|Dutch Breweries (Part 1)|
|A - H (Alfa - Den Horst)|
page (along with Part Two, of course) lists the
breweries currently operating in the Netherlands and the beers that they
brew. However, please remember that the dynamic nature of the brewing industry
and my own fallibility mean that a few ommissions cannot are inevitable.
Dutch brewing industry
Dutch beer styles
Old Dutch beer styles
Dutch beer statistics
I aim to sample every beer brewed in Holland on a regular basis (be it for 12 months of the year or just in October). It's often more of a chore than you would imagine (like when Bavaria have a new realease, or Maibock season comes around). The limited availability of some Dutch beers and the short life of others will inevitably prevent me from ever completing the set. (what a disaster that would be - I wouldn't have anything left to do).
If it's bockbier (or bokbier) you're interested in, Bokbier Tasting 2003: has the results of my blind tastings of the 2003 vintages, Bokbier Tasting 2004: the 2004 vintages.
For my fellow obsessives, I've included an example of my tasting form to the right.
Everything you'll ever need to know about brewing in The Netherlands:
| What is the pupose
of this page?
Why have I created it?
Lets be honest, if there was a Dutch publication, published annually, along the lines of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, I wouldn't have bothered.
|How has this page
|What do my scores mean?|
|< 20||cut out the middleman and pour straight down the sink|
|21 - 30||pretty nasty, gulp down quickly or hold your nose|
|31 - 40||chill heavilly and pray|
|41 - 50||can be drunk unchilled without evoking nausea|
|51 - 60||safe to drink|
|61 - 70||you might actually enjoy this|
|71 - 80||can survive a serious examination|
|81 - 90||don't swallow too quickly|
|91 - 100||treat like 50 year-old Islay|
|Points to bear in mind:|
|My tasting notes cannot avoid being, to some degree, subjective.||It isn't always possible to sample beers "blind".|
|Variation between batches can be considerable at smaller breweries me. No single tasting can ever be definitive.||I have attempted to describe as objectively as possible the main flavour components of each beer. I can't imagine that my observations will please everyone, but I have tried to be as honest as I can.|
|Seasonal beers, bocks in particular, which can vary enormously from year to year.||When I find the time for soaking, drying and scanning I will add considerably more Dutch beer label images.|
|Dutch Breweries (Part One)|
|A - H (Alfa - Den Horst)|
|Alfa Brouwerij||Den Engel Bierbrouwers|
|Amstel Brouwerij||Brouwerij Erve Kots|
|Bavaria Brouwerij||Grolsche Bierbrouwerij N.V.|
|De Beyerd Brouwerij||Groningse Stadsbrouwerij|
|Brand Brouwerij||B.V. Gulpener Bierbrouwerij|
|Het Brouwcafé||de Haagse Bierbrouwerij|
|Brouwers aan den Rijn||Haerlemsche Bierbrouwerij B.V.|
|Budels Brouwerij||Brouwerij De Halve Maan|
|Burg Bierbrouwerij||Brouwerij De Heeren van Beeck|
|Huisbrouwerij Cambrinus||Heineken Brouwerij|
|Dommelsch Brouwerij||Stadsbrouwerij de Hemel|
|De 3 Horne Bierbrouwerij||Hertog Jan Brouwerij|
|Brouwerij de Drie Kruizen||Stadsbrouwerij Heusden|
|Amersfoortsche Bierbrouwerij De Drie Ringen||Bierbrouwerij Hoeksche Waard|
|EleganT Brouwerij||Brouwerij De Hopper|
|Gooische Bierbrouwerij De Horste|
|Brouwerij het Ij||Jopen Bier Haarlem|
|Bierbrouwerij Kasparus||Brouwerij De Kemphaan|
|Klein Duimpje Huisbrouwerij||Brouwerij het Koelschip|
|Stadsbrouwerij van Kollenburg||Brouwerij Het Kompas|
|Brouwerij Het Kuipertje||Brouwerij De Leckere|
|Brouwerij De Leeuw||Brouwerij Lindeboom|
|Maasland Brouwerij||Amsterdams Brouwhuis Maximiliaan|
|Brouwerij Mommeriete||De Molen|
|Speciaalbierbrouwerij Oijen||Brouwerij Oirschots Bier|
|Onder de Linden||Verenigde Bierbrouwerijen Oranjeboom|
|Den Osche Brouwer||Brouwerij De Pauw|
|Pelgrim Brouwerij||Brouwerij De Prael|
|De Ridder||Brouwerij Rijke Gewoonte|
|Museumbrouwerij de Roos||Bierbrouwerij De Schans|
|St. Christoffel Bierbrouwerij||Bierbrouwerij Sint Servattumus|
|De Snaterende Arend||Stichtse Heeren|
|Stichting Noordhollandse Alternatieve Bierbrouwers (S.N.A.B.)||Texelse brouwerij|
|La Trappe Brouwerij||Friese Brouwerij Us Heit|
|Utrechtse Stoombierbrouwerij Oudaen||Valleibieren Leusden|
6365 AC Schinnen,
Annual production: 175,000 hl
Owned by the Meens family. The beers are all brewed with water from a spring. That's why the bottles are numbered - they're only allowed to use a certain quantity of the spring water each year.
One of the few remaining long-established independent lager breweries.
Part of Heineken. The Amstel brewery was closed in 1972 and demolished in 1985. Not a trace of it remains. Where is Amstel brewed - in Zoeterwoude and Den Bosch.
Amstel remains as a brand and seems to get the slightly better beers of the Heineken range. Amstel Herftsbock is the best bottom-fermented beer produced in Holland. You really should try it if you get the chance.
Burg. v.d. Heuvelstraat 35,
5737 BN Lieshout
Annual production: 4,600,000 hl
Bavaria is the largest independent brewery in Holland and concentrates unashamedly on the bottom end of the market. The low quality raw materials they use are easy to spot in the taste of the beers. Tasting their beers is enough to make you appreciate Heineken.
They bought up and quickly closed the tiny Kroon brewery a few years back. More worryingly, they own Holland's only Trappist brewery, Koningshoeven. The Kroon brands they decided to keep are now brewed there.
In addition to their own crappy brands, they also contract brew low-quality beers sold under supermarket names. I've never had a beer from this brewery that wasn't total crap. Take my advice; don't waste your time trying their beers.
1012 CT Amsterdam.
Founded: 2004 (1992)
Annual production: 1000 hl
Brewpub. The original brewery, Maximilian, went bankrupt in 2002. Now owned by the Beiaard beer pub chain, brewing restarted in late 2004. They have taken over the chain's house beers, previously contract brewed. At least the Bock. I'm not sure about the Witte.
4811 GH Breda.
Annual production: hl
Brewpub in beer café De Beyerd. They will continue Breda's brewing tradition when Interbrew close the Oranjeboom brewery in the town.
6321 AG Wijlre,
Annual production: 500,000 hl
Bought by Heineken in 1989, but still run pretty much independently. All the beers still come its own brewery in the South of Holland and it retains its own house style. Heineken have shown some degree of commitment to keeping the plant open. After a serious fire in the late 1990's, considerable sums of money were invested to rebuild the brewery. But then again, you can never be sure with these multinationals, as the people at Ridder recently discovered.
The gradual paring down of Brand's bottled range is a cause for concern. After all, this is how it started with De Ridder. Next thing you know, the brewery is gone. What is it with multinational companies - why can't they help ruining any decent brewery they get their hands on? Surely they bought Brand for its good selection of bottom-fermenting beers? Now Heineken have turned it into another pils factory.
The quality of the individual beers varies greatly: the standard pils is worse than Heineken, Urtyp Pilsener is one of few decent Dutch beers in the pils style. When ordering a pils in one of their pubs, make absolutely sure which of the two you are getting.
Heineken uses Brand as its up-market brand (sorry about the awful pun) and is commonly found in its pubs which are striving for a classier image. In Amsterdam a reasonable number of cafés which have some sort of tie to Heineken take the Brand beers (Café Belgique is a good example).
Dr. Lelykade 28,
2583 CM Scheveningen
Annual production: 400 hl
Brewpub on the small harbourfront in Scheveningen. I found the beers technically good, though a little dull, when they first opened. The beers do seem to have acquired more character since.
aan den Rijn
2403 SR Alphen aan den Rijn.
Tel.: 06 – 27311474
Contract brewer. The beers are contract brewed.
6020 AA Budel.
Tel. +31 (0)495 49 13 69
Fax +31 (0)495 49 51 25
Annual production: 20,000 hl
An independent lager brewery with an extensive range of products. I've never been too impressed with their bottom-fermenting beers. There are some good ones amongst the newer range of top-fermenting beers.
3851 GB Ermelo.
Annual production: 100 hl
Tiny brewery attached to a beer shop and pub. The beers are available nowhere else, apart from the Arendsnest pub in Amsterdam.
5961 AJ Horst.
Tel: 077 - 398 3009
Annual production: ? hl
A brewery attached to one of Holland's top beer pubs. It uses an installation bought second hand from Brouwerij De Leckere. The beers are only available at the pub.
Fri-Sat 19:00 - 02:00,
Sun 14:00 - 24:00,
Wed, Tue, Thur closed
5551 AE Valkenswaard/Dommelen
Annual production: 650,000 hl
Owned by Interbrew. Even before the closure of Oranjeboom was announced, Dommelsch was Interbrew's preferred brand in Holland. Their pils is remarkable for being particularly bad, even when compared to the pitifully low standard for such beers in Holland.
Even though Interbrew did choose it before the much larger Oranjeboom as its Dutch lager brewery, I can't see it having much of a long-term future. The gigantic Interbrew pils factory in Leuven is only a short lorry drive away, after all.
|De 3 Horne Bierbrouwerij
5171 GP Kaatsheuvel.
Tel: 0416 - 275 272
Annual production: 400 hl
A microbrewery that does lots of contract brewing, as well as producing its own beers. One of the better new breweries in terms of technical quality.
|Brouwerij de Drie Kruizen
3273 ZG Westmaas.
Tel: (0186) 57 32 39
Fax: (0186) 57 41 90
Annual production: 1,000 hl
Contract brewer. Has its beers contract brewed at Brouwerij Deca in Vleteren in Belgium.
|Amersfoortsche Bierbrouwerij De Drie Ringen
Kleine Spui 18 3811 BE Amersfoort.
Tel: 033 4656575
Fax 033 - 4652161
Annual production: 1,250 hl
A micro that produces quite commercial beers. They have had a habit of filtering some of their weaker beers, something that I have always thought a pretty pointless thing for a new small brewery to do.
It has a beautiful location in the centre of Amersfoort's old town. There is a small brewery tap, where there are a couple of tables crammed in between the front door and all the brewing equipment.
2353 PH Leiderdorp.
Tel.: 071 - 541 37 15
Annual production: 70 hl
A tiny brewery with no distribution - if you want to try their beer, you have to go and fetch it yourself.
- Grand Café Emelisse
4493 PA Kamperland.
Tel : 0113 - 370 262
Email : email@example.com
Microbrewery. First started having beers contract-brewed in 1999 at De Halve Maan and de Scheldebrouwerij. The malt is provided by local farmers with whom the brewery has contracts.
There is also a sampling room on the premises.
6211 RC Maastricht.
Annual production: ?
Currently being brewed at de Heeren van Beeck. it is planned to eventually brew in Maastricht, possibly in conjunction with De Keyzer, a brewery left untouched since its closure in 1970. I've been very impressed with the two beers produced so far.
An entity called Bierbrouwerij De Keyzer, has been established by the owners of Den Engel, Heeren van Beeck and those running the De Keyzer brewery museum. They plan to recreate more historic Maastricht beer styles.
7137 HG Lievelde.
Annual production:1,000 hl
Brewpub and museum.
6171 GW Stein.
Tel. 046 – 426 28 58
Fax 046 – 426 28 59
Microbrewery. Located in an historic farmhouse comple, it opened in May 2006. In addition to its own two products, it offers "Bier-Op-Maat" - beers brewed for specific clients.
There's a sampling room that's open daiy between 10:00 and 22:00.
7523 XC Enschede.
7141 CE Groenlo.
Annual production: 3,404,000 hl (2004)
The company used to operate two breweries in the east of Holland, one in Groenlo (from which the name Grolsch derives) and one Enschede (which was badly damaged by the firework explosion). A single, new site at Boeklo (just outside Enschede) was opened in 2004. When this is fully commissioned, the other two will close.
They regularly brew one-off beers, sometimes packaged in larger versions of their famous swing-top bottles. Sadly, most of these beers have been pale yellow, not very disctinctive nor in any particular style. Grolsch Amber, a Belgian-style ale at least as good as any of its rivals from south of the border, was unfortunately dropped in 2002. More recent develoments in the product line have been low-strength fruit-flavoured beers. Sorry, but I haven't been able to force myself try any of them yet (despite knowing the bloke fronting their Dutch TV ads). Another range of alcopops - Zinniz - was no great success.
Grolsch has in the past dabbled (not too successfully) in foreign takeovers. It doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a serious European player or a just a big fish in the relatively small Dutch pond. The vast majority of Grolsch's foreign sales are in the UK, where its has a joint venture with Coors (51% Grolsch, 49% Coors). In 2004, about 50% of Grolsch sales were in its home (Dutch) market, 33% in the UK and 17% in the rest of the world.
9700 GB Groningen.
Annual production: ?
The beers were originally brewed at the Texelse Brouwerij. Since 2001 the beers have been brewed in Groningen.
6271 AE Gulpen.
Annual production: 130,000 hl
Gulpener is one of Holland's major regional breweries with an impressive array of products. It sometimes works in cooperation with Grolsch.
|de Haagse Bierbrouwerij
2513 AM Den Haag.
Tel: 070 - 368 60 91
Fax: 070 - 365 93 25
Annual production: 400 hl.
The successor to the Fiddler and Firkin brewery, which closed in 1999. The brewery and the Fiddler pub have now been split into separate businesses. The brewery re-opened in 2001.
It is unique in Holland, producing English-style cask-conditioned beers. Not only that, their ales are more than passable. Occasional cross-cultural artifacts, like cask-conditioned witbier, demonstrate how many possibilities remain untapped in the wide, wacky world of beer. We should definitely encourage them to keep experimenting. Where would we be now if Hoffmann had had no sense of adventure? No tales, that's for sure.
The beers were not available in the Florin and Firkin in Utrecht last time I visited.
2031 EA Haarlem
Founded: 1995 CLOSED May 2004
Annual production: 100 hl.
Tiny brewery with a very poor reputation for qualty. Every one of their beers I have tasted was infected. Avoid like the plague.
|Brouwerij De Halve Maan
4561 GG Hulst
Tel: 0114 - 3010660
Fax: 0114 - 314339
Annual production: 3,000 hl
A micro which has gone through several changes of ownership and beer ranges. Has alternated between the sublime and the ridiculous. It produced, sadly now well in the past, possibly the best Dutch beer I've ever had: Zeeuwsche Bruin, a sour brown beer in the Belgian style.
De Heeren van Beeck
Burgemeester Janssenstraat 26,
6191 JC Beek.
Annual production: 500 hl
A brewpub in a former disco. It has a pretty good record for beer quality. Martin Heyse, a retired brewer from Brand is in charge of brewing (no surprise about the quality, then). Since 2000, it has had its grain milled at a windmill in Genhout..(Yes, Tim Webb, you did misunderstand about the brewpub.)
They do some contract brewing.
Burg. Smeetsweg 1,
2382 PH Zoeterwoude.
5222 AP 's-Hertogenbosch.
2e Weteringplantsoen 21,
1017 ZD Amsterdam,
Homepage: http://www.heineken.nl and http://www.heineken.com
Annual production: 15,000,000 hl
Where is Heineken brewed - in Zoeterwoude and Den Bosch, but not in Amsterdam. Heineken closed their original brewery in 1989 and replaced it (well most of it) with a crappy high-rise and a pointless square. Heineken's Amsterdam breweries are explained here.
Heineken is the second largest (it could be third or fourth largest now - these takeovers are going so fast a poor boy can't keep up) brewing company in the world. It has two breweries of its own in Holland (Den Bosch and Zoeterwoude) but closed its original Amsterdam brewery in the late 1980's. With the exception of the UK, all the Heineken sold throughout the world is brewed in Holland. 7 million hl are exported to the USA alone (that's more than the total exports to the States of all the German breweries put together!).
In Holland Heineken owns Brand and De Ridder (now closed). Elsewhere its subsidiaries include: Moretti (Italy), Zywiec (Poland), Murphy's (Ireland) and most of the Slovakian beer industry.
6511 VS Nijmegen
Brewpub and museum. They also produce beer liqueurs, mustard, vinegar and marmalade.
8242 PN Lelystad.
Tel: 0320 295 080
Annual production: 1250 hl (2006 projected)
Brewpub. Run by Patrick van Dam, graduate of TU München (Weihenstephan). Unsurprisingly, he brews German-style beers. They expect to sell about half their production in the brewpub, half in other outlets.
|Hertog Jan Brouwerij
5944 EN Arcen,
Annual production: 50,000 hl
This brewery has lived an exciting life in the last couple of decades. As part of Verenigde Bierbrouwerijen (Oranjeboom) it was threatened with closure, before a mangement buyout in 1981. There was a clause in the agreement which prevented them from brewing bottom-fermented beer and they developed a range of Belgian-style ales. Oranjeboom later bought the brewery back to get hold of its speciality brands, before selling it on to Interbrew in 1995. With Interbrew's purchase of Oranjeboom, the breweries were united for a third time.
There are rumours that at least some of the range is already being brewed at one of Interbrew's Belgian plants. Given Interbrew's track record with small ale breweries, I would be surprised if Hertog Jan lasted more than five years.
5256 BA Heusden.
Tel.: 0416 - 660 039
3260 BB Oud Beijerland.
Homepage : http://www.bierbrouwerij-hoekschewaard.nl
Annual production: ? hl
They currently brew their beers at De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi in Belgium. The intention is to have their own brewery at some point in the future (that's what they all say).
|Brouwerij De Hopper
6271 AB Gulpen .
Tel: 043 - 4503967
Annual production: 6 hl
A tiny operation that has its beers contract-brewed at Drie Horne.
|Gooische Bierbrouwerij De Horste
1394 AE Nederhorst den Berg.
Founded: 1999 CLOSED 2001
Annual production: ? hl
A micro that exports most of its beer to the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. The beers seem to be contract brewed in Belgium.
More Dutch Beer Pages
|Dutch pub guides||
Dutch Brewery Pages
|Amsterdam Pub Guide|
|Rotterdam Pub Guide|
|Haarlem Pub Guide|
|The Hague (Den Haag) Pub Guide|
|Utrecht Pub Guide|
|Pub Guides to Other Dutch Towns|
More Beer Pages
© Ron Pattinson 2000-2006
All articles and photos on these pages are property of Ron Pattinson. If you would like permission to reproduce either on your own site or in a book, please contact me first.