9 Things You Didn't Know About Heineken

It's amazing how much goes into brewing this Dutch beer.

Cover image via The Denver Post

Heineken's founder created the beer when he was just 32

Gerard Adriaan Heineken wanted to create a clean lager beer, and started brewing the Heineken beer in 1873 at an old brewery in Amsterdam. After years of hard work, it became Holland's first premium lager beer.

And 142 years later, it became the world’s number one international premium beer.

Image via Quickmeme

Yep. The meme pretty much says it all.

So what is it that makes Heineken so popular? It's because they do things differently:

1. The Heineken you order in Malaysia tastes exactly like the one in the Netherlands

They taste exactly the same. For real. Not just in Malaysia, but across all 192 countries where Heineken is available. That's because they will send a sample of the beer produced in each brewery back to the Netherlands for inspection.

And that's how they make sure you get the same quality of Heineken no matter where you are.

2. They brew their beer longer than others

Image via DJ Storm's Blog

The average beer brewing process stops after two weeks. However, at Heineken, they brew their beer for a solid 28 days!

Why? This is so that the beer gets that beautiful golden-yellow colour and a refreshing taste.

3. They only need three natural ingredients

Image via Framed Stories

Yup, just three! All they need are malted barley, hops, and water. But they have to be really pure and natural.

4. There's also a bit of magic that goes into the brewing process

Image via Tenor

That magic is called the Heineken A-yeast, which was discovered in 1886.

The A-yeast is added to the mixture of the three natural ingredients to initiate the fermentation process, and removed when the process ends after 28 days. This is is how Heineken beer gets its signature balanced, crisp, and rich flavour.

Image via HR Zone

5. Every batch of beer brewed must get the seal of approval from Heineken's Master Brewer, or else...

Image via Giphy

According to Heineken's global Master Brewer Willem van Waesberghe, every batch of Heineken beer brewed must be inspected, tested, and approved by their Master Brewers before it goes to the stores and bars.

If a batch of beer is rejected, then they'll have no choice but to go through the 28-day brewing process again.

Global Heineken Master Brewer Willem van Waesberghe.

Image via Heineken (Edited)

6. And it takes 15 years to be a Master Brewer

Think you have what it takes to be a Master Brewer? You gotta train for 15 years to be one.

The Heineken beer recipe has been the same since it was first brewed in 1873, and the Master Brewers are the ones who guard it.

7. To get the correct foam level, just refer to the red star on the Heineken glass

See the horizontal line of the red star? That's where the foam level starts. Nothing more, nothing less.

Not many people know this, but having the right amount of foam is important as it protects your beer from oxidation. That's how you keep your beer tasting fresh and crisp for a longer time.

8. Heineken was one of the first brewers to sell their beer in green bottles

The first few brewers to sell their beer in bottles all sold them in brown ones. Wanting to distinguish his beer from the rest, the founder decided to sell Heineken beer in green bottles - the same shade as the ones we see in the stores and bars now!

9. Some of these bottles can be used to build houses too

The first prototype house built from Heineken bottles.

Image via Vinepair

These are called WOBO bottles, which were commissioned by the Heineken founder's grandson to help the poor people of Curaçao build houses using upcycled materials.

Unlike the usual beer bottles, these have flat surfaces on all sides and a concave bottom. The features allow the bottles to be used like LEGO bricks, interlocking with each other for stability. He even tested the bottles by building a prototype house!

Image via Vinepair

And this was done in the 60s, before sustainable housing became a hot topic!

There's #MoreBehindTheStar in every bottle of Heineken beer

Image via Heineken

These little details about the ingredients and brewing process may seem insignificant to most of us, but they are the many little stories behind the red star that makes Heineken one of the world's premium lager beer it is today.

Now you can find out how there's #MoreBehindTheStar at the Heineken experience, and even learn how to pour your own perfect pint of Heineken beer, happening on:

Date: 23-26 August
Time: 9:30pm onwards
Venue: TREC KL

Find out how there's #MoreBehindTheStar with Heineken here

Some #alcohol facts: