Beer In Ads #66: Tuborg’s Thirsty Man

Tuesday’s ad is a favorite of a friend of mine, Christian Kazakoff — who’s the head brewer at Iron Springs Pub & Brewery — and is for the Danish beer Tuborg. I got an e-mail from Christian last night about how much he’s enjoying my “Beer In Advertising” series and sharing with me his personal favorite, so I thought I’d feature his choice today.

Founded in 1873, since 1970 Tuborg has been owned by Danish brewing giant Carlsberg. Though founded in 1873, it was two years before they began brewing so in 1900 they sponsored a poster contest to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Though the winning entries were never used, one submission went on to become an iconic image, one that even today is still associated with Tuborg beer, especially throughout Europe. The painting, created by Danish artist Erik Henningsen (1855-1930), is known today as The Thirsty Man and has been used since November 1900 in Tuborg’s advertising.


It’s original title translated as The Sweaty Man, but since beer was the end product and not deodorant, it became known as The Thirsty Man, which I think you’ll agree has a much better ring to it. According to Just-Drinks, “the poster is still one of the most popular sold in Denmark. The image of the Thirsty Man has also been used to great effect in Germany, where Tuborg is the leading imported beer.” [Or at least it was when they wrote that in 2000.]

In addition, “the popularity of the poster was added to in 1977 when Den Store Tuborg (The Big Tuborg) [in] half-litre bottles was launched using the image as a label.”


Even now, 110 years later, you can find Tuborg advertising using The Thirsty Man, such as this sign for Tuborg Pilsener.



  1. Philip says

    I drank a case of this beer on a visit with my wife to her cousins in Denmark. I recently received the poster from one of the Danish cousins. It brings back good memories of a wonderful beer.

  2. Chris S. says

    There is an interesting back-story to the famous Tuborg poster, “The Thirsty Man” (Den Tørstige Mand).

    Brewery owner, Benny Dessau, originally picked an image by Danish artist, JF Willumsen, as a competition winner (see link).

    But when popular acclaim went to the now famous poster by Erik Henningsen, Dessau very wisely gave it first place. As you note, even now the poster is one of the most popular in Denmark. I have a copy of it cut and framed from a Danish magazine by my Grandmother which was handed down to me as an heirloom.

    As a first generation Danish-American, Tuborg still ranks as one of my most favorite beers. The bottled fiasco known as American-brewed Tuborg Gold is dark chapter in beer history that is best forgotten. Preferably by drinking several bottles of the real thing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>