Bavaria Brewery (Netherlands)

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Type Besloten Vennootschap
Industry Beverages
Founded 1719
Headquarters Lieshout, North Brabant, Netherlands
Products Beers and lagers
Revenue $1.9 billion (2005)
Website Bavaria International

Bavaria is the second largest brewery in the Netherlands. The company, which produces five hundred million litres of beer annually, is based in the town of Lieshout, North Brabant. Founded in 1719 by Laurentius Moorees, it is currently owned by the Swinkels family.


Bottle of Bavaria Premium Pils lager
Tin of Bavaria Radler

The brewery produces a range of standard and low alcohol pale lagers under a variety of brand names including Bavaria and Hollandia. The best-known global product is Bavaria Premium Pils lager. The brewery also makes a popular alcohol-free beer, Bavaria 0.0%; malts are also available in apple, caramel, lemon and karkadé flavours. It is also contracted to make a number of European supermarket own-brand Dutch lagers, including Albert Heijn Pilsener.

Bavaria makes two special beers called Bavaria 8.6 and Bavaria 8.6 Red. Other special beers include Moreeke, a tribute to one of Bavaria's founding fathers, Laurentius Morees. Previously in Australia, the Liquorland chain of bottle shops distributed both Bavaria and Hollandia brands as 'premium' imported Dutch beers, before switching over to Hollandia exclusively. Bavaria is now found throughout Australia in independent bottle shops. Bavaria Crown is sold in Ireland. Since the early 1990s, Bavaria has exported premium beer to several countries in the former Soviet Union.


Bavaria's brewery at Lieshout
Bottle of Bavaria Premium

By 1719, Laurentius Moorees had founded Bavaria Brouwerij in Lieshout, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Eindhoven. Annually the village brewery produced around 88 barrels (approximately 14400 litres) of beer. It was not until Moorees' great-grandson received ownership of the brewery that production was expanded. Jan Swinkels, born in 1851, increased distribution and operations at the site. By 1910 a malting plant had been built (it still produces malt for Bavaria and other breweries) and output had increased to tens of thousands of litres of beer per annum. By 1924 the original brewery buildings had become too small for the plant so a larger brewery was built in Lieshout. In 1933 the brewery added its own bottling plant, which produced 2,000 bottles-per-hour.

Until the 1970s Bavaria only concentrated on the Dutch market but it now sells products in up to 100 countries. The brewery, which adapts its drinks to individual markets, has sales subsidiaries in France, Spain, Italy, England, South-Africa and America and agents in other countries. For instance In 1978, alcohol-free malt beer was exported to countries in the Middle East.

Bavaria is now the second largest brewery in the Netherlands. The annual production is above five million hectolitres of beer. The majority of beer is still brewed in Lieshout, but Bavaria products are also brewed locally in Russia by Efes Beverage Group (EBI). The company also has a soft drinks factory, two malt houses and manages the De Koningshoeven Brewery, a Trappist Brewery. Barley is still malted in Bavaria's own malt houses in Lieshout and in the Eemshaven. These two malt houses have an annual capacity of 240,000 tonnes and are a joint venture between Bavaria and a farmers' cooperative called the Holland Malt company.

Since 2005 Bavaria has hosted the Bavaria City Racing event in Rotterdam. In 2007, Bavaria sponsored the Dutch Champ Car Grand Prix.[1]

De Koningshoeven Brewery[edit]

Reception area and cafe at one of Bavaria's breweries

In 1999, the Trappist Koningshoeven Abbey entered into an agreement with Bavaria to take over the daily operations of the monks' brewery within the abbey. As a result of this agreement the Abbey did not display the "Authentic Trappist Product" logo, though did label the beer as "Trappistenbier". In 2005, the logo was again displayed on bottles after the monks took a more active role in the brewery.[2]

The brewery, which operates as "De Koningshoeven NV", is a subsidiary of the Bavaria Brewery. But the buildings and equipment remain in the ownership of the abbey. The monks remain the ultimate authority on the brewing process while Bavaria manages the commercial business.

Price fixing conviction[edit]

On April 18, 2007 The European commission imposed punitive fines on three major European breweries for operating a price fixing cartel in the Netherlands. The three were Heineken (€219.3m), Grolsch (€31.65m) and Bavaria (€22.85m). A fourth participant in the cartel, InBev (formerly Interbrew), escaped without a penalty because it provided "decisive information" about the cartel's operations between 1996 and 1999, as well as about others in the EU market. These four brewers had controlled 95% of the Dutch market, with Heineken claiming a half and the three others 15% each.[3]

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said she was "very disappointed" that the collusion took place at the very highest (boardroom) level. She stated, "This is simply unacceptable: that major beer suppliers colluded to up prices and to carve up markets among themselves. She added, "Heineken, Grolsch, Bavaria and InBev tried to cover their tracks by using code names and abbreviations for secret meetings to carve up the market for beer sold to supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and cafes. The price fixing extended to cheaper own-brand labels and rebates for bars.[3]

World Cup Ambush Marketing campaigns[edit]

At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Bavaria Brewery got up to 1,000 fans of the Dutch national football team to don orange overalls, called Leeuwenhosen, with the brewery's logo on them. The Leeuwenhosen were given away with the purchase of Bavaria Brewery products prior to the World Cup. However the action was deemed to be an act of ambush marketing by FIFA as Bavaria, which was not a corporate sponsor, had not paid any money to be an official event partner. With pre-warning from FIFA officials, staff at the game versus Ivory Coast asked fans to remove the overalls upon entrance to the game and provided orange replacement shorts without any logo.[4]

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 36 women clad in orange miniskirts went to the Netherlands vs Denmark match in Johannesburg, using tickets supplied at least in part by British ITV pundit and ex-footballer Robbie Earle. Tournament officials evicted the group en masse from the stadium upon which they were arrested and held by the Police. They were released upon talks between the management of Bavaria and FIFA.[5][6]


  1. ^ Bavaria/Assen sponsorship announced! (ChampCarWorld)
  2. ^ Beer Pages Roger Protz, La Trappe back in the fold, Jan 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  3. ^ a b Gow, David (April 18, 2007). "Heineken and Grolsch fined for price-fixing". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  4. ^ Dutch fans given shorts for match (BBC News)
  5. ^ Gysin, Christian (2010-06-17). "Two Dutch women arrested over 'orange mini-dress' stunt as ITV axes pundit Robbie Earle". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ Pylas, Pan (2010-06-17). "Girls in miniskirts expose FIFA weak point". USA Today (David Hunke, Gannett Company). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 

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