Dr. Ing. Axel Simon, long-standing managing director and shareholder of Bitburger Holding and the Bitburger Brewing Group, which is one of the leading brewing groups in Germany, died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 74.
In a press release the company honored the deceased:
"Axel Simon joined the family business Bitburger Brewery Th. Simon in 1972. Starting from 1975 he was the company’s managing director in charge of technology and environment. In 2004, he also took over the management of Bitburger Holding. Following his retirement from operational management in 2007 for reasons of age, he was still part of the shareholder committee of the family-owned company for around 10 years.
With all his strength and untiring personal dedication, Axel Simon supported the lasting development of the family brewery to evolve into the Bitburger Group. With his great charisma and outstanding entrepreneurial skills he has continued to decisively determine the fortune of the family owned company.
The company's success was based in his opinion on the highest quality of its products. This belief as well as the well-being of the workforce and their families was especially important to him throughout his entire professional live.
He was passionately engaged to promote the reputation of the brewing industry and the training of qualified new talents. He promoted innovation not only within his own company, but also in respected institutions such as the Research Institute for Brewing and Malting Technology, Berlin (VLB Berlin), where he was president from 1989 to 2014 and who appointed him honorary president. He was a member of the board and presidium of the German Brewers Association, the Brewery Association Hesse / Rhineland-Palatinate, was Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Trier, board member of the Future Initiative Rhineland-Palatinate, on the board of the Association of Entrepreneurs in Trier and on the board of the Volksbank Bitburg, to mention only a few. For more than 10 years, he also belonged to the city council of his hometown Bitburg."
Bitburger Holding GmbH was established in 1998 and is the parent company of the Bitburger Brewing Group, which comprises of the five German breweries Bitburger Brauerei Th. Simon, Bitburg; König-Brauerei, Duisburg; Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei, Bad Köstritz; Licher Privatbrauerei Jhring-Melchior, Lich and Wernesgrüner Brauerei, Wernesgrün. Following the fall of the iron curtain in the 1990s Bitburger acquired the two Polish breweries Bosman Browar, Szczecin und Kasztelan Browar, Sierpc, which were sold to Danish Carlsberg Group in 2001. Today the group has combined annual beer sales of about four million hectoliters.
Next to the brewing business, the Bitburger Holding also owns Gerolsteiner Brunnen, one of the leading mineral water bottling companies in Germany with sales of about 7.5 million hectoliters, as well as several other smaller companies, which are not related to the beverage industry.