1283

The Birth of Fürstenberg Beer

The 13th century - It was a time of crusades, Marco Polo’s journey to China and the founding of Swiss Confederation... and the date on the official birth certificate of Fürstenberg beer.
On January 18, 1283, King Rudolf I von Habsburg granted the lands and rights for Baar and Tunôeschingen - now known as Donaueschingen - in fief to Count Heinrich I von Fürstenberg. This included the right to brew beer and to issue concessions for brewing and serving food and drink and to regulate, tax and levy duties on brewing and the serving of food and drink. 

1575

A Brewery with Two Beers

There were three proprietors in Donaueschingen at that time and all three were required to pay a “fee” to the Fürstenbergs for every serving of beer that they sold. The brewery was already producing two different types of beers at that time.

1700

A Break from Beer

Various wars drove the costs of grains and malt sky high and beer became much more expensive than wine. The brewery decided to take a five-year break from work.

1705

Back to Brewing

Beer is once again brewed under the authority of Count Anton Egon zu Fürstenberg. At that time the brewery primarily produced a top-fermented beer known as “Ordinaribier” as well as March beer and lager.

1739

Growth and Rebuilding

After Count Joseph Wilhelm Ernst zu Fürstenberg moved his seat of power to Donaueschingen, the demand for our beer started to grow. Construction of the new brewery began in 1739 and the brewery hasn’t moved since.

1801

We Create “Luftbier”

For the first time, a top-fermented beer made of wheat and barley malt known as “Luftbier” or “air beer” is brewed. This beer was similar to the wheat beer we brew today.

According to historical writings, one reason why this air beer was brewed was “... to produce this tasty drink in order to maintain the full faith and credit of the brewery and to push back against the many breweries that have sprung up nearby that are unable to brew such a beer.” Competitiveness is not a modern invention. Even back then it was important to set yourself apart from the competition.

Additionally, only “local” barley has been used at the brewery since the year 1801. Fürstenberg has sourced its ingredients from the region for more than 200 years. This not only helps promote the regional economy, but also helps protect our environment.

1868

Fürstenberg Conquers Europe

In 1868 the railroads came to Donaueschingen. The brewery was finally able to cut transport costs and expand its distribution. The first exports were sent off to Switzerland. And it wasn’t long before Fürstenberg beer was available in Paris.

1874

Beer Helps and Heals

Fürstenberg’s export beer has been available in stores since 1874. It is said to have a healing effect thanks to the nutrients it contains and is recommended as a remedy for the sick.

1880

Export into the Whole Wide World

With the introduction of pasteurization for bottled beer in 1880, our bottled beer had a much longer shelf life. Just what we needed to start sending it on long distance trips.

1884

Bismarck’s Favorite

The Fürstenberg Brewery got a very innovative new master brewer when Josef Munz came on board. Two years after joining the brewery, he discovered a way to make a specialty beer. This gold-colored, Vienna-style brew known as “Salvator” or “Danubia Export Beer” found fans from Germany to Brazil. Reich Chancellor Bismarck named it his favorite drink. His personal physician, Dr. Schweninger, called it the “beer of beers” and a German spiritual leader even went so far as to call it “the true drink of the gods”.

1895

The Birth of Premium Pilsener

Josef Munz is one of the first brewers in Germany to successfully brew a pilsener beer. Originally called the “Bohemia” and then “Pale Fürstenberg Brew”, it is now known as our “Premium Pilsener”. This light lager is made of the finest barley, the best hops and the extraordinarily soft water from the brewery’s own spring.

1900

His Majesty’s Beverage

In April of 1900 Emperor Wilhelm II arrived in Donaueschingen. He enjoyed the Fürstenberg Brew so much that he designated it his go-to drink, which was how it got its honorable title of “His Majesty’s Beverage.” After receiving such noble recognition, Fürstenberg grew into a major brewery and was soon delivering beer to more than 900 bars and restaurants in all of Germany. The brewery’s products were also sold in the Netherlands, Britain, France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. Major shipping companies, the Imperial Navy and the colonial administration bodies in Africa regularly purchased Fürstenberg beer. Even the zeppelin lines carried Fürstenberg on board.

1953

“Gold Rush”

The two world wars caused a major setback in the brewery’s growth, but things started to pick up again afterwards. In 1953 the brewery introduced a new beer, the “Gold Special Beer,” which was the forerunner of today’s Premium Lager. The product line also included the pale “Fürstenberg Brew,” the dark “Antonius Brew,” the “Gustator” lager and the “March” beer with the red Vienna markings.

1972

„Fürstenberg is Premium“

Fürstenberg Pilsener is one of the few German beers to receive the honorable “Premium” distinction. During the 80s Fürstenberg continued its tradition of innovation and introduced “Fürstenberg Free,” one of the first non-alcoholic beers in Germany.

1993

First Certifications

In 1993 Fürstenberg became one of the first German brewing companies to receive DIN EN ISO 9001 certification for its quality management system. Certification for its environmental management system based on the Eco-Audit Regulation followed one year later. 

2005

One Big Family

In 2005 the company joined Brau Holding International, one of the biggest brewery groups in Germany, in order to secure the future of the Fürstenberg brewery.

2013

730 Years of Brewing Tradition

The 2013 Brewery Festival is a very special occasion. Fürstenberg is celebrating 730 years of beer culture with thousands of festival attendees. Fürstenberg has lived up to the unique tradition of its brand and maintained its close connection to beer lovers and connoisseurs since 1283 A.D.