Underberg - A family business

Underberg family portraitIn Rheinberg a soothing herbal speciality has been cultivated for five generations of a family. Strictly according to the secret "SEMPER IDEM" process.

The firm’s founder, Hubert Underberg, put his unique product on the market in 1846, after years of careful development. Underberg soon became known and appreciated in many countries.

Underberg has won numerous awards and medals throughout the world for its outstandingly beneficial effects and quality. Underberg is a family business in which the personal initiative and sense of responsibility of the owners has set standards for the future for 5 generations.

This is what the book "Superbrands" says about the history of the House of Underberg and its success:

Five generations with a misssion:
In the service of wellbeing, around the world.

Milestones in the Underberg's family history.

Hubert Underberg and Katharina AlbrechtThe founder

When Hubert Underberg married Katharina Albrecht on 17 June 1846 and established the company Underberg-Albrecht at the Town Hall of Rheinberg on the same day he was convinced he had a good idea. And a good product.

But the story had begun several years earlier: in the course of his education in the Netherlands and Belgium Hubert Underberg had become acquainted with a herbal elixir that the landlords diluted with genever in whatever amount they thought appropriate.


Semper Idem

Hubert was very taken with this “digestive bitter”, but its random composition and fluctuating quality annoyed him. So he started to develop a drink which would combine the healing power of herbs with modern production methods – according to the motto "SEMPER IDEM" (= always the same quality and effect).

He selected each individual herb with great care and invented a method that enabled him to extract the ingredients from the exquisite aromatic herbs as gently as possible. That was the birth of the Underberg Herbal Digéstif.


Hubert Underberg I.Hubert's success

With its uniquely soothing properties and consistent quality the product quickly became a success. The brand was soon famous, and Hubert Underberg was awarded resounding titles such as Purveyor to the Court. At the World Exhibitions in London, Paris and Philadelphia, too, the company’s founder won medals for his product.


Trademark protection

In order to protect his product against imitation, Hubert Underberg registered its outward appearance – its “design”, we would say today – with the Commercial Court of Krefeld on 25 August 1851, 40 years before the legal basis for trademark protection was created. That is one more reason why Underberg has remained unique and unmistakable to this day.


Murano GlasbläserThe tall glas

At the Paris Exhibition of 1867, Hubert Underberg had the the exclusive 2 cl tall glass made. More than ever, the handblown glass is now characteristic of Underberg. 24 centimetres high, it is taller than any other glasses on a festive table.

Production was stopped temporarily for quality reasons during the First and Second World Wars because it was no longer possible to procure the herbs reliably.



Emil Underberg invents the single-portion bottleDer Rheinberger herbal digestive

It was in September 1949 that Underberg started its triumphant career as a brand: Emil Underberg I., a grandson of the company’s founder, decided to market the “Rheinberg Herbal Digestive” in 2 cl single-portion bottles only. A unique pioneering feat: with the unmistakable bottle the head of the firm succeeded in protecting his bitter against the many tricksters who filled cheap herbal drinks in Underberg bottles in order to sell them as the real Underberg product.



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