Heineken Lager Beer (Dutch: Heineken Pilsener), or simply Heineken (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɛinəkən]) is a pale lager beer with 5% alcohol by volume produced by the Dutch brewing company Heineken International. Heineken is well known for its signature green bottle and red star.[3]


On 15 February 1864, Gerard Adriaan Heineken (1841–1893)[4][5] got his wealthy mother to buy De Hooiberg (The Haystack) brewery in Amsterdam, a popular working-class brand founded in 1592. In 1873 after hiring a Dr. Elion (student of Louis Pasteur) to develop Heineken-A Yeast for Bavarian bottom fermentation, the HBM (Heineken's Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij) was established, and the first Heineken brand beer was brewed. In 1875 Heineken won the Medaille D'Or at the International Maritime Exposition in Paris, then began to be shipped there regularly, after which Heineken sales topped 64,000 hectolitres (1.7 million U.S. gallons), making them the biggest beer exporter to France.

In 2013 Heineken joined leading alcohol producers as part of a producers' commitments to reducing harmful drinking.[6]

In Heineken's early years, the beer won four awards:

The two awards that are still mentioned on the label are the Medaille d'Or and Diplome d'Honneurs.[10]

In 2014 Heineken celebrated its 150th anniversary. In 2015 Heineken won the Creative Marketer of the Year Award, becoming the second company to win the award twice.[10]

The original brewery where Gerard Adriaan Heineken first started making Heineken is now the Heineken Experience Museum.[11]


Two glasses of Heineken beer

Since 1975 most Heineken brand beer has been brewed at their brewery in Zoeterwoude, Netherlands.[1] In 2011, 2.74 billion litres of Heineken brand beer were produced worldwide, while the total beer production of all breweries fully owned by the Heineken Group over all brands was 16.46 billion litres globally.[12] Heineken has been sold in more than 170 countries. They've also been incorporated with numerous beer brands in different countries all over the world including Mexico, China, Australia and various countries in Africa.

Labor exploitation

Heineken is known for its use of labor broking in South Africa through which it is able to effectively pay exploitive wages (in some cases as low as under $20 per 12 hour shift) to some of its South African workers. The company absolves itself from responsibility by claiming that these workers are employed by third party "service providers" even though the workers work at Heineken facilities alongside in house Heineken employees and that therefore they are not responsible.[13]


Heineken was the major sponsor of UEFA Champions League and Rugby World Cup; major sponsorship of Rugby Union had begun in Wales with the Welsh Premier Division competition.

In 2016, Heineken became the Official Beer of the FIA Formula One World Championship starts from Canadian Grand Prix.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Heineken geschiedenis". heineken.nl/. Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007. 
  2. ^ "Beeradvocate.com: Heineken Lager Beer". beeradvocate.com. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Heineken – Global FAQ". heineken.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Gerard Heineken". nndb.com. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Gerard Adriaan Heineken". geni.com. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  6. ^ (IARD), International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. "Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments Mark Two-year Progress Toward Reducing Harmful Drinking". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Get the facts". Heineken International. Archived from the original on 29 March 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "The Monthly Chronicle of North-country Lore and Legend". Walter Scott. 1 January 1887. Retrieved 15 September 2016 – via Google Books. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Our History". theheinekencompany. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Holland Pass". Heineken Experience. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Annual Report 2011". Heineken International. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Heineken issue ferments: Labour-broking shows few signs of disappearing". mg.co.za. Mail and Guardian. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  14. ^ "Heineken announces global partnership with Formula One Management". Formula1.com. Formula One World Championship Ltd. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 

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