Heineken Asia Pacific

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Heineken Asia Pacific
Subsidiary of Heineken International
SuccessorHeineken Asia Pacific
Founded1931 (as Malayan Breweries Limited)
1989 (as Asia Pacific Breweries)
Key people
Roland Pirmez (President Asia Pacific)
ProductsBeers and lagers
ParentHeineken International (100%)
SubsidiariesDB Breweries

Heineken Asia Pacific, formerly Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) is an Asian brewery company founded as Malayan Breweries Limited (MBL) in 1931, in a joint venture between Heineken International and Fraser and Neave, it was renamed Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) in 1989 and given its present name after merging with Heineken Asia Pacific in 2013.

It currently controls 45 breweries in 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region, selling over 50 beer brands and variants. It is wholly owned by parent company Heineken International.[1]


In 1931, Fraser & Neave formed a joint venture with Holland’s Heineken to venture into the brewing business. The brewery, Malayan Breweries Limited produced Tiger Beer, and later acquired Archipelago Brewery, which produced Anchor Beer.[2]

In 1990, Malayan Breweries changed its name to Asia Pacific Breweries.

In 2004, APB acquired 90% of DB Breweries.[3]

In 2010, APB acquired PT Multi Bintang Indonesia from Heineken International BV[4]

In August 2012, Fraser & Neave accepted an offer from Heineken to acquire its stake in APB for US$4.1 billion.[5] Shareholders approved the deal during the extraordinary general meeting held on September 28, 2012.[6]

In 2013, APB merged with Heineken Asia Pacific and was renamed Heineken Asia Pacific to reflect its role as Heineken's regional hub.

Key brands[edit]

The company’s main brands include Tiger Beer, Anchor, Baron’s Strong Brew, Bintang Beer, DB Bitters, Tui, ABC Extra Stout and Archipelago Brewery Company range of beers. It also brews Heineken under a license from its parent company.

Tiger beer[edit]

Tiger beer truck in Langkawi, Malaysia
Advert in S.A.F.A Handbook 1952

Launched in 1932, Tiger beer became Singapore's first locally brewed beer.[7] It is a 5% abv bottled pale lager. APB's flagship brand, it is available in more than 60 countries worldwide. The flagship brand has entered in a number of beer tasting competitions and has performed well. At the 2011 World Quality Selections, organized by Monde Selection, the brand won a Gold Quality award.[8] According to Brand Finance’s Top 100 Singapore brands 2012 Report, Tiger is amongst Singapore’s top 10 most valuable brands.

Tiger in popular culture[edit]

The "It's Time for a Tiger" slogan for Tiger Beer has run for decades since its inception in the 1930s.

The writer Anthony Burgess named his first novel Time for a Tiger (the first part of the Malayan trilogy The Long Day Wanes) after the advertising slogan.[citation needed] The beer was popular in the Malaya of the 1950s, where Burgess was working.

Burgess reveals in his autobiography that, when his Time for a Tiger was published, he asked the manufacturer, then Fraser and Neave, for a complimentary clock with the Tiger beer slogan. The brewery declined to offer this or any other free gift to him. But, fourteen years later, when Burgess was more famous, it relented. In 1970, the company offered Burgess the privilege to consume any of their beers free of charge while in Singapore. However, in his own words Burgess wrote in response: "But it was too late, I had become wholly a gin man."

The beer was also seen in the 2002 movie The Transporter with Jason Statham. Crates of Tiger appeared in the 2008 film Tropic Thunder. Also, in the 2001 Hong Kong action thriller The Accidental Spy it's the preferred beer of Buck Yuen (played by Jackie Chan) who orders it by name in a bar and, also has an empty bottle of Tiger by his bed in the next scene as he wakes up from a dream.

In the movie The Odd Angry Shot about the Australian Special Air Service during the Viet Nam war, Tiger is considered the beer of choice among American and Aussie troops. Tiger is seen as a favourite among British troops during the Malayan emergency in the film The Virgin Soldiers.

"What time is it? It's Tiger time." here


Bottle label of Heineken Lager Beer

Heineken Lager Beer is another flagship product of APB. It is a 5% abv pale lager that was first made in 1868 and brews under a license from its parent company.

Bintang Beer[edit]

Bintang Beer, is a 4.7% abv Pilsner brewed by APB's subsidiary PT Multi Bintang Indonesia in Indonesia.

Tui Beer[edit]

Tui, is a 4% abv pale lager brewed by APB's subsidiary DB Breweries in New Zealand.

The five types of Anchor Beer available in Hainan Island, China

Anchor Beer (Hainan, China)[edit]

Asia Pacific Breweries opened the first mass production brewery on Hainan Island in the capital city of Haikou in 1997. The new brewery produced Tiger Beer and the now discontinued budget ‘Aoke’ but mainly focused on Anchor Beer. For almost a decade Anchor Beer was the dominant beer on Hainan Island. From 2007 realizing the potential revenues from the booming tourist industry in Hainan, the Tsingtao Beer Company made successful efforts to reduce Anchor’s monopoly and as of 2014 outside of the capital Haikou, most small shops stock primarily Tsingtao.

As of 2014 there are several unique Anchor Beer types available only in Hainan. These include: Anchor Red Crown 4.4% (similar in taste and branding to Anchor Smooth), Anchor Lite 4.0%, Anchor ‘Classic’ 4.0%, Anchor Ice 4.0% and Anchor 97 4.0%.

In addition to the Anchor Beer family the brewery in Haikou also produces Heineken and two versions of ‘Hainan Beer’. One a 3.2% budget version and the other a 4.0% ‘premium’ version with a bright blue logo tailored for tourists and the growing number of international resorts.

In late 2015 the company launched 'Anchor Radler' in Hainan Island. A light 1.8% beer mixed with lemon. Sold in 300ml bottles the target market appears to be trendy clubs and afternoon drinkers. The logo is exactly the same as the Radler logo used on Bintang Radler, which also comes in 300ml bottles only.

8 of the 10 beers brewed by APB in Hainan. Missing are Tiger Crystal and Heineken
picture of anchor beer radler 300ml bottle
picture of bintang beer radler 300ml bottle

The Asian Pacific Brewery Challenge (Hainan)[edit]

While APB actively supports responsible drinking through their ‘drink-savvy’ campaign, a popular pastime of expatriates living in Hainan is to take part in the ‘APB Challenge’. Founded by longtime Hainan expatriate James Farquhar, the first APB challenge took place following a 'Hash House Harrier' event in Sanya on June 22, 2009. APB Hainan produces 5 types of Anchor Beer, 2 types of Tiger Beer (regular Tiger and Tiger Crystal), 2 types of Hainan Beer and Heineken, totaling 10 different beers. Only two are available in cans (Anchor Red Crown and Anchor Lite), only some in 330 ml bottles but all in 600 or 550 ml "big" bottles. The APB challenge is to find and drink all 10 types of the big-bottle versions in one day. From 2012 the challenge has become increasingly difficult as some product lines (Anchor 97 and Anchor ‘Classic’) are only available in rural villages outside of the main population centers of Haikou and Sanya.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DB Breweries - Parent Company". 2013. Retrieved 20 Aug 2013.
  2. ^ Frankham, Steve (17 June 2008). Malaysia and Singapore. Footprint Travel Guides. p. 539. ISBN 978-1-906098-11-7. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Asia Pacific completes takeover of DB Breweries". Modern Brewery Age. 2004.
  4. ^ "APB completes acquisition of Indonesia's Bintang Beer". Pack Web Asia. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Heineken reaches US$4.1b deal for Asia Pacific Breweries". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Heineken takeover of Tiger Beer maker approved". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  7. ^ http://www.tigerbeer.com, The Name Behind the Brand, Milestones
  8. ^ Performance of the brand
  9. ^ "Guzzling Tiger Beer catches on in Detroit". Detroit Free Press. 2006-10-19.

External links[edit]