19 February 2015 - Best Beer HQ
Top 10 facts about Heineken
Heineken is easily one of the most iconic beer brands in the world – but how much do you know about the beer and the company that brews the stuff?
The Dutch lager with the lone red star on a green bottle can be something of an enigma. Thankfully, we’ve researched these 10 facts about Heineken that you can rattle off to your mates next time you enjoy a bottle or glass of the world-famous beer.
1. Heineken is available in more than 70 countries
Of course, it should surprise no-one that Heineken is a huge multinational beer brand, considering its beer is almost as omnipresent as Coca-Cola. However, it’s only when you actual travel to some of the world’s most remote corners that it really dawns on you just how popular this beer is.
2. It hails from Amsterdam, but the Heineken you’re drinking probably doesn’t
It started in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, but these days Heineken is brewed by more than 140 different breweries around the world. Chances are you’re not reading this article in Amsterdam, so the last Heineken you probably had was brewed domestically.
3. It makes HEAPS of money
Heineken’s revenue in 2013 was €19.2bn ($21.8bn USD). That’s a lot of beer. To put it in perspective, that figure is higher than the GDP of many of the world’s smaller countries – including Jamaica, Cambodia, and Albania.
4. But it’s not #1
That’s right. Depending on what you read, Heineken International is only the second or even the third largest brewer globally by revenue. Anheuser-Busch InBev is the undisputed champion, accounting for a 25% market share of all the sales of beer worldwide.
5. Heineken International owns more than 250 brands
These brands include Amstel, Desperados, Sol, Strongbow cider, Dos Equis, Tiger, and Bintang. You’ll notice that many of the Heineken International beer brands are relatively dull-but-highly-marketable light lagers.
6. Heineken is more than 150 years old
Heineken was founded in 1864 by one Gerard Adriaan Heineken. We’ll guess that even he couldn’t predict how successful his beer would turn out to be just 150 years later.
7. You can visit the original Heineken brewery in Amsterdam
But it’s no longer operational. The original brewery on Stadhouderskade and Ferdinand Bolstraat was closed in 1988 and was later reopened as the Heineken Experience – an interactive museum and corporate visitor centre.
8. The Heineken smiling ‘e’
Alfred Henry Heineken, the grandson of original founder Gerard Adriaan Heineken, is the man behind the Heineken beer label.
Legend has it that in 1964 he decided to change the font on the Heineken beer label so that it would be ‘more friendly’ to women, who at that point in history tended to be the ones buying groceries for the family. To this end, he subtly changed the font on the label so that the E’s appear to be smiling.
9. Heineken is suitable for vegans
It contains no animal products. However, there is 3.5g of sugar and 40 calories in every 100ml of Heineken beer.
It’s not gluten free. Heineken typically contains a small amount of gluten that’s derived from the grain used to brew it.
10. Heineken does not sponsor dog fights
While researching this article Best Beer HQ stumbled across a statement on one of the Heineken websites condemning a nightclub in Mongolia that was hosting dog fights. Apparently images have been circulating online via social media with Heineken branding in the background.
The statement says: “This is very distressing and totally unacceptable. As a company and a brand owner, we do not and would never knowingly support any event, outlet or individual involved in this type of activity. It is against our company and brand rules and – more important – against our company values.”
So Heineken doesn’t sponsor dog fights – just the UEFA Champions League, the Heineken Cup, the Heineken Open in New Zealand, numerous music festivals, the James Bond films and who knows how many other events around the world.