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Fancy a pintje? Everything you need to know about Dutch beer!

The Netherlands is most definitely a beer loving nation – although annual beer consumption has dropped in recent years, the average Dutch person still drinks almost 73 litres of the stuff each year. In addition, the Netherlands exports some 1.5 billion litres of Dutch beer abroad, making it one of the largest beer exporting countries in the world. The most popular Dutch beer by far is ‘pils’, however, Dutch beer lovers are starting to appreciate speciality and alcohol free beers too.

Pils – still the most popular Dutch beer

Each year Dutch breweries conduct a ‘Nationaal Bieronderzoek’ (National Beer Study) to uncover current trends amongst Dutch beer drinkers. Their latest research shows that whilst Dutch Pils (such as Heineken and Amstel beer) remains the best-loved beer in the Netherlands, many Dutch also enjoy the occasional speciality beer. ‘Witbier’ (white or wheat beer) is a particular favourite, closely followed by Belgian beers such as Westmalle Triple Trappist, Duvel and Leffe Blonde. As well as Belgian beers, the Dutch also opt for locally brewed beers including Hertog Jan Grand Prestige (from the Dutch province of North-Brabant) and Wieckse Witte (from Limburg).

Alcohol-free beer and home tapping on the rise
Heineken beer keg
Another recent trend is for alcohol free beer (containing a maximum of 0.1% alcohol). Indeed some 46% of all Dutch beer drinkers consume a non-alcoholic beer every now and then – even when they’re not driving. And these days it would appear that most Dutch sup their chosen brew at home, rather than in a pub or cafe. Major breweries have responded by ‘tapping’ into this market with a selection of handy ‘beer tenders’ that dispense Dutch beer such as Amstel or Heineken from small kegs.

Beer facts:

  • The average Dutch person believes there to be around 39 breweries in the Netherlands, whilst the correct number is 165.
  • Dutch beer is traditionally served in two types of glass – the ‘fluitje’ (22 cl) and the ‘vaasje’ (25 cl). The perfect head is at least two fingers wide.
  • In Dutch beer is often referred to by a nickname such as “blonde rakker” (blond rascal) or “pintje” (little pint).

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

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