High standards and team spirit make up the success of this private brewery
In 1824 a small country brewery in Grevenstein, Germany, began brewing beer conforming to the German Purity Law. Over 180 years later it had evolved into one of the most modern private breweries in Europe: C. & A. VELTINS. This unique success story behind the family run company, now in the fifth generation, is based on investment strength, farsighted enterprise, and a corporate culture moulded by both team spirit and the highest quality claims in equal measure. To this very day, this premium beer is still being brewed exclusively from the highest quality ingredients – malt, hops, yeast, and purest spring water – strictly in compliance with the Purity Law of 1516. The water from the mountain springs all around Grevenstein is unusually soft.
For VELTINS, this has been one key reason for brewing exclusively beer according to the Pilsener tradition since 1926: VELTINS Premium-Pilsener. Yet this success story began a lot earlier. In 1852 the founding father Clemens Veltins took over a small country brewery in the Upper Sauerland village of Grevenstein where he served not only his own guests, but also many of the taverns in the surrounding area with 150 hectolitres of beer a year. In 1883, Clemens Veltin commissioned a new building on the outskirts of Grevenstein, bought a steam engine and ice machine, and soon after the brewery was being powered with electricity. In 1905, the plant set up by Clemens Veltins first continued under the management of his two sons Carl and Anton, before they were succeeded in the 1920s by Carl’s son of the same name.
Carl Veltins achieved many milestones in the company’s history, purchasing the first hand operated bottling plant and a new artificial ice machine in 1951, setting up and expanding his own vehicle fleet, and tapping an additional source for a reliable supply of water.
When Rosemarie Veltins took over the brewery from her father in 1964, she commissioned a clarification system that was installed at VELTINS in 1966. VELTINS was therefore the first champion of environmental protection in all Europe! And ever since, sustainability has enjoyed a key status in the corporate dealings of this traditional brewery today. For many reasons, VELTINS friends still recall Rosemarie Veltins as an innovative entrepreneur. In the thirty years she was active at the top of the company, the production plant and buildings were constantly expanded, and the brewery’s output grew from 100,000 to over two million hectolitres.
In 1994, Susanne Veltins took over the business from her mother Rosemarie Veltins. Since then, the innovative power of the brewery has evolved into a considerable force. In 2001, the company launched its product range for the beer mix “V+”. In the same period, a nine digit sum was invested in enhancing brewing performance and efficiency and raising the bottling and logistics processes to high tech standards. Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS has become one of the largest private breweries in Germany, an ultra modern company that has successfully consolidated its position on the declining German beer market and is best equipped for the future.
Since the beginning of 2014, the brewery C. & A. VELTINS focuses on its traditional craft of beer brewing with its new beer brand Grevensteiner Original. The new product is made by using an old recipe from the twins Carl and Anton Veltins, which they have used until 1926. Grevensteiner Original is a cloudy, malt flavoured specialty, which will be popular amongst enthusiasts of full-bodied country style beers. The traditional Steinie bottle, the historically appearing label, as well as the sealing on the crown cork brings the history and long tradition to life in a modern product.
Franz Kramer’s small tavern brewery first opened its modern wooden doors. Nobody could know at this time that the foundation stone had just been laid for a successful brewing tradition in the Sauerland village of Grevenstein.
Clemens Veltins took over the Grevenstein brewery that was still at the heart of the village. What began as a home brewery experienced such a constant growth over the following years that the modest village house could no longer contain the installations. What was needed was a new building.
The brewery was relocated to the outskirts of Grevenstein, although on a completely different scale ...
The twins Carl and Anton Veltins took over the management of their parents’ brewery. This time also provided the company name, Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS, which still stands today.
Technical developments continued relentlessly. Following a refrigerating system, also electric lighting and a power plant were installed – an absolute first in the countryside!
Yet another innovation thrilled the Sauerland: the VELTINS brewery purchased a motor vehicle for delivering its kegged beer. The brewery’s dray horses were then harnessed only for representation purposes.
Carl Veltins, Jr made the decision henceforth to brew beer exclusively in the Pilsener tradition. This decision was heavily swayed by the particularly soft spring water that lends Frisches VELTINS its unmistakably mild flavour.
The turmoil of the war years did not fail to leave their mark on the VELTINS brewery. But now the time had come: the occupying forces finally permitted the production of vollbier, a beer with an original wort of 11–14%. After ten years of abstinence, Grevenstein again started to brew Frisches VELTINS.
The production rate has constantly grown. In this year, 12,000 hectolitres of Frisches VELTINS were produced.
An innovation in the history of beer brewing needed a new bottling plant: crown corks were superseding swing stoppers on beer bottles. In the same year, Rosemarie Veltins took over the management of the brewery – and the first newspaper ads appeared for Frisches VELTINS.
The first inhouse clarification plant in Europe was installed in a brewery. This was a further step in the consistent efforts of Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS towards environmental protection and its responsibility towards the sparing draw on natural resources.
Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS celebrated its 150th anniversary. The following years saw further increases in production capacity under Rosemarie Veltins’s management. Brauerei C.& A. VELTINS is and remains a family enterprise.
The former tavern brewery took its place among the hectolitre millionaires: for the first time, the annual production output reached 1,013 million hectolitres of Frisches VELTINS.
Susanne Veltins, the great great granddaughter of Clemens Veltins, took the helm of the company, now steeped in tradition. The brewery became increasingly committed to regional and international sports sponsoring, considerably boosting awareness for the brand.
Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS celebrated its 175th anniversary. The fresh Pilsener from the Sauerland had risen to fourth place among the Premium Pilsener breweries.
Full steam ahead into the new millennium – a sound, healthy company, in the hands of the Veltins family for 148 years, looked confidently to the future. Even though it had secured a stable market position, constant innovations and quality of traditional excellence accompanied Frisches VELTINS on its way into the third millennium!
Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS launched its successful product range “V+”. The duo of “V+Lemon” and “V+Cola” has now become a quintet. These two classical flavours were joined by “V+Energy” and then “V+Curuba”. The latest member to this family is “V+Apple”.
The relief bottle is the latest packaging innovation at Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS. Henceforth the brand now came in a contoured long neck bottle bearing the VELTINS lettering and the Steinie (stubby) for the perfect Pilsener relish.
The problem of sorting empties has now become history at Brauerei C. & A. VELTINS. After eight months of building, a new, fully automated sorting centre went into operation. An overhead pallet conveyor leading 250 m down the mountain connected the bottle sorting plant with the logistics centre.
Built in 1993, the logistics centre was expanded by 83 metres, considerably reducing the loading times. Thirty metres in height, the new building blends perfectly into the old structure.
Since 2012 the VELTINS brewery has been pushing its engagement in the non-alcoholic drinks sector. The new product line refreshes with lemon and elderberry flavours and can position itself as a tastefully and especially low calorie alternative for lemonades. Only one year later the range was completed for a refreshing lively taste without remorse by VELTINS apple-herbs flavour.