The Carlsberg Laboratory was set up in 1875 by the founder of Carlsberg, J.C. Jacobsen. In 1876, it was established as part of the Carlsberg Foundation, consisting of a Department of Chemistry and a Department of Physiology. Some of the early and widely known achievements of the laboratory were:

Establishment of a general method for quantification of nitrogen in organic compounds (Johan Kjeldahl, Head of Department of Chemistry 1876-1900)

Johan Kjeldahl taking notes in the old Carlsberg laboratory (1896-1897).

Method for pure culturing of yeast, not only free from bacteria, but also free from wild yeast (Emil Chr. Hansen, Head of Department of Physiology 1879-1909)

Emil Chr. Hansen in the Carlsberg Laboratory (1896-1897).

Establishment of the concept of pH and its far-reaching fundamental and practical importance (S.P.L. Sørensen, Head of the Department of Chemistry 1901-1938)

S.P.L. Sørensen in the laboratory in the act of crystallising the protein Egg Albumin, which he was the first to purify in 1917.

Discovery of the homothallic life cycle of budding yeast and the Mendelian segregation of its genes (Øjvind Winge, Head of Department of Physiology 1933-1956)

Øjvind Winge and his dog Claus, 1956.

Pioneering of protein chemistry, in particular proteolytic enzymes and the dynamic nature of proteins (Kaj U. Linderstrøm-Lang, Head of Department of Chemistry 1938-1959)

Kaj U. Linderstrøm-Lang in the Carlsberg laboratory, 1957.

In 1972, after the fusion of Carlsberg and Tuborg, research was reorganised by increasing the staff of the Carlsberg Laboratory and by adding a continuation of research activities that had been carried out at the Carlsberg and Tuborg breweries, forming an additional unit, the Carlsberg Research Laboratory. To house the increased staff, a new large wing was added to the laboratory building in 1976, and the Carlsberg Research Center was a reality. Despite the changed conditions over the years, the Carlsberg Laboratory continues to operate under the original statutes formulated by its founder more than 130 years ago.