Holland: Land of Heineken and Windmills
Two beers could
sum up the Dutch brewing industry for the U.S. consumer: Heineken and
Amstel, two rather similar pale lager-style beers that dominate the Dutch
market. Both are made by the same brewing conglomerate of Heineken, the
world’s third-largest brewer of beer, after Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller. The Dutch are a confirmed beer drinking nation, though they lack
the historic richness of brewing culture that has characterized their
Belgian neighbors. This decade has, however, seen some progress. There are
now 20 independent craft brewers of ale in Holland, but none has an export
presence of note in the United States. The best-known independent brewer
at home and abroad is Grolsch, who produces a pale lager of the same name,
sold in eye-catching flip-top bottles.
alternative to pale lager lies with bokbiers, a toned-down interpretation
of the German bock style, though these domestic specialties have yet to be
exported. Grolsch produces an amber lager for export, and Heineken brews
Heineken Dark for the U.S. market. With a solid presence in the U.S.
market, Heineken and Amstel are likely to be the face of Dutch beer here
for the foreseeable future.
Holland is host
to the one Trappist brewery outside Belgium, Trappistenbier-brouwerij de
Schaapskooi, or, more simply, Koningshoeven, which produces four beers
under the La Trappe and Koningshoeven labels. La Trappe is currently
available in the USA.
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