The history of Heineken
The Heineken family entered the beer business in 1864, when Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought a brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Over the past 140 years, three generations of the Heineken family have built and expanded the brand and the company in Europe and around the world. It is thanks to the leadership of Gerard, Henry and Alfred Heineken that Heineken is one of the world’s leading brewing groups. Today Charlene de CarvalhoHeineken is delegate member of the Board of directors of Heineken Holding N.V. 1864 22-year-old businessman Gerard Adriaan Heineken purchases the "The Haystack" brewery, the largest in the region. He demands and receives full control of shares, realising that sweeping and rapid changes are needed. 1868 To meet increasing consumer demand, a new brewery is built in Amsterdam at the Buitensingel. 1869 Gerard Heineken decides to switch from traditional top fermentation to the Bavarian method of bottom fermentation, a totally different technique that produces a clearer, purer beer, which keeps longer. The new beer is known for its quality and is called 'Gentleman's Beer' as opposed to 'Workman's Ale'. A decade of fierce competition begins, with several new breweries competing for the highquality beer market. Heineken must again start making cheaper workman's beers and gets into the business of cafes, hotels, and beer houses to secure purchasers. Brewers take on the role of banks, providing credit and extravagant extra benefits to win over clients. 1870 Due to the Franco-Prussian war, imports of Bavarian beer dry up, causing Heineken's sales to skyrocket. 1873 Heineken's Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij N.V. (Heineken Breweries or HBM) is incorporated. Gerard Heineken is appointed President and the name 'Haystack' is replaced by Heineken. The brewery stops producing 'workman's beer'. 1874 After merging the previous year with Oranjeboom breweries, a state-of-the-art brewery is built in Rotterdam. With a work-floor of 3000 square metres, it is one of the most expensive and innovative facilities of its day. 1875 Heineken beer wins a gold medal at the International Exposition in Paris and regular shipments to the French capital begin. Among others, the Folies Bergere signs up to receive an annual 2000 hectolitres. Heineken continues to expand, struggling between concessions to the market and its belief in
the high quality, and price, standards that put it on the map in the first place. Continuing with Gerard Heineken's philosophy that, "A good product is recommended by its use alone," the company refuses to deploy advertising seriously, seeing it as useless and rather low-class. Technical breakthroughs ultimately provide a critical edge. 1880 Heineken sales top 64,000 hectolitres. The company is now the biggest exporter to France, and in particular Paris, which is fast becoming 'the capital of the nineteenth-century'. 1881 Cooling systems are installed in the brewery in Amsterdam, terminating dependence on natural ice. In 1883, cooling systems are installed in the brewery in Rotterdam. 1886 Doctor Elion, a student of Louis Pasteur, develops the A-yeast strain, still used today to give Heineken its characteristic flavour. 1889 The innovations begin to pay off: the brewery is awarded the gold medal of honour at the World Exhibition in Paris, where Heineken beer is supplied to the Eiffel tower restaurant. This award crowns the quality-focused policies of Gerard Heineken and director Wilhelm Feltmann. It is an age of great innovation, and one improvement quickly follows another. The innovations are not only technical: industrial buildings like breweries are already being recognised as important works of architecture in their own right. The labour movement also begins to make its presence felt on the work floor. 1890 Electric lighting is installed at the Amsterdam brewery. 1893 Gerard Adriaan Heineken dies. Under the direction of Gerard Heineken and Wilhelm Feltmann, HBM has grown in its first...
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