About how Carlsberg Brewery got to be great

Reading for Gist, Detail with Vocabulary Exercise


Carlsberg beer seems to have closed a fine deal with a notorious scientist in sponsoring his love for brew.

But, what do you get from giving away free beer to Danes? Trust me, you get more than drunken Danes…



Take a look at these images

Some of these images are related to the text you are going to read, can you predict what the relation is?

Matching exercise Niels Bohr


 Read the following text and see if your predictions were right



“For Winning the Nobel Prize Niels Bohr got a House with free beer”

Article by Alex Knapp (Forbes)


“Niels Bohr is one of the greatest scientists who ever lived and a personal hero of mine. He was also a favorite of his fellow Danes when he lived in Copenhagen. Today, however, I found out just how much they loved him. Apparently, after he won the Nobel Prize in 1922, the Carlsberg brewery gave him a gift – a house located next to the brewery. And the best perk of the house? It had a direct pipeline to the brewery so that Bohr had free beer on tap whenever he wanted.


Of course, that was more than just national pride. Carlsberg had a passion for science as part of its company culture. They had a laboratory devoted to developing better beer brewing. In 1875 that laboratory was the first to isolate Saccharomyces pastorianus, the species of yeast used to brew pale lagers. The laboratory also made discoveries in protein chemistry that ended up having applications elsewhere.


And here’s another fun bit of speculation for you. Bohr certainly didn’t rest on his laurels after winning the Nobel Prize, which he won for his investigations into the structure of the atom and early work in quantum mechanics. With the help of the Danish government and Carlsberg’s Foundation, Bohr had founded the Institute for Theoretical Physics in 1921. During the next decade, Bohr worked with physics to lay the foundation of the principles of quantum mechanics, and it was in 1927 that he developed the concept of complementarity, a key principle in quantum mechanics.


Complementarity is far from intuitive, and many of the basic concepts of quantum mechanics are similarly hard to grapple with. Indeed, Bohr had a series of famous debates with Albert Einstein, in which Einstein was very reluctant to accept quantum mechanics. Einstein resisted many of its implications for years.


So how did Bohr keep his mind supple and flexible, ready to accept new ideas when his peers like Einstein couldn’t? Well, here’s the thing – there are several studies that indicate that being drunk can actually improve your creativity. That’s because it prevents your mind from being able to focus, so it more readily drifts from one connection to another, which can yield creative solutions to problems.


So was free beer the reason why Bohr was able to make great strides in developing quantum mechanics? Okay, probably not – but I’m sure a few late night drinking sessions with other physicists didn’t hurt.”

Original Article can be found at: (copied for educational intentions)




Match the pictures (a-g) with the paragraphs in the text (1-6)

There are more paragraphs than pictures, so don’t go crazy trying to find a sixth picture!




…scroll down for answers and the rest of the lesson





Answers to matching exercise





Answer these questions about the text


      1. Did Niels Bohr get a house with free beer because Danes loved him?
      2. Why did they have a laboratory at Carlsberg? What did they segregate?
      3. Which part of science benefited from Bohr’s work in his institute?
      4. What did Einstein and Bohr disagree on?
      5. According to the text, what is alcohol good for?







Answers to the questions about the text

      1. No, Niels Bohr was awarded a house with free tap because Carlsberg loved and supported science and benefited from it.
      2. They had a laboratory for improving their beer.  There they segregated the yeast called Saccharomyces pastorianus (or Carlsbergensis)
      3. Quantum Mechanics
      4. Einstein woudn’t accept quantum mechanics
      5. It keeps your mind from focusing, so it helps creative thinking




One Response to “Carlsberg’s Bet Paid Off – Vocabulary Reading Exercise”

  1. Elena, Reply

    Hello Sebastian, I’m Helen, your English student… I just promise you that I’d send you my exercises…. This article is very curious!
    1. Did Niels Bohr get a house with free beer because Danes loved him?
    No, the Carlsberg brewery gave him this gift because Carlsberg had a passion for science as part of its company culture.
    2. Why did they have a laboratory at Carlsberg? They had a laboratory for developing better beer brewing. What did they segregate? They segregated Saccharomyces pastorianus, the species of yeast used to brew pale lagers and also made discoveries in protein chemistry that ended up having applications elsewhere.
    3. Which part of science benefited from Bohr’s work in his institute? The science which benefited from Bohr’s work was quantum mechanics.
    4. What did Einstein and Bohr disagree on? Einstein was very reluctant to accept quantum mechanics.
    5. According to the text, what is alcohol good for? The alcohol is good to yield creative solutions to problems.

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