What the Dutch really think about beer

Perhaps not as much as they used to, according to this year’s National Beer Study by the Netherlands Brewers, a study on the the perception and appreciation of beer.

The average number of glasses of beer drunk each week has dropped, from 6,4 in 2012 to 5,9 in 2013. Half of Dutch people now only drink one to three glasses per week, with 20 per cent of people taking up the slack with over 10 glasses per week.

People also mostly drink at home: nearly 50 per cent of people prefer to sit inside their house, as compare to 36 per cent in 2010. Only a fifth drink mostly in cafes or restaurants.

What will you have?

Most Netherlanders would rather have a pilsner, with two-thirds indicating that is their favourite beer. The second favourite, although not nearly as popular, was white beer, chosen by eight per cent as their favourite and by 31 per cent as their second favourite.

What may not be so surprising is that alcohol-free beer is the least favourite type for nearly half of all drinkers. Yet, the survey shows that the number of people drinking it has increased sharply: nearly half of people say they do drink it now, up from 36 per cent in 2012.

The main reason people give for drinking alcohol-free beer is that they sometimes just don’t want to drink alcohol, mostly because they are driving. A fifth of people, however, drink it because they like it.

A large majority of people, however, don’t drink it because they don’t like the taste. Many also do simply don’t see the point of drinking a beer without alcohol. "You drink beer or you drink soft drink - alcohol-free beer is NOT beer," was one commenter’s opinion.

Commercial or Craft?

How many breweries do you think there are in the Netherlands? Less than 20?

Somewhere between 20 and 124? More than that even?

Actually there are 165 breweries here, but only one per cent of people knew that: most guessed less than twenty.

This may be explained by the fact that between a fifth and a third of people only choose well-known beer brands, especially when doing their daily shopping or sitting in their local.

People are more adventurous when they go on holidays or for a day out, with three-quarters of people then choosing at least sometimes to try a locally brewed beer.


About 50 per cent people don’t consider it important that they know where the ingredients in their beer came, although the number of people who do think about it up to 30 per cent from only 19 per cent in 2011.

On the other hand, a third of people indicated that they weren’t sure whether organically produced beer was better for the environment or not, saying it was difficult to estimate the impact.

Source: CBK

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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