USA/Germany: Former beer tycoon Christian Eisenbeiss dies aged 61

Christian R. Eisenbeiss, former majority shareholder and chairman of Hamburg/Germany based Holsten brewery and Tivoli malting died on March 30 aged 61 in New York/USA.

His grandfather Richard Eisenbeiss, who operated a malthouse and pitch fabrication in Hamburg, started the family’s brewing venture in the 1920s when he bought a major stake in Hamburg’s Holsten brewery.  The family fled the Nazi regime in the 1930s and emigrated to the United States where Christian R. Eisenbeiss was born in New York City on September 11, 1955. He earned a master’s degree in financial mathematics at Columbia University in 1979 before starting to work as an investment banker with US-investment bank Dillon Read.

Succeeding his father as chairman of the German Holsten brewery in June 1988 he transformed the company into the biggest German brewing group. At the turn of the century after the acquisition of other major German breweries like Lübzer, König, Bavaria St. Pauli (Astra) and Licher, the group had an annual production of 10.6 million hectoliters of beer and another 11 million hectoliters of non-alcoholic beverages.

In  2004 Eisenbeiss sold his 51% stake in the entire beverage group to Danish brewer Carlsberg but still kept the interest in his Hamburg based malthouse Tivoli Malz, which he sold last year to British Anglia Maltings Holding (Crisp Malt).

As a private investment he also started craft breweries in New Orleans and Pittsburgh.

Besides working in the beer, beverage and malting industry he establishedwith 3 partners in 1993 American Restaurants Services (AmRest) which initially held franchise rights to operate Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in Western Poland and later extended its reach also to the Czech Republic and othe countries. Eisenbeiss served in AmRest until 2006 in several functions including non-executive chairman.

In 2007, Eisenbeiss bundled most of his investment interest in his company CRE Capital LLC, where he acted as sole and managing member. He also served in various boards and acted since 2011 as chairman and executive producer  of British Film Company which produced films like Absolutely Fabulous and Dad’s Army grossing £16million ($20.5m) and £9.6million ($12.3m) respectively.

A private funeral service was held for Christian R. Eisenbeiss on Saturday April 8 in Pine Plains, New York.

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