The story of Beck's began on 27 June 1873, when master builder Luder Rutenberg, master brewer Heinrich Beck, and businessman Thomas May founded the Kaiserbrauerei Beck & May. It wasn't long before the Bremen-based firm had won its first major prizes for quality (1874 and 1876) and laid the foundations for today's global popularity. From the desert of New Mexico to the mountains of Japan, the dark green Beck's bottle with its famous oval label is instantly recognised by connoisseurs of quality beer. Today, Bremen's famous premium Pilsener is enjoyed in more than 120 countries on all five continents. All around the world, 3,000 bottles of Beck's are consumed every minute, making Brauerei Beck & Co Germany's leading export brewery by some considerable margin. Beck's is brewed on the banks of the River Weser in the heart of the old Hanseatic city of Bremen. Some 1,500 employees produce around four million hectolitres of Beck's each year, which is then shipped around the world by road, rail and sea.