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23rd November 2012

In Memoriam of Albert Cramer Owner of Warsteiner Brewery Dies at Age 69

Albert Cramer, managing partner of the Warsteiner Group passed away on November 20, 2012 after a short, serious illness. He was 69 years old. His passing means the Warsteiner Brewery has lost its senior partner and a man who made history in the German and international beer market.

Throughout his career, Albert Cramer was a visionary who tirelessly promoted the growth and development of his brewery and gastronomy business.  As the eighth generation of the Cramer family from the Sauerland region in western Germany, Albert Cramer was a successful entrepreneur who remained loyal to his hometown Warstein and the people living in the region. His death is a great loss for his family, his enterprise and his hometown. His youngest daughter Catharina Cramer, 34, who joined the executive management team of the Warsteiner Group in 2006, will continue the management of the company into the ninth generation.

Born on May 22, 1943, in Warstein, Albert Cramer grew up together with his three sisters in his parents’ home, directly adjacent to the family brewery. After completing high school in Bad Godesberg, he went on to study business administration at the University of Cologne, gaining his first professional experience at the business consulting firm Kienbaum. In 1968, at the age of 25, he joined the family brewery managed by his father, Paul Cramer, and later became a limited partner and shareholder before assuming 100 percent of the company shares.

With an output of more than 300,000 hectolitres, the Warsteiner Brewery was already among the largest breweries in Germany. Albert Cramer’s innovative ideas and marketing talents helped lead the family enterprise headquartered in the Sauerland to become the largest and most successful privately-owned brewery in Germany with an annual output of more than six million hectolitres. Today, the Warsteiner Group, which also includes the German hotel chain Welcome, consists of diverse subsidiaries with approximately 2300 employees generating annual revenues of more than 520 million euros.

Starting as early as the 1970s, Albert Cramer was the first German brewery owner to promote beer through national advertisement campaigns, effectively suggesting a correlation to sparkling wines and champagnes. With his Warsteiner brand, Cramer succeeded in developing a new trend in fine dining, making beer in Germany socially acceptable amidst more sophisticated settings.

Together with the renowned glass designer Hermann Hoffmann, Cramer created in 1969 the Warsteiner Tulip, a beer glass that influences the brand image of Warsteiner to this day. In 1984, the iconic glass was immortalized on canvas by the legendary pop-art artist Andy Warhol in New York City. Today, Warhol’s examples of the tulip glass adorn the administration building of the Warsteiner Brewery.

In the mid-70s, when faced with a rapid growth in demand, the young entrepreneur undertook a bold investment to build a new Warsteiner brewery in the Waldpark area on the outskirts of Warstein, thereby laying the foundation for a solid and prosperous financial future for the entire region. Albert Cramer created the most modern brewery in Europe, which to this day sees continuous investments and commitments to the environment and sustainability.

With his phenomenal economic success, Albert Cramer was in the position to invest outside of Germany early on his career, and he successfully grew his enterprise into the largest export business among the private breweries in Germany. Today, the Warsteiner brand is present in more than 60 countries around the world. Under Cramer‘s management, Warsteiner set up its own sales companies in USA, Italy and the Netherlands, and successfully integrated acquisitions of the Paderborner Brewery, the Frankenheim Brewery in Düsseldorf and the Herforder Brewery as well as holdings in the König Ludwig Schloßbrauerei Kaltenberg in Bavaria.

An enthusiastic hot-air balloonist, Cramer initiated in 1986 the first Warsteiner International Montgolfiade, which grew into the largest annual hot-air balloon festival in Europe. With mass ascensions of over 200 balloons and more than 300 pilots from around the world, this annual event draws more than 200,000 spectators each year to Warstein and plays a significant role in the attractiveness and tourism in Nordrhein-Westphalia and the Sauerland region. Albert Cramer was also a fan of Formula One racing and successfully merged his love for the sport with his marketing engagement, making the Warsteiner brand world famous in the 1990s. Another of Cramer’s successful sponsorship activities focused on international ski and equestrian events.


With his deep regional roots, Albert Cramer felt passionately about giving back to the community by promoting charitable projects in Warstein and its surroundings throughout his life. This heartfelt commitment to ensure long-term, sustainable support is evident in the Paul-Cramer-Foundation which he set up in honor of his father. This foundation has been financially aiding social and cultural initiatives in the region for many years. Furthermore, Albert Cramer also fostered many international children’s charity projects throughout his lifetime, including the building of several SOS Children’s Villages as well as other third-world projects in South America and Africa.


Albert Cramer was a pioneer of the German brewing industry who shaped and formed the German market inimitably. He leaves a great void in the lives of his loved ones, his employees and the city of Warstein. His strong personality and his creative powers will be long remembered and appreciated by all those who came in contact with him personally.




For further information, please contact:

Alexandra Gerolami

Richmond Towers Communications

+44. (0)20 73887421



Alexandra Gerolami

Senior Account Manager | Richmond Towers Communications



Direct line: 020 7554 4498

Mobile : 079 1768 4064

Telephone:  020 7388 7421

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