Beer in the Netherlands

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The former Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, now a museum

Beer in the Netherlands is known for the pale lagers, especially Heineken and Grolsch that are consumed globally. Grolsch is the leading import lager in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] Heineken is the world's third-largest brewer of beer, after Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller.[citation needed]

While pale lager makes up the majority of beer production and consumption in the Netherlands (95% according to the Centraal Brouwerij Kantoor), most Dutch brewers also brew specials. The most common special is 'witbier' (white beer). Also Bok, brewed in Autumn and Spring, a tradition closely related to German Bock beer, is an often brewed special.

The Netherlands exports the largest proportion of beer of any country in the world – approximately 50% of production, according to The Brewers of Europe.[citation needed] In 2004, almost 1,300 million litres were exported out of a total production of 2,300 million litres.[citation needed]


Amstel, Grolsch and Heineken – three popular Dutch brands

There are three major brewery companies in the Netherlands: Heineken (also brews Amstel), Grolsch, and Bavaria. Belgian breweries also take part in the market. Inbev for example sells Jupiler, Dommelsch, and Oranjeboom in the Dutch market. According to the Centraal Brouwerij Kantoor, Heineken controls about fifty percent of the market and the other three fifteen percent each.[citation needed] Between the them,[who?] the large companies operate eight breweries.[citation needed] In addition to the multinationals, there are five[citation needed] independent lager breweries and around forty[citation needed] five small, new microbreweries and brewpubs. A dozen other companies own no brewing plant themselves and have their beers brewed by third parties in the Netherlands or Belgium.[citation needed] The new breweries mostly brew top-fermenting beers roughly similar to those from Belgium. In addition there are also examples of British-style ales and traditional lagers.

The Netherlands is home to two of the ten Trappist Breweries. The monks that run the Koningshoeven Brewery in Berkel-Enschot brew several beers, mostly branded La Trappe, and has been active since 1884, while the De Kievit brewery of the Zundert abbey was only founded in 2013 and brews a beer named Zundert.

Some beers have their own regional consumption base. Bavaria and Dommelsch are popular in North Brabant. Grolsch is a favourite in the eastern provinces.[citation needed]

Lentebier from Dutch brewery Jopen

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