Name and logo

The Amstelbrouwerij (brewery) was located close to the Amstel River, after which it was named. The red and white logo was supposedly chosen as these were important colours to Amsterdam. But there is another version of this story. The founders of the Amstelbrouwerij, De Pester and Van Marwijk Kooy, were fanatical billiard players. They are said to have chosen this colour scheme based on the colours of billiard balls.


The former Amstel brewery headquarters has been preserved

Growth of the Amstelbrouwerij

The Amstelbrouwerij was founded in 1870. From 1872, Amstel brewed 10,000 hectolitres of beer a year – about four million glasses of beer. They came up with a clever idea for the low temperatures needed for the yeasting process: ice was chopped up and removed from the canals. The ice was stored in double walled cellars and ensured cool temperatures all year round. Amstel produced primarily for the local market in Amsterdam. The beer left the country for the first time in 1883, to Great Britain and the then Dutch East Indies.


A complex of multiple Amstel brewery buildings, 1983


Heineken and Amstel merged in 1968. The manufacturing of Amstel beer moved to a new brewery in Zoeterwoude (town) in 1980. The Amstelbrouwerij was closed down and the production buildings were demolished. In 1988 the Heinekenbrouwerij on the Stadhouderskade also closed. The former brewery now houses the Heineken Experience.


Interior of the brewing house, a section of the brewery, 1979