Back in 1873 a young entrepreneur named Gerard Heineken discovered a passion for brewing. So he purchased a piece of land in what is now the centre of Amsterdam, built a brewery and set about perfecting the recipe that would soon become Holland’s first ‘premium’ lager beer. Word quickly spread and the name Heineken, stamped onto every single bottle, became a national symbol of quality. Over the next 140 years his brewery expanded and Gerard’s children and grandchildren explored new worlds, but the name on the bottle always remained the same. Today, four generations later, they’re still passionate about brewing a truly premium beer. After all, when your family name is at stake, you care a little more.
At the heart of Heineken’s success lie pure, natural ingredients: malted barley, water, hops and a small but significant extra called A-Yeast. Heineken’s unique A-Yeast is responsible for the rich balanced taste and subtle fruity notes that have distinguished every single Heineken since the 19th century. Over the years our master brewers continued to perfect their craft. We learned that fermenting our beer in horizontal tanks instead of the industry-standard vertical creates the perfect pressure for our A-Yeast. That’s what gives each Heineken its characteristic balanced, rich taste. We also learned that it takes 28 days to brew a beautiful golden-yellow beer. Sure, that’s much longer than average, but we prefer patience above compromising on quality.
It’s been 140 years since Heineken has been able to call itself a microbrewer. And while we’re proud that 25 million Heineken’s are served each day across 192 countries, we’ve never forgotten that the quality is measured not in the size of your brand but in the purity of your beer. Even as we continue to open up to new worlds, Gerard’s uncompromised drive for quality and perfection still lives on in the Heineken family.
Be sure to read the description of the Leiden brewery world in the Middle Ages: Beer in medieval Leiden, by Rudolph Ladan.