Amsterdam's Heineken: 150 years of Heineken in Amsterdam, exhibition at the City Archives


When in Amsterdam....this is home to Heineken. The third largest beer in the company in the world is the city's most famous name. In 2014, Heineken celebrates its 150 year birthday. The Amsterdam City Archives is presenting an exhibition of history about the founder and the company in the Amsterdam.



Established in 1864 by the then 22 year old Gerard Adrian Heineken, the beer was a success from the beginning. The exhibition, Heineken's Amsterdam, charts the establishment of the company and its first brewery near the Dam Square.

Gerard Adrian Heineken


The exhibition then flows to explaining the man and his role in Amsterdam society. Gerard Heineken was philanthropic and in keeping with the times. He worked for 20 years as the treasurer of the Municipal Soup Kitchen. He was member of the Free Bread committee and the committee to provide housing to the homeless.




Gerard Heineken was also a patron of the arts. He served on supervisory committees of the new Rjiksmuseum and the Peoples Palace, present day National Bank. This did of course help with his marriage to noblewoman Mary Tindal in 1871. There are images and city plans to show his involvement in Amsterdam's development.

It was in 1870 that Heineken starting producing its trademark pilsner beer. It was an immediate hit then and bettered over the years. This is the beer that today the world associates with Heineken. 

The exhibition finishes with a look at the beer and the beer branding until present time. As always the Amsterdam City Archives provide a rich and well curated exhibition. The archival documents from the city database are intermixed with historical Heineken documents. The exhibition does well to explain the man behind one of the Netherlands most famous exports, Heineken.

Visitor Tip:

  • This exhibition Heineken's Amsterdam is a perfect accompaniment to the Heineken Experience
  • The price is reasonable at 6 euro and 4 euro for discount card holders such as the Museum Card. 
  • The audio guide is free with entrance and full of information.
  • Then within 15 minutes walk you can do the very popular Heineken Experience in the old 19th century brewery and try the world famous beer.



Details for the exhibition can be found at the Amsterdam City Archives website. The exhibition runs 7 February until 11 May 2014.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

Associated blogs:



Amsterdam Beer Tours





When in Amsterdam... - Blogged