The Netherlands is now home to nearly 1.000 breweries
The Netherlands may have a reputation for beer drinking, and be home to one of the world’s most famous beer brands, but the recent rise in the popularity of micro-breweries and craft beer means the small country is now home to over 900 breweries.
The rise of craft and local beers
At the start of 2021, 923 breweries were operating in the Netherlands, ranging from large multinational companies with thousands of employees, like Heineken, to smaller breweries such as Grolsch, to independent breweries with only a handful of employees. According to the Chamber of Commerce (KvK), the number of breweries has more than doubled since 2016.
The rising popularity of craft beer has also been reflected in the beers stocked by supermarkets across the Netherlands, and all national chains now stock locally or regionally brewed beer as well as the big-name brands.
The Netherlands opts for IPA over lager
According to Raymond van der Laan, beer aficionado and board member at Craft, the trade association for independent breweries, consumers have been lusting after more variety when it comes to the beers on offer, and locally-brewed beers and IPAs, in particular, have proven increasingly popular over the past five years. On the other hand, lager has seen its popularity dwindle.
As for the beer capital of the Netherlands? Well, with over 200 breweries, that would have to be Brabant. The province has eight breweries for every 100.000 inhabitants. City wise, Amsterdam (unsurprisingly) takes the lead, followed by Utrecht and The Hague.
Happy King's Day everyone! Keeping in the spirit of the day, maybe opt to support a smaller local brewery instead of one of the big brands. Or plan a visit to one of the many breweries that can be found across the country.