Tuesday, 23 June 2015 - 09:49
Dutch breweries on the rise, outpace Belgium for first time ever
The number of breweries in the Netherlands is increasing rapidly. For the first time ever, the Netherlands has more breweries than as renowned beer country Belgium. In 2013, the Netherlands had 165 breweries. That number has now increased to 312, with 34 breweries opening up in this year alone, NOS reports. Belgium currently has 263 breweries. According to Constant Keinemans, of the Klein Brewery Collective, Dutch breweries are appearing like mushrooms from the ground. "This is mainly because Dutch brewers are innovating." Keinemans said to NOS. "Belgium on the other hand remains a little quiet. The Belgians have a tradition in speciality and it is till doing very well. But Dutch brewers go further, are doing more different things." Jan Rumes, president of Zythos, the Belgian national association of beer tasters, agrees that Belgians focus moor on specialty beer. According to him, Belgians have been drinking less beer in recent years, but that doesn't say much. "Instead of five beers, people now often drink two specialty beers. That is equal to each other, although the volume is less." he said. "It's great that we finally have some competition", Rumes said. He calls the competition with the Netherlands a neck-on-neck race. "In both countries, specialty beer is wildly popular and the number of breweries and people who rent breweries for making their own beer is increasing." Rumes feels that this is healthy competition. "The more foreign beers there are, the more vigilant the Belgian brewers become. It is also for us an additional incentive for innovation." Keinemans agrees that the Netherlands is not a threat to the Belgian beer market. "The two markets can co-exist side by side. We are not really in each other's way because we mostly brew different beers."