With Heineken accounting for around 50% of the Dutch beer market, it’s easy to think there’s not a great deal to choose from. But while Holland is home to the likes of Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria, the dominant multilingual companies, there is a thriving Dutch craft beer market that’s begging to be explored.
While the brewing giants have cornered much of the market, there are still plenty of brewpubs and microbreweries in the Netherlands – currently around 45, although that number is (happily!) growing all the time.
The result is a delectable array of beers, with some areas of the country having developed their signature style of beer. You’ll find seasonal twists and special varieties, like bock and witbier, growing increasingly popular.
The newer breweries are generally focusing on creating top-fermenting beers that are similar to Belgian styles, while some are more akin to British ales and lagers. Add to this the iconic Trappist brewing tradition, which sees no less than seven traditional Trappist breweries making their home in the Netherlands, and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Koningshoeven Brewery alone has crafted the internationally renowned La Trappe, coming in a range of varieties, and ensuring there’s a great deal more to Dutch beer brands than a few pale lagers.