HEINEKEN 1864-1900


I have to add a note for the pages…I have tried to get all the facts straight, but I cannot be 100% sure that all the facts and dates are 100% accurate. The pages are under constant renewal, and I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as i did creating them. Alot of Images are taken from http://www.heinekencollection.com. If you want to have a images printed, thats the place to be!

Part 2 https://famvandermeer.com/green-room/heineken-1900-2000/

Part 3 https://famvandermeer.com/green-room/heineken-2000-present/

Over the past 150 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 brewers.

Today Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is delegate member of the Board of directors of Heineken Holding N.V.

The origin of the Heineken family lies in the northern territory of Germany in the city Bremen. Christian Heineken was owner of a beerbrewery in Bremen at that time, so the Heineken family was in the brewing business way before the worldwide known brand even began! Around 1750 two sons of Christian (Nicolaas and Diedericus [ 1730-1795] ) moved to Holland to follow a theological study. After finishing the study, Nicolaas became a teacher in Deventer, and Diedericus became a preacher in Elburg.

Diedericus had sons, and one of his sons (Adriaan Gilles Heineken [1764-1824] ) moved to Amsterdam (Brouwergracht) in the middle of the 18th century, where he started a butter and cheese factory (Firma A.G. Heineken).  Things went very well for Adriaan’s cheese and butter company, and he bought several warehouses in Amsterdam.

G.A. Heineken also had sons. One of them (Cornelis Heineken, 1799-1862) started working in his fathers cheese and butter company at the age of 15, and learned all the trades on how to do business.

The story of the HEINEKEN company as we know it today starts with one of the sons of  Cornelis Heineken : Gerard Adriaan Heineken


The Heineken family entered the beer business in Holland in 1863, when 22 year old Gerard Adriaan Heineken thinks about buying  the Haystack ( ‘De Hooiberg’ ) brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. The Haystack brewery has been in business since 1592 and was widely known for its namesake brand, De Hooiberg (The Haystack), a popular working-class beer.

Gerard Adriaan Heineken

Gerard Adriaan Heineken (1841-1893)

Believing it to be a great deal to buy the Haystack, in the night of june 30th, 1863, he wrote a letter to his wealthy mother (Widow Heineken-van der Pauw) to convince her to purchase the brewery for him for the amount of 48.000 guilders. (also 80.000 guilders is mentioned)

Portraits of Cornelis Heineken and Anna Geertruida van der Pauw-Heineken

Portraits of Cornelis Heineken and Anna Geertruida van der Pauw-Heineken, Parents of Gerard Adriaan Heineken



On the second monday of december, the shareholders agreed a price of 300 guilders a share + 2% dividend. Gerard was insistent on purchasing the whole company, as he wanted to be in full control of the quality of the beer.  On februari the 25th, 1864 everything finally was in order, and Gerard was now owner of the Haystack brewery (retrospective effect to october 1863). Right after finishing the deal, he starts writing coffeeshops, beerhouses and hotels to praise his beers.

This year the Company is renamed from “NV Maatschappij de Hooiberg” to “Fa. Heineken en Co.”

Gerard Adriaan Heineken knew he needed a MasterBrewer, so one of the first things Gerard Heineken did when he took over the old brewery, was looking for a Brew master that could help him create the finest beers possible. He found Wilhelm Feltmann. Just 22 years of age but already highly experienced in the fine art of brewing by working for breweries in Silesia, Bohemen, Frankfurt am Main and Utrecht. Feltmann had a reputation for being stubborn and hard headed when it came to his way of working, and this proved to be quite a challenge for Heineken. But above all, they found each other in the common belief and vision that “what seems impossible today will be common practice in only a matter of years”. And it was due to this vision, that Heineken was the very first Dutch brewery to implement an Ammoniac cooling system so they no longer need to ship ice from Norway to their production facility and avoid the high impact that price fluctuations of this ice import could have on the result of his business (this was in 1881).

Wilhelm Feltmann. Heineken's first Masterbrewer from 1869 to 1897

Wilhelm Feltmann. Heineken’s first Masterbrewer from 1869 to 1897


Plans of the city of Amsterdam  to quench the “Nieuwezijdse voorburgwal”, is for Gerard the moment to decide to move his brewery from the inner city to a place where supply and transport of raw materials and products are not a problem anymore. Heineken opts for a spot just outside the Singel canal , nowadays the Stadhouderskade in the pastures of the Buitenveldert polder .

Already in 1865 , Heineken had started to purchase plots of land and in 1866 he receives permission from the Mayor and Aldermen of Amsterdam to build a brewery with steam power, malting, shelves and storage cellars and other facilities there.

Products of the Haystack brewery in 1864

Versche Bier Unknown to me what type of beer this was. So if you know…Send me a Message please
Hooibouwbier Weak, cloudy top fermented beer. 

This beer was just to satisfy the thirst in Haytime in the countryside.
It was only available in barrels, so no labels are preserved. This type of beer disappeared after
the introduction of the mowing machines, change of taste, and the fact that it was illegal to brew at home.
Most HooiBouwBier was brewed on the farms themselves.

Ale Top-fermenting yeast. Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers’ yeast.
Compared to lager yeasts, ale yeast ferments more quickly, and often produces a sweeter, fuller-bodied and fruitier taste. Most ales contain hops, which help preserve the beer and impart a bitter herbal flavour that balances the sweetness of the malt
Porter Dark beer, bottom Fermented. Porter is a dark style of beer developed in London from well-hopped beers made from brown malt.
The name was first recorded in the 18th century, and is thought to come from its popularity with street and river porters
Faro Dark beer. Spontaneous fermentation, no added yeast. Malted barley and unmalted wheat. Sweet saur taste.
Alcohol between 4 and 5%
Oud Bruin The beer is brewed from water, barley malt, and hops using top-fermentation. Oud Bruin (Old Brown), also known as Flanders Brown, is a style of beer originating from the Flemish region of Belgium. The Dutch name refers to the long aging process, up to a year. It undergoes a secondary fermentation, which takes several weeks to a month, and is followed by bottle aging for several more months. The extended aging allows residual yeast and bacteria to develop a sour flavor characteristic for this style. While some examples of an Oud Bruin may be aged in oak, typical beers in this style are not, and this is what helps Flanders Brown ales distinguish themselves from the more sour Flanders Red ales.Usually, cultured yeast and bacterias are used, as stainless does not harbor wild organisms as wood does
Beyers The popular Pilsner style, which is more heavily hopped, although it is also a pale lager, is most often known as simply “Pilsner” or “Pils”


The old Haystack brewery in the centre of the city was getting incapable of meeting the demands of the new age, so a new brewery was essential. In 1867, just outside the Singelgracht, Gerard Heineken builds a new, modern steam brewery after a design by the architect Isaac Gosschalk. This new brewery had to be a modern brewery driven by steam engines.


Architect Isaac Gosschalk (1838-1907)

Heineken's first Steam brewery

Heineken’s first Steam brewery

The new steam brewery consisted of two parts: the brewery itself and next to it the boilerhouse with the steam engine, behind which stood a tall chimney. The main building was  of a symmetrical design. On either side, component buildings with step gables served as storage place for malt, hops and barrels, and partly as a cold store. The middle section, in whose facade two small towers high up flanked a large bow window, contained the brewhouse and behind it a fermentation chamber.

View of the new build Amsterdam brewery

View of the new build Amsterdam brewery

There was also an office.  A monumental gate gave access to the brewery, with the name of the brewery and the year of its completion set above the gate.

Oldest known Heineken poster (1867)

Oldest known Heineken poster (1867)

"The Haystack" commercial

“The Haystack” commercial


The brewery is being build, and with the placing of the following parts, brewing could begin!

1 Waterboiler – 135 Barrel capacity
1 Mashtun – 35 Barrel capacity
1 Beer Kettle – 128 Barrel capacity
1 “Geilkuip” – 100 Barrel capacity

The cooling container is placed in the brewery as well, and has a capacity of 160 barrels beer,


Gerard Heineken decides to switch from traditional English “top fermentation” to the Bavarian (Beijersch) 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 the dark ‘Workman’s Ale’. The problem with this new technique was the cooling.

Top versus Bottom fermentation

Top versus Bottom fermentation


A decade of fierce competition begins, with several new breweries competing for the high-quality beer market. Due to financial issues, Heineken must again start making cheaper workman’s beer and aside brewing beer, Gerard Heineken 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.

Heineken attacked and solved one long standing problem in the 1860s and 1870s. That was the one of getting supplies of good water. The effort to replace the contaminated and often brackish water that was close to the brewing site was another product of the adoption of Bavarian style brewing and the increase in scale which the new technology implied. Scientist Mulder had pointed out some problems of certain chemicals in water which could lead to poor quality beer. So now finally there was one source of scientific information to support what had long been a widespread view that the quality of the water was a problem for brewing quality beer.

To soIve this problem, in 1869 HEINEKEN signed an agreement with the “Dunes Water Company” in Haarlem to supply water to his brewery. This ment Heineken had a system of pipes available to supply a steady stream of purified water. The sand acted as a natural filter so that water supplied by DWC had been to a great degree freed from harmful chemicals.



Due to the Franco-Prussian war, imports of Bavarian beer from Germany dried up, causing Heineken’s sales to skyrocket.

The year that Gerard started  brewing beer holding his name and the Heineken’s Beijers logo is introduced:




This year Heineken’s Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij N.V. was incorporated. Gerard wanted to set up a modern brewery in Rotterdam to brew bottom fermented beer and contacted the director of d’Oranjeboom in Rotterdam if he was interested in a merge. Willem Baartz was director of Oranjeboom at that time and accepted the offer of Gerard. Gerard had 70% of the shares, and is appointed president of the company. This merge was also needed to keep ahead of competition with “De Amstel” Beer brewery, which became fast popular at the time.

HBM Share

Heineken’s Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij  Share

Heineken stops producing ‘workman’s beer’. The sinking of the yeast was a great decision, but this type of fermentation requires cooled storages.  “Heineken’s Brouwerij Maatschappij”  had build cooling cellars to keep the beer cool with natural ice. In Winter this was not a problem, as the ice was harvested from the Amsterdam canals, but in spring and summer the ice was a problem and had to be imported from Norway.



After merging with d’Oranjeboom Breweries (Rotterdam) in 1873, a year later the building of the Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam is taken up. It’s a state of the art brewery with a 3000 square metres workfloor. The brewery is projected on the corner between the Crooswijkse singel and the Rotte canal, in the middle of empty polders.

Heineken Brewery Rotterdam at the ‘Crooswijkse Singel’

Heineken Brewery Rotterdam at the ‘Crooswijkse Singel’

View at the Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam from the Rotte canal.

View at the Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam from the Rotte canal.

Overview of the Heineken Brewery Rotterdam

Overview of the Heineken Brewery Rotterdam


Happy times in front of the HEINEKEN brewery in Rotterdam in 1875

Happy times in front of the HEINEKEN brewery in Rotterdam in 1875

The city of Rotterdam is booming at the time and it does not take long before the whole area around the brewery is completely build up with factories and houses.


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:

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. 

Heineken wins the Medaille d’Or (Gold Medal) on the Exposition Internationale des Industries Maritimes et Fluviales”, in Paris in 1875 for the quality of the beer.


Medaille d'Or Paris 1875

Medaille d’Or Paris 1875




Since 1875 Heineken exported beer slightly differently during the winter months. The Lager beer was delivered in two forms: with or without yeast. The reason for this was that, in cold weather, the beer could freeze in transit. Evidently this destroyed the flavour. The presence of yeast in the barrel helped to prevent the beer freezing. The beer with yeast was intended for immediate consumption, whereas that without could be kept longer.



With Sedlmayr as an intermediary, the Rotterdam Heineken Brewery under its director Feldmann ordered an ice machine in 1877 for ice production. In his collaboration with the Heineken Brewery, Linde developed “natural convection cooling” with a system of cooling pipes under the ceiling of the cellar. Feldmann in turn put von Linde in contact with J. C. Jacobsen, head of the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen, who ordered a large refrigeration unit in 1878.

A fermentation cellar with natural convection cooling

A fermentation cellar with natural convection cooling


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’.

At this time Heineken’s Bier Maatschappij has 4 Bottom Fermented Lager style Beers:


Cheap and cheerful type of Lager. Gerste No2 was more or less similar, but cheaper and of less quality.
Both beers were bottom fermented using the Heineken D-Yeast.  Although it is  a bottom-fermented beer, it is of a low gravity and not lagered,
and is a beer quick to make for a significantly lower price.

Bottle_Logo1 Dark Beer. Dutch Beiersch was the equivalent of a Munich Lagerbier.
pilsener  Bottom fermetation beer. The taste is created mostly from the typical A-Yeast.
Its “full malt”, which means its created for 100% Malted barley.
Heineken uses “Hop pellets” instead of “Hop Bubbles”.
This means there is a limited hop aroma, but still a light bitter taste.
munchener Originally dark, weakly hopped and malty flavored beer.

All the beer that went abroad (at least, further than Belgium) was bottled, either in whole bottles of 64 cl. or half-bottles of 32 cl. The bottles were packed in cases of 48 whole bottles or 96 half bottles, with protective straw packing.



In the beginning bottles were corked, but it was found that cork could dry out over a long sea voyage leading to leakage, or air getting in and causing deterioration, a situation that Heineken could not tolerate ofcourse.

In 1880 bottles were capped for the first time and a year later the five-pointed star appeared on the cap making it clear to everyone where the beer was coming from.



With bottom fermentation the beer needs to be cooled, and for this Ice was used. In winter this ice was taken from the Amsterdam canals. But in other times, the ice had to be imported from Norway (which was expensive). Feltmann had lots of connections within the brewing industry and went to the Carlsberg brewery to look at a Linde Cooling machine the Carlsberg brewery was already using in their production process since 1880. He was so enthousiastic about the machine, he asked the Heineken board to install a Linde-V cooling system in the brewery in Amsterdam.

Linde-V cooling system

Linde-V cooling system

Using this new cooling technique developed by Carl von Linde, Heineken gained the ability to brew year round at a consistent quality level.
Heineken was one of the first breweries in the world to eliminate the brewer’s traditional dependence on seasonal natural ice.

In 1883, The same cooling systems are installed in the brewery in Rotterdam. With this Ice-making machine, 1000kg of Ice an Hour was produced, and this also made it possible for Heineken’s Brouwerij Maatschappij to run a lucrative Ice trade. The Ice machines were also used to cool the yeast cellars.

Ice Machine in the Heineken Brewery

Ice Machine in the Heineken Brewery




International Colonial Exposition in Amsterdam

International Colonial Exposition in Amsterdam

Heineken Receives the Diplome d’Honneurs (Honorary Diploma) at the International Colonial Exposition in Amsterdam

Diplome d'Honneurs (Honorary Diploma)

Diplome d’Honneurs (Honorary Diploma)


In 1884 Heineken registers the typical green Heineken label as a trademark:





1886 was a crucial year for Heineken’s Brouwerij Maatschappij. Dr. Hartog Elion,
head of the Heineken laboratory in Rotterdam from 1886 to 1920.


Laboratory Rotterdam

Feltmann stated that a research laboratory should be created within the Heineken brewery in Rotterdam; the executive board agreed to this and in 1886 the research laboratory was inaugurated, instating dr Hartog Elion (student of Dr. Louis Pasteur) as head of the laboratory.

Hartog Elion (1853-1930)

Hartog Elion (1853-1930)

In the same year, Elion constructed an improved version of Hansen’s pure culture apparatus. Dr. Elion, an eminent supporter of Hansen’s ideas, was at work in the Heineken brewery at Rotterdam. Up to that time the brewery had obtained yeast from Munich and Copenhagen. Elion never used Hansen’s method of the open vessels, but began with large 75-litre glass bottles (16.5 gallons), which could only be sterilised with difficulty, but which enabled him to make sufficient quantities of absolutely pure yeast. The method, however, was rather laborious and the glass vessels were replaced by an apparatus made of copper. In this apparatus Elion was able to carry on the cultivation of pure yeast indefinitely. Thus, the Heineken brewery was the second in the world to use a pure culture apparatus for yeast. That this apparatus was remarkably well constructed is shown by the fact that it is still in use.

Elion had the good fortune to be able to isolate two strains of yeast which were, and still are, very popular in foreign breweries. The general propagation of pure culture yeast and its popularity were much advanced by the Heineken brewery; thus, in the year 1886, more than 7,000 kgrms. of a pure and generally appreciated yeast were sent to different breweries in Germany. The only institution in Germany which cultivated pure yeast was at that time the Wissenschaftliche Station fur Brauerei in Munich, but for many years the station was unable to produce sufficient pure yeast to meet the demand. It is not too much to say that the supply of pure yeast to German breweries in the period between 1885 and 1900 was principally from the Heineken brewery, and was the result of the work of Dr. Elion.

This A – strain is still used  today only by HEINEKEN worldwide.

The birth of Henry Pierre Heineken

geboorte HP-Heineken



Heineken receives the Memorial Diploma at the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry  in Glasgow.

Memorial Diploma




View of Exposition Universelle (Universal Exhibition), Paris, France, 1889.

View of Exposition Universelle (Universal Exhibition), Paris, France, 1889.

The innovations begin to pay of. On the world exibition in Paris, Heineken is awarded the “Diplome de Grand Prix”.
This award crowns the quality-focused policies of Gerard Heineken and director Wilhelm Feltmann.

The Heineken Paviljon at the World Fair

The Heineken Paviljon at the World Fair


The Diplome Heineken received. 

Certificate awarded to the Heineken brewery during the Paris World Fair, 1889

Certificate awarded to the Heineken brewery during the Paris World Fair, 1889



Electric lighting is installed at the Amsterdam brewery.

Old image of "Mouters" of the Rotterdam Brewery in 1890 - 1892

Old image of “Mouters” of the Rotterdam Brewery in 1890 – 1892



Gerard Adriaan Heineken dies at 11 o’clock in the morning just before he was about to address to the Heineken shareholders. Under the direction of Gerard Heineken and Wilhelm Feltmann, Heineken’s Brouwerij Maatschappij has grown in its first twenty years from a small company to a large-scale industry.

The groundwork has been laid for future expansion.

GA Heineken Passed away 

Born: 1841
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: 18-Mar1893
Location of death: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cause of death: unspecified
Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Business
Nationality: Netherlands
Executive summary: Founder of Heineken NV
Father: Cornelis Heineken
Mother: Anna Gertruida van der Paauw
Wife: Mary Tindal
Son: Henry Pierre Heineken (Heineken executive)


Gerard Adriaan Heineken


The end of an epoch: despite master brewer Feltmann’s hopes for his own son to take the position, J.D.A. Petersen becomes the new director.
He later marries Gerard’s widow Mary Tindal, becoming stepfather of the eight-year-old Henry Pierre Heineken. Rumors or not, it is widely spread that Henry Pierre was the son of Mary Tindal and J.D.A Petersen, en not the son of G.A. Heineken.

J.D.A. Petersen with Mary Tindal

J.D.A. Petersen with Mary Tindal




Barrelmakers 1899

Barrelmakers 1899

As the business consolidates its hold on markets, employers come under increasing pressure from workers demanding explicit agreementsand better treatment. Petersen resists pressure from old-style managers and strives for dialogue, which ultimately results in the first collective labour agreements.

Continue to part 2: https://famvandermeer.com/green-room/heineken-1900-2000/

Used sites:


Used Books:

Dutch Culture in a European Perspective: 1900, the age of bourgeois culture
150 years of Heineken
The Magic of Heineken
Gerard Heineken, de man, de stad en het bier
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 43, Issue 4, July-August 1937, page 296.
van Eeghen, I.H. (1958) ‘De Brouwerij de Hooiberg’.
Jaarboek van het Genootschap Amstelodamum 58, 86-88.
Korthals, H.A. (1948) Korte Geschiedenis der Heineken’s Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij N.V. 1873-1948.
The Global Brewing Industry (Jens Gammelgaard, Christoph Dörrenbächer)
The remarkably refreshing tale of the beer that conquered the world
Heineken: Een leven in de brouwerij



1 thought on “HEINEKEN 1864-1900

  1. Funny how I though that i knew alot about Heineken, and in the research i found out many new things…:D

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