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Most beer sold as Heineken in Amsterdam is Fake

DutchAmsterdam.nl — If you order a Heineken beer in an Amsterdam pub or restaurant there is a good chance that you’ll be served an unbranded brew instead.

The beer flows from Heineken owned- and labeled taps and is served in Heineken glasses, but in reality comes from unbranded barrels originating from brewers with overcapacity in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Other brand-name beers are affected by the practice as well.

Many cafe and restaurant-holders quietly make the switch because they can save 25 to 50 euros on barrel while the customers do not taste the difference, Amsterdam newsdaily Het Parool reports.

“In the Netherlands, hospitality licenses are tied to breweries,” NIS news writes. “Someone who wants to take over a Heineken cafe can seldom or never switch to another brand. In any case, a bulk contract must be made with a brewer.

These contracts are however so unattractive that beer in the supermarket is often cheaper than beer from the trucks that the brewer sends.”

Heineken states it does not know the extend of the swindle, but says it annually catches some fifty catering businesses involved in barrel-switching.

Insiders in the drinks trade estimate that some sixty percent of the established hospitality businesses are involved in the deception.

One trader told Het Parool that on and around Leidseplein you have a fifty percent chance that you get a genuine Heineken beer.

The generic beers explicitly advertise the fact that their bayonet connector is the same as that of Heineken.
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See Also:
How to visit an Amsterdam café
Ordering a beer — according to The Undutchables

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This post was last updated: Sep. 11, 2011