten brewery in Altona has a production capacity of 3.2 million hectolitres. Its biggest-selling product is the premium brand Holsten Pilsener sold on the German market. The beers exported by the Holsten group are brewed in Altona.
In 2004, Holsten-Brauerei was acquired by Carlsberg for £735 million. Holsten produces both Tuborg and Carlsberg for the German market.
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