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Bitburger

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In 1817 Johann Peter Wallenbronn set up a brewery in Bitburger to make top-fermented beer. In 1839 his widow, Anna Katharina, took over the business before her daughter, Elisabeth, married Ludwig Bertrand Simon in 1842 and Simon continued to run the company.

In 1871 their 24-year-old son Theobald Simon succeeds his father, investing in the expansion and modernisation of the brewery. This includes an ice-cooled artificial cellar designed to keep temperatures at the same low level, all the year round, making it possible to brew new bottom-fermented beers. In 1883 Bitburger brewed its first Pils beer. The first Bitburger Export led to activities in nearby Luxembourg, where a representative office was set up in Echternach in 1886.

In 1907 the sons of Theobald Simon - Josef and Bertrand - became shareholders of the newly founded "Theobald Simon, Simonbr��u, Bayerische Lagerbrauerei Bitburg OHG". In 1909 Bitburg first started selling their "Original Simonbr��u German Pilsener". The common term used today, Pils or Pilsener, became established after Bitburger won a legal battle against breweries based in Pilsen. In the same year, the first deep well came into operation. The outstanding quality of this water is still central to the distinctive taste of Bitburger. The company laboratory set up in 1921 reflected Bitburger's respect for the quality of its products from a scientific point of view. The "Indulger", the key visual used in many Bitburger adverts and posters, was created and first used in 1929.

In 1935 the two sons of Bertrand Simon, Theobald and Hanns, take over ownership. Their brother joins them in 1941, thus continuing management of the brewery into the fifth generation. In July 1944 the first bombs falls on Bitburg. By 26 December the whole town lies in ruins. Even the Bitburger brewery is almost completely destroyed.

After the end of the Second World War the three brothers, Theobald, Hanns and Bert Simon rebuild the brewery. As early as August 1945 they are brewing the first "Post War Brew". Only four years later, in 1949, "thin beers" have become a thing of the past and Bitburger starts brewing its full-bodied Bitburger again. At the ANUGA trade fair in 1951 the German slogan "Bitte ein Bit" makes its first official debut. In 1958 the new brewhouse takes shape in the exact spot where Johannes Peter Wallenborn founded the brewery back in 1817.

The Bitburger Cup, a glass chalice on a hectagonal stem, paves the way in the industry in 1964. After continual expansion of its brewing capacity, by the early 1970s Bitburger had grown to become one of Germany's biggest selling consignment breweries and the largest brewery in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.

By 1973 Bitburger rises to the ranks of "hectolitre millionaires". Growing demand for Bitburger results in the construction of the new brewery in the south of Bitburg. Particular attention was paid to environmental protection and the preservation of natural resources, especially thanks to the first brewing house with in-house systems to recover lost heat. The company falls under the directorship of Dr Michael Dietzsch, Dr Axel Th. Simon and Dr Thomas Niewodniczanski.

By 1975 management of the brewery is in its sixth generation. Exports business expands, with representation in countries such as Italy (1976) and the United States (1978). At the end of 1998 Dr Thomas Niewodniczanski leaves the board of directors and is succeeded by Alfred Müller. In April 2002 Peter Rikowski takes over from Dr Michael Dietzsch as Director of Marketing and Sales at Bitburger Brewery. In 2005 the introduction of Bit SUN marks the launch of the first new "Bit" brand. In early 2007 Jan Niewodniczanski, seventh generation representative of the family, assumes responsibility from Dr Axel Th. Simon as Director of Engineering at the Bitburger Brewing Group.