Frequently asked questions
This is the complete list of frequently asked questions.
Are Heineken and Amstel the same around the world?
The reality is that 100% of all the HEINEKEN beer brewed worldwide is done so using the same recipe and that about 95% of this beer has the same final product specifications. For the other 5 % we can say that, due to local legal/tax reasons (in most cases special alcohol regulations), the final product specification is only somewhat different. (e.g. in Ireland and Sweden).
For Amstel we have to be more careful as different recipes (raw material usages) and different final product specifications apply worldwide. For Amstel, our commercial managers are looking more to the local market circumstances (competition) and give the Amstel beer the best possible position (character) in that market.
Are there still Heineken Holding A and B shares?
No, A and B shares do no longer exist. During the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held on 20 April 2005 it was decided to convert the A and B shares into one kind of (ordinary) shares since there is no need anymore for this (historical) difference. Next to the ordinary shares there are now only priority shares.
Can I visit a Heineken brewery?
The HEINEKEN Experience is located at one of the most impressive industrial heritage sites of the Netherlands; the original HEINEKEN brewery in Amsterdam. In this unique environment, you are going to experience HEINEKEN's rich history and the tradition and craft of brewing. You’ll learn the extraordinary story of the people behind this remarkable company, now the most international beer company in the world. Attractions include a mini brewery, a tasting bar, as well as the “Stable Walk”, where visitors will be able to access the stables to view HEINEKEN's iconic Shire horses.. Are you ready to be brewed in the Brew U simulator? A visit to the HEINEKEN Experience takes about 90 minutes. Two drinks are included!
The HEINEKEN Experience is open Monday - Sunday, from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Tickets cost 16,00 euros and the sales desk is open until 17:30. Trams 7, 10, 16, 24 and 25 take you to, or just around the corner from, HEINEKEN Experience. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information visit: www.HEINEKENexperience.com
Does Heineken beer contain any gluten?
Beer contains gluten, which comes from the grain from which it is brewed. Gluten is a protein type naturally present in all grains, of which only a fraction ends up in the final beer. The proportion depends on the kind of grain that is used. The use of barley results only in traces of gluten in the beer whilst wheat contributes considerably more. It also depends on the brewing process. Generally speaking: the clearer and blonder the beer is, the less gluten it may contain. Some people are allergic to gluten and have to follow a diet that minimises or excludes their gluten intake. Whether beer can be part of such a diet or not, is dependent on the extent of the allergy and the beer type consumed. In many cases lager beers pose no problem for people who have a gluten allergy. However, it is up to the individual to assess his or her sensitivity, and/or to consult a medical doctor or dietician in case of questions.
Does Heineken contain any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)?
The Heineken brand and all our other full malt brands such as Gösser® and Zywiec® do not use ingredients derived from genetically modified crops. The company does not anticipate any change to this situation. Our full (downloadable) GMO Policy can be found in the Sustainability Policies section.
Does Heineken use additives in its brewing process?
HEINEKEN is brewed in a natural brewing process, with no additives. It contains water, barley malt, hops, and the unique HEINEKEN A-yeast for the fermentation in the brewing process.
Does non-alcoholic beer really contain no alcohol?
Not literally 'no alcohol'. In general non-alcoholic beers are made in one of three ways: a very short fermentation to get a beery taste but very little alcohol, or a normal fermentation after which the alcohol is removed by means of a selective filter, or a combination of the above methods. Every brewery has its own brewing methods and secret recipes - this is one of ours.
How do I apply for a job within Heineken?
You can find out more about working for HEINEKEN by visiting our Careers website which will give you a flavour of the company. The site does not hold vacancies but the connections to our Operating Companies provide access to local opportunities. Additionally, our International Graduate Programme website can also be accessed through the careers site.
Read more on our careers website.
How do you guarantee the quality of your products?
Maintaining quality across many markets presents an enormous challenge in logistics, sales, and business partnerships and in the brewing operation itself. HEINEKEN breweries can call upon the expertise and support of HEINEKEN Supply Chain - our specialist in-house consultancy that ensures global product quality.
For decades HEINEKEN Supply Chain has designed, built and helped to operate breweries in all parts of the world. The service includes research and development work for new products, giving advice on brewing, logistics, technical staff, best practices studies and providing full feasibility and management studies for a wide range of projects.
How much Heineken is being sold worldwide?
According to our 2011 Annual report, we sold 27.4 million hectolitres of HEINEKEN in the premium segment and a total of 164.6 million hectolitres of beer.According to our 2011 Annual report, we sold 27.4 million hectolitres of HEINEKEN in the premium segment and a total of 164.6 million hectolitres of beer.
Is the company still owned by the family?
Four generations of the Heineken family have been actively involved in the expansion of the Heineken® brand and the HEINEKEN Company throughout the world, and the passion of the family remains as strong today as it was in 1864 when we first started brewing beer.
What are the main ingredients in Heineken beer?
What brands are part of Heineken's portfolio?
HEINEKEN is committed to the responsible marketing and consumption of its more than 250 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. These include Amstel, Birra Moretti, Cruzcampo, Desperados, Dos Equis, Foster’s, Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ochota, Primus, Sagres, Sol, Star, Strongbow, Tecate, and Zywiec. Our leading joint venture brands include Cristal, Kingfisher, Tiger, and Anchor.
What do the terms 'pilsener' and 'lager' mean? Are they the same?
Essentially, they both refer to the same thing. However, the name Pilsener comes from the town Pilsen in the Czech Republic. Traditionally, the only true pilsener is beer from that region. Today, whether a beer is a lager or a pilsener usually depends on the common usage of the country in question. We use the name 'pilsener' to mean a bright, pure, bottom fermented beer, as opposed to darker and top fermented beers (often called 'ale' or 'stout'.)
What does IFRS mean?
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). European Union regulation requires all publicly listed companies based in the EU to report their financial statements under IFRS as of January 1, 2005. IFRS replaces the previous Dutch GAAP.
What does the implementation of IFRS mean for Heineken N.V.?
The adoption of IFRS has impacted the valuation and classification of a number of items in HEINEKEN’s income statement and balance sheet. The main changes in HEINEKEN’s 2004 full year financial statements are listed below.
Summary of IFRS restatement
What is Heineken doing to prevent alcohol abuse?
First and foremost, we promote our products responsibly. This means that we do not promote misuse or abuse.
Secondly, we participate in initiatives aimed at raising awareness for alcohol abuse, such as drinking and driving campaigns and server training programmes.
We also organise sponsored events in a way that encourages responsible consumption and respect for the environment.
Additionally, we participate in a number of research organisations that are working to provide better insight into the causes and prevention of alcohol abuse.
Finally, we are actively seeking partnerships with organisations that share our concern for alcohol abuse and that deliver expertise that we do not have, such as treatment.
HEINEKEN has had an active policy on alcohol that is directed to both consumers and employees for many years now. We publish our efforts to promote responsible consumption in order to encourage constructive public dialogue. We opened the website www.enjoyHEINEKENresponsibly.com
What is 'light' beer?
Light is a so-called reduced-alcohol, low-calorie beer: it contains at least 33 per cent less calories than Pilsener beers. The original gravity and the alcohol content determine the number of calories. Therefore, light beers are always lower in original gravity and alcohol.
For more information, please visit our brand section.
What is the discount between Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares?
What is the exact product composition of Heineken beer?
The product composition, based on average analysis data, for HEINEKEN's two main brands are:
Gravity: Original extract 11-12% by weight
Alcohol: 5% vol.
Carbohydrates: 3.0 gram/100ml
Proteins: 0.5 gram/100ml
Energy value: 170KJoule/100ml = 40Kcal/100ml
Bitterness: 23 EBU
Colour: 7 EBC
Gravity: Original extract 11-12% by weight
Alcohol: 5% vol.
Carbohydrates (mainly dextrins and polysaccharides): 3g/100 ml
Proteins: 0.5 gram/100ml
Energy value: 170 KJoule/100ml = 40Kcal/100ml
Bitterness: 21 EBU
Colour: 9 EBC
What is the relationship between Heineken Holding N.V. and Heineken N.V.?
Heineken Holding N.V. holds 50.005% interest in Heineken N.V. The role Heineken Holding N.V. has performed for the Heineken group since 1952 has been to safeguard its continuity, independence and stability and create conditions for controlled, steady growth of the Heineken group’s activities. The stability provided by this structure has enabled the Heineken group to rise to its present position as the brewer with the widest international presence and one of the world’s largest brewing groups and to remain independent. More information can be found in the Corporate Governance section.
What kind of background do I need for a management career at Heineken?
We try to select the best, young, business-oriented graduates in Food, Chemicals, Technology, ICT, Law, Business Administration, Human Resources or Economics in the various countries where HEINEKEN operates. Some basic qualities we look for are:
When was Heineken founded?
Where do I find more information on shares?
For more information on shares please click here for the key facts.
Where does the Red Star on the label come from and what does it stand for?
The red star is an original icon of the brand, used since the very beginning. Its exact origins are unknown, and there are a few explanations. For instance one explanation is that it was a symbol of European brewers in the Middle Ages, who believed it to have mystical powers to protect their brew.
Another explanation is that four points of the star, accounted for the elements earth, fire, water and wind and that the fifth point is the unknown, which is a element that brewers in the middle ages couldn’t control.
A third explanation is that the position of a star on the front door of the brewery indicated the stage of the brewing process. During the Cold War, the original design was altered to avoid association with communism (it was replaced by a white star with a red outline). After the end of the Cold War, the original full red star was restored. For us, the red star's principle association is a festive, warm and cheerful mood.
Where is Heineken sold?
HEINEKEN is the world’s most international brewer, thanks to our global network of distributors and 140 breweries in 71 countries.
We achieve our global coverage through a combination of wholly-owned companies, licence agreements, affiliates and strategic partnerships and alliances. Some of our wholesalers also distribute wine, spirits and soft drinks. In Europe, we are the largest brewer and our brands are well established in these profitable markets. Due to our acquisitions and joint ventures in Africa, Asia, India and Latin America, we also have a strong platform for current and future growth from these emerging beer markets.
Group beer volume grew slightly in 2011. Volume growth in France, Italy and Ireland exceeded lower volumes in Portugal, Finland, the UK, Netherlands and Belgium. Volumes in Spain were in line with last year. Total consolidated volume declined 1.2 per cent, driven by lower cider, soft drinks and third party product volumes, partly offset by slight positive growth in consolidated beer volume.
Central and Eastern Europe
Group beer volume in Central & Eastern Europe grew 6.5 per cent with gains in Russia, Belarus, Romania, Poland and Austria, partly offset by lower volume in Greece. Total consolidated volume increased 6.5 per cent, as growth in consolidated beer and soft drink volume was partially offset by a mid single-digit decline of third party products.
The beer operations of FEMSA were consolidated for the first time on 1 May 2010 and contributed to organic changes from May 2011. Organic Group beer volume growth reflects higher volume in Brazil, the Caribbean, Chile and Argentina, partially offset by lower volume in the USA. On a pro-forma 12-month basis, group beer volume in the Americas region grew 1.7 per cent.
The Asia Pacific region had another strong performance in 2011, with group beer volume growing 6.2 per cent. This growth was spread across the Company’s Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) and United Breweries Ltd (UBL) joint venture operations, and the HEINEKEN export markets Taiwan and South Korea.
Africa and the Middle East
Group beer volume grew 12 per cent including the impact of acquired breweries in Nigeria and Ethiopia. Group beer volume grew 6.2 per cent organically, despite the challenging political and business environment in North Africa. Total consolidated volume increased 5.7 per cent with growth across beer and soft drink categories.
Why did Heineken Holding used to have A and B shares?
When HEINEKEN Holding N.V. was established, Mr HEINEKEN and his partner chose for different shares. The shares that were owned by Mr HEINEKEN were called B shares, while the others were A shares. Later, when stock dividends and recaps took place, only A shares were issued.
Why is there a difference between the share price of Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V.?
HEINEKEN Holding N.V. shares trade at a discount to the HEINEKEN N.V. shares. This seems odd, as the dividend policy of both companies is equal. There are some factors that might have an influence: