8 "We want to stay small-scale" Amstel licence in Norway New look El Aguila fleet of lorries De Ridder B re wen: David amongst the Goliaths Launch starts soon "The De Ridder Brewery is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heineken-Holland, but we have our own production, distribution, marketing and sales. Our position is comparable to that of Heineken's smaller foreign breweries, which means we can make use of all sorts of concern facilities. Main thrust Interests in Limburg Bock beer as an experiment More than you think! Heineken's beers in Holland Beers imported by Heineken: In the near future Norwegians will be able to toast each other with a glass of Amstel. The beer will be brewed un der licence in the Hamar brewery in the town of the same name, about 120 kilometres north of Oslo. Amstel beer will retail in 35-cl and 50-cl bottles. Ideal When Heineken acquired De Ridder about five years ago, the personnel greeted the move with suspicion.They expected that the brewery would be closed down and its production transfered to one of the Heineken breweries. Slowly but surely, however, they realised that Heineken was investing in the brewery and the conviction grew that De Ridder Brewery will continue to exist." Mr. Jvan Herpen is the director of the brewery in Maastricht in Limburg, Holland's southernmost province. He is in charge of a brewery which, with its capacity of about 35 ,(XX) hectolitres a year, is one of the 'Davids' on the Dutch brewing scene.The 26 full-time employees are working hard to increase that capacity. "We are growing steadily, yet we still opt for a traditional, small-scale approach with a strong sense of nostalgia." Anyone entering the brewery office cannot fail to recognise the aura of nostalgia. Superbly decorated ceilings and antique furniture breathe the atmosphere of by-gone days. The De Ridder Brewery focuses primarily on the hotels, pubs and restaurants trade. Its pilsener lager is a popular product with licensees. In addition, De Ridder brews Maltezer beer and brown ale.The heavier Maltezer (6.5% alcohol) is mainly sold in bottles to Dutch liquor stores. De Ridder's stronghold is the Province of South Limburg. "Naturally we also want to supply De Ridder beer to catering establishments in the rest of the country, but the main thrust of our work is in the neighbourhood of Maastricht. De Ridder is the last remaining brewery in Maastricht. At the end of last century the city still had 36, mostly small breweries. De Ridder is important to the citizens of Maastricht.The local population are proud that they still have their 'own' beer. We at the brewery intend to encourage that sense of pride", explains Mr. Van Herpen.The feeling of local belonging is also fostered by advertisements written in Maastricht dialect and published in the local papers. Beside this, De Ridder actively sponsors many events. The most important ones are the Ridder Tour, a cycle race for professionals held just after the end of theTour de Franceand the Ridder Regattaa big rowing contest for students which takes place on the river Maas in Maastricht. Mr. Van Herpen: "For a brewery like De Ridder events like this are a perfect public showcase for our products and our image." By Heineken standards the brewery in Maastricht is a very modest operation So why was it acquired five years ago? Mr. Van Herpen: "First and foremost Heineken wanted to strengthen its interests in Limburg. You mustn't forget that beer consumption in Limburg is generally higher than in the rest of the Netherlands. A second reason for the acquisition was a minor, though pronounced shift in attitude amongst licensees who 'wanted to try something different', for instance to meet the wishes of their guests or to restyle the image of their business. Limburg brands play a prominent role in that process, since many people in the hotels and bars trade are looking for another, more distinctive brand of beer. And we can provide them with it." Apart from De Ridder lager, Maltezer and brown ale, the brewery started brewing De Ridder Bock Beer two weeks ago.The quantity is small and is available in kegs to the catering trade "Clearly it's still an experiment. We will be watching how things turn out. If there is enough interest, we'll be brewing bock beer again next year and perhaps bottling it as well." No full- scale advertising campaign has been set up for this experiment, but the bock beer is served in a specially designed glass. Besides, beer mats, posters and dispenser stickers have been designed to draw the attention of bar customers to the presence of the new De Ridder product. When Dutch people talk about beer in their country, the Heineken and Amstel pilseners are the first brands that cross their lips. And yet Heineken's activities on the Dutch beer market are more widespread than many people would think. In Holland Heineken markets many other brands and types of beer: from pale to dark, and from heavy to light. What products do we have on the Dutch market? Heineken pilsener lager Heineken Bock beer Heineken Old Brown Amstel pilsener lager Amstel Bock beer Amstel Old Brown Amstel Gold Amstel 1870 Van Vollenhoven Stout De Ridder pilsener lager De Ridder Maltezer Duvel Abdij Affligem (dark and 'tripel') Campbell's Scotch Ale Caves Brueghel (Gueuze Lambic and Kriek Lambic) HannenAlt Brewmaster Fust Whitbread Pale Ale An attractive photo of the De Ridder Brewery on the banks of the-Maas in Maastricht city centre. Four people who are closely involved in the brewing of Amstel beer in Norway. On the left: Hugo de Sitter.of Heineken Technical Services (HTB). Next to him: Hamar brewery manager Bj. Nygaard, general manager M. Dobloug and sales manager T. Sanner. The launch of Amstel in Norway follows the abolition of the Norwegian beer cartel. A cartel is a market agreement made between competing businesses.The Norwegian breweries had joined forces to form a cartel and make beer distribution subject to strict rules. Each brewery sold its beer only in its own region. When the cartel was disbanded in February this year, contacts were established between the Hamar brewery and Heineken.These contacts gave rise to the licensing agreement for the brewing, distribution and marketing of Amstel beer. Amstel beer is the ideal complement to the Hamar brewery's range. Hamar already has two brands of beer; a regional brand brewed in the company's own brewery, and another brand, called Mack, which is distributed nationally by the Hamar brewery.The Mack brewery is located within the Arctic Circle. Hamar was looking for a foreign beer with a good international reputation and found that Amstel beer met all its requirements. Because of the close contacts between Hamar and Mackit has been agreed that Amstel beer will also be distributed within the Arctic Circle. The Amstel license will not affect the position of Heineken beer in Norway. Heineken beer is brewed under licence by the Nora group. The thousand or so dark-green lorries in use by El Aguila are to be given a fresh, new coat of paint. The lorries used for the transport of Heineken beer will be resprayed in the familiar white and green colour scheme. The Aguila delivery lorries will be painted in red and white (see photo). The entire operation will take quite some time. The Madrid city delivery vans should be ready this autumn. Spain's capital city will then be able to boast a top-notch presentation of Heineken and Aguila beers in freshly painted and spick-and-span delivery vans.

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Heineken International Magazine | 1987 | | pagina 8