Carlsberg Elephant Beer Turns 50

On November 9 Denmark celebrates the anniversary of Carlsberg Elephant beer, a well-known product of the Carlsberg Family line. The beer was launched on the county’s market in 1959 and this means that in a few days the beer in a bottle featuring The Elephant label will be 50 years old. The brand’s drink is made in strict compliance with its original recipe in Copenhagen and sold round the globe. A number of markets brew Carlsberg Elephant beer locally on their own, but the recipe remains the same.


The famous elephants at the entrance to the brewery were created by the artist Nilaus Fristrup on the basis on drawings he had studied. The animals are in fact of neither Indian nor African type — the ears are as the Indian elephant has, but the size and conformation are more of an African elephant, so the statues are the product of the creator’s fantasy. The sculptural composition was made on the initiative of brewer Carl Jacobsen, who was inspired by the Minerva Square in Rome.

Carlsberg Embossment Bottle Label


A few decades later the company addressed poster artist Kjeld Nielsen with a request to devise an elephant logo for future promotional campaigns. He created a blue elephant resembling a character from a kid’s book, which was quite misleading as the beer was definitely not for children. That’s where the northern irony was in full!

Celebrating the 50 year anniversary the company have designed new enamel signs with a famous Nielsen’s blue elephant.