Early this year our brewery in
Hamilton (Canada) had to
handle a sudden increase in
sales. They sky-rocketed. What was the
A strike had broken out at the
breweries of our biggest competitors.
It lasted quite a while. Suddenly,
Amstel (Canada) and two other small
breweries had to supply the entire
province with beer. A problem that was
not so easy to solve. Our colleagues
there had to work terribly hard, but
they succeeded. They sold four times
more beer than normal.
But there was yet another problem. In
Canada beer can only be sold in special
liquor stores. Those were on strike as
well. So the consumers could only get
our beer direct from the brewery. That
gave rise to scenes that everyone will
talk about for a long time yet. Police
assistance had to be called in to control
the traffic. For the customers' cars
were obstructing the road in front of
the brewery. All those people wouldn't
fit inside the building. So the beer was
loaded on to trailers and sold from the
trailers. Caravans where the beer could
be paid for were parked next to the
trailers. There were also field kitchens
to supply the crowds of people with hot
coffee and soup. Six hours before the
'shop' opened there were queues of
customers waiting in line. In the freezing
cold. There were also security guards
who had been specially hired to ensure
that no beer vanished without a trace.
It's easy to understand that such a
selling method attracted nearly
everyone's attention. Amstel (Canada)
featured on television almost daily.
And of course in the newspapers as
well. There can't be many people in
Ontario Province who don't know what
brands of beer we sell. We also brew
Grizzly Beer there. We sold one
million cartons of that brand in the
United States in 1984. We'd love to
know how much Grizzly we'll sell in
Canada after all that publicity.
Some of the people in the queue waiting to buy our beer at the Amstel Brewery in Hamilton (Canada).
The front of the folder that was handed
out after the pressure had died down.
'Thanks for making Amstel Ontario
Province's busiest breweryis the
message on the inside.
The four bottles show the beers that the
In one of your previous issues I
read there was no god of beer. Is
there no goddess of beer either?
No, not as far as we know. We're
playing it safe with our answer
this time because you never
know whether some religion in
the distant past might have had a
How is it that the star seen on many
Heine ken labels isn't the six-
pointed star of the brewers, but
only has five points?
Africa is an important continent for us.
We work together there with around 20
breweries. Their locations are marked
on the above map. Often these
businesses brew their own brand of
beer. But the brewing is done under
We've not been able to trace how
the star got on to the Heineken
label. Perhaps someone thought
it looked nice. Or thought that a
star had a symbolic meaning. So
we don't know why there's not a
brewer's star on the label either.