Painting the town green: Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company celebrates 50 years of brewing in Northampton

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the official opening of the Carlsberg Brewery in Northampton.

Proudly pouring in Northampton since its official opening on 10 May 1974, CMBC is recognising this incredible milestone with a range of exciting activity over the summer.  

To celebrate the anniversary on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May CMBC will light up both the iconic, 418-foot tall National Lift Tower in Northampton and the brewery’s own silo; a striking visual celebration, visible around the town, to bathe these towering buildings in the instantly recognisable Carlsberg green.  

Over the past half century, it’s estimated that the Carlsberg Brewery in Northampton has brewed around 28 billion pints of beer – enough to fill more than 6,000 Olympic swimming pools, or to fill Wembley Stadium four times! Around 2 million pints are brewed every day at the brewery, including hugely popular brands like San Miguel, 1664 Bière and the flagship Carlsberg Danish Pilsner.  

With around 230 people working at the brewery today, working in roles ranging from brewing to logistics, the site has had a significant impact on the local economy in Northampton. Since 2018, the brewery has run a successful engineering apprenticeship scheme, providing new opportunities to build the future generation of talent in the town. 

With close ties to some of the UK’s most beloved sports teams, key partners from the world of football and rugby, Liverpool FC and Northampton Saints, will be sharing their own congratulations over social media, as players help to celebrate this landmark moment.  

 A special ceremony took place at the brewery earlier today which saw both historic and modern items from the brewery buried in a custom time capsule, to be opened on the brewery’s 100-year anniversary. 

The Carlsberg Brewery in Northampton strives to give back to the local community which has been the brewery’s home for the past 50 years. As supporters of the Northampton Hope Centre – also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – CMBC is organising a sponsored colleague abseil down the National Lift Tower in June to raise funds for this very worthy local cause. 

The brewery was designed by renowned architect Knud Munk in 1970, who was set the task of envisioning what the first Carlsberg’s built in Europe outside its home country of Denmark should look like. Munk produced a striking, bold design inspired by the Danish longships of their shared home country, which went on to win the prestigious Financial Times Industrial Architecture Award in 1975.  

Inaugurated on 10 May 1974 by Her Royal Highness, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, in the many years since, Carlsberg UK invested in the expansion of the brewery, transforming the site with a major expansion completed in 2013, which saw brewery output increased by a third, the installation of a new Bottling Line and a third Can Line, as well as a new Yeast Plant. In 2019, the brewery underwent a further upgrade to bring the innovative Snap Pack packaging to the UK, which reduces plastic waste.  

Following the Joint Venture that formed CMBC in 2020, the business has continued to support the brewery to thrive, completing an investment of more than £10m last year to improve sustainability at the brewery and double Snap Pack capacity. As part of CMBC’s Together Towards ZERO and Beyond ESG strategy, the business will continue to invest in sustainability at the brewery to achieve its targets of ZERO carbon emissions at the Northampton Brewery, as well as across its entire brewery network, by 2030. 

Paul Davies, CEO of CMBC, said, “We are extremely proud of everything the Carlsberg Brewery in Northampton has achieved over the last 50 years – brewing and packaging some of the country’s most beloved and popular beer brands.  

“I would like to personally thank all of our current brewery team, and all those who have worked at Northampton throughout its 50-year history for their incredible contribution. I am eager to build on the brewery’s industry leading accomplishments over the last half a century in areas including sustainability, quality and innovation, ensuring the next 50 years will be even more successful.” 

Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of Carlsberg Group, said, “As the first brewery Carlsberg built outside of Denmark in Europe, the Carlsberg Brewery in Northampton holds a special place in our history. The UK has a unique heritage and cultural connection to beer and pubs, which play such a role in its communities. The brewery helps to keep this tradition strong and thriving, and this exceptional milestone is a proud moment to reflect on our journey and the many exciting opportunities the future holds.”