150 years of Heineken

1864

On 15 February Gerard Adrian Heineken buys De Hooiberg (‘the Haystack’) brewery in Amsterdam. An entrepreneurial Innovator and one of the most successful businessmen of his time, he found the business based on the values they are still present today: Enjoyment, Respect, and Passion for quality.

1869

Gerard Adriaan Heineken Switches from traditional top Fermentation to the Bavarian method of bottom fermentation. This new technique produces a clearer, purer beer, referred to as ‘Gentleman’s Beer’.

1886

Doctor Elion, a student of Louis Pasteur, develops the Heineken® A-yeast strain. This unique, top-secret yeast is still used today to give Heineken® its characteristic flavor.

1889

At the World Fair, to which the newly constructed Eiffel tower marks the entrance, Heineken® is awarded the ‘Diplome de Grand prix’, honoring it as the world’s best beer.

1900

HEINEKEN imports its first beer into Africa.

1923

First brewery in Africa DRC

1927

HEINEKEN completes its first international acquisition of the Brasserie Leopold in Brussels.

1929

Production of bottled beer begins enabling HEINEKEN to offer an even greater guarantee of beer quality.

1933

Heineken® beer is the first imported beer in the USA, three days after prohibition is lifted.

1946

Entering Nigeria

1948

With a passionate belief in brands and marketing, Alfred Heineken begins a radical modernization of the company. He once said, “Had I not been a brewer, I would have been an advertising man.” This year, branded Heineken® bottles of beer go on sale, putting branding at the forefront.

1968

On New Year’s Day 1968, Heineken® broadcasts its first television commercial in the Netherlands, the first beer company in the country to do so. Later that year HEINEKEN acquires Amstel, its major domestic rival.

1988

The original HEINEKEN brewery in Amsterdam brews its last beer. In 1991, the site of the brewery is converted into an interactive attraction dedicated to the world of HEINEKEN. It is renamed the Heineken Experience in 2001.

1988

First local sourcing in Nigeria.

2009

The Heineken Africa Foundation, designed to support and enhance the improvement of health for people in sub-Saharan Africa, is established.

2011

Acquisition of Harar and Bedele breweries in Ethiopia.

2015

Opening of Kilinto brewery in Ethiopia.

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