Success Story of a German Beer Dynasty

In the annals of the Warsteiner town hall, you find evidence that Antonius Cramer was charged with his first beer tax in 1753. At this time, the farmer who brewed beer as a side business could not have imagined that he was laying the foundation for a prosperous enterprise, which made his beer a favorite around the world. Over the next decades and generations, today’s Warsteiner Brewery Group has grown into one of the most successful family-owned brewery companies in Germany. What started as a side job has today more than 2,200 employees who are committed to the German brew art of the House Cramer and together build the future of the Warsteiner Group.


The farmer Antonius Cramer from the town of Warstein lays the foundation for a German beer dynasty. He brews so much beer in his house that he is finally asked to pay taxes for his side business in the amount of 1 Gulden and 90 Groschen.


After a devastating fire destroyed the entire town of Warstein, Caspar Cramer builds the ancestral home of the brewery, which today houses the brew pub “Domschänke.”


The Warsteiner Brewery becomes a modern steam beer brewery. With the acquisition of a steam engine and the modernization of the brewery, the success of the one and only Warsteiner takes off. At the time, the annual output was 3,000 hectoliters.


Albert Cramer, Sr. discovers the Kaiserquelle (Emperor’s Spring) at the outskirts of the Arnsberger forest near where today the Waldpark Brewery is located. This particularly soft brewing water is the reason the brewery specializes in producing beer according to the pilsener brewing process.


With 100,000 hectoliters output, Warsteiner belongs to Germany’s largest breweries. The modern town brewery participates with its own booth in important national food and beverage shows in Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf. Due to growing demand, the sales organization is expanded to 53 employees.


At the outskirts of Warstein, the Waldpark Brewery (Forest Park Brewery) is built – one of the largest and most modern breweries in Europe. At its opening in 1976, beer fans from around the world admire Warsteiner’s new production site.


The Warsteiner Brewery produces more than one million hectoliters for the first time. The demand grows steadily, and the Waldpark Brewery continues to expand. The Cramer family remains true to its motto: Innovation and investments by tradition.


Albert Cramer takes the helm of the brewery and manages the family enterprise in the 8th generation. With him, teamwork and service orientation receive the highest priority. Together with his employees, he leads the brewery to its greatest successes in its history.


The Paderborner Brewery becomes part of the Warsteiner Group.


The Welcome Hotel chain is founded at the headquarters in Warstein.


The Warsteiner Brewery acquires a holding in the König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg.


The Warsteiner Brewery celebrates its 250th Anniversary with a “Thank You” jubilee attended by 250,000 visitors.


The Frankenheim Brewery becomes part of the Warsteiner Group.

Logistics of the future – the new brewery’s rail siding opens in April 2005 allowing the Warsteiner Brewery to annually move up to 200,000 tons of freight from the road to the rail. The CO2 emission of the company is reduced by 11,600 tons per year – a significant relief for the environment.


In 2006, Catharina Cramer, the youngest daughter of the brewery owner Albert Cramer, joins the executive management of the Warsteiner Group – as the first woman in the history of the company.

In the same year, the visitor center “Warsteiner World“ opens its doors.


The Herforder Brewery becomes part of the Warsteiner Group.


The brewery opens its own block heating power plant in the Waldpark Brewery.


The Argentinean subsidiary C.A.S.A. Isenbeck is sold to SAB Miller, the second largest brewery group in the world. Warsteiner and SAB Miller sign a long-term license agreement for the Argentinean market.


In March, the Warsteiner Brewery opens the Brew Academy for Research and Development – another milestone in Warsteiner’s sustainability concept.

Since late 2011, the grounds of the Paderborner Brewery are home to a wind turbine, capable of supplying about 40% of the annual 1 million kWh energy requirements of the brewery.


With the death of Albert Cramer, the Warsteiner Brewery loses its senior partner and the German beer industry loses a pioneer, whose influence shaped the market decisively. His daughter Catharina Cramer is managing the family enterprise now in the 9th generation.


The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) verifies the first sustainability report of the Warsteiner Brewery. It’s the first time that a German brewery fulfills this internationally recognized reporting standard.