A Look at Dutch Beer!

I suppose I should say a look at beer in the Netherlands, should I? But however, you refer to it there are some surprising things to learn so let's take a look at Dutch beer in more detail. One of the more surprising things to learn is that beer isn't as popular as you might think.

Now that's not to say it's unpopular, it's still a very popular beverage but a lot of Dutch beer is actually more popular elsewhere in the world. The Netherlands is the home of both the Heineken and Grolsch breweries, which are names I' am sure most beer drinkers are familiar with.

Grolsch breweries are the leading importers of larger in the UK and the 21st largest beer provider globally. Although despite originating in the Netherlands and having its main breweries there it, like some other larger brewers in the country, are more popular with international audiences.

Heineken is in a similar position to Grolsch although it's a very popular brewery its beers are more popular internationally. Heineken was actually the biggest beer exporter to France in 1875 and continues to be one of the largest beer exporters in the world.

Many Dutch beers like Heineken achieved popularity very quickly and it's impressive how much they have managed to maintain it over time. Only 2 years after its creation Heineken had already won the Medaille D'Or at the International Maritime Exposition in Paris, which is what led the beer to become so popular in France.

Home of The Big Breweries

Being home to beer giants like Heineken and Grolsch might sound great but it has also caused the beer market in the Netherlands to grow a little stagnant or at least that’s what it might look like at first. If you're ever holidaying in the Netherlands then expect to see a lot of pale ales on tap.

Drinkers of Heineken beer probably won’t be surprised by this after all it is one of the most famous pale ales available. Grolsch Premium Pilsner is a similar pale ale although there are a lot of different versions to experiment with including various strengths and colours and even alcohol-free options.

Outside the main two, there is also Amstel beer, the Amstel brewery is also housed in the Netherlands and it's another famous name in Dutch beer. Being founded in 1870 it was at one time a close rival with its neighbours Heineken and Grolsch.

Amstel was also the first brewery to export beer in cans but like many other breweries it was taken over by Heineken in 1982 and all brewing is now done at the main Heineken brewery. Belgium based breweries also have a presence with a number of popular InBev beers like the pale lagers Dommelsch and Jupiler also being available.

Out of all the big breweries, Heineken is without a doubt the most prominent in the Netherlands with an estimated 50% total market share. Many of the Netherlands big breweries are very historic and it's a testament to their innovation that they are still going strong after over a century. But what else does Dutch beer offer beyond the big name brewers

Exploring Dutch Beer!

They operate two breweries in the Netherlands one of which has been active since the late 1800's while the other is still in its infancy only being set-up in 2013. So, if you want to try something a little unique and different these breweries are certainly worth a visit.

Microbreweries and craft beers are also growing in popularity in the Netherlands and while it might seem like the big brands are all there is there is actually quite a few smaller independent brewers active as well!

Another popular Dutch beer worth checking out is white beers (also knowns as witbiers) these are made like traditional wheat beers but with suspended yeast and wheat to give the beverage a hazier, white colour. They are also made with spices and herbs instead of hobs so have a much more unique flavour and scent.

If you've ever wanted to try a more ancient medieval style beer than this is the drink for you! Dutch beer is an important part of the countries culture, it is the largest beer exporter in the world after all. And while the big breweries are certainly full of rich history and there's lot's to try you can also discover amazing lesser-known beers as well.

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