China: Heineken launches Amstel in China

Two years after its strategic alignment with China Resources Beer (, 5.11.2018), and just in time for the 150th anniversary, Heineken introduces its second most important brand Amstel in the Chinese market. The lager beer brand is currently sold in 116 countries around the globe and will be available in select provinces across Southern and Eastern China from November 2020.

Amstel is a leading global top 10 beer brand, with Heineken expecting China to become one of the brand’s top markets globally in the next three years.

The Amstel brewery was founded 150 years ago in 1870 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The first beer was brewed one year later in 1871. The brewery and main beer brand was named after the Amstel River, a river in the province of North Holland that crosses the city of Amsterdam.

Amstel soon became one of the most exported Dutch beer brands. In the 1950s and 1960s, the company opened breweries in Dutch Guiana, Jordan, Curacao, Puerto Rico and Greece. In 1968, the company was bought out by Heineken International and in 1972 the Amstel Brewery in Amsterdam was closed and production was relocated to the main Heineken plant in Zoeterwoude. Today, Amstel is next to Heineken one of the best selling brands of the Dutch brewer. The beer is brewed using 100% pure malt and natural ingredients.

“Amstel is one of the fastest-growing global beer brands and this entry into China marks a significant step in Amstel’s history,” said Małgorzata Lubelska, Senior director international brands & craft at Heineken.

“Together with China Resources Beer, our strategic partner in China, we are positioning Amstel as a lead beer within the accessible premium category, which represents the largest segment of China’s premium beer market. We are proud to be introducing this high-quality European beer with pure malt to the Chinese consumer. We will stay true to our heritage and the Amstel brand’s ethos by delivering locally relevant campaigns that celebrate our Amsterdam origins and friendship,” she added.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary, Heineken will mark the brand across the globe through a new visual identity, which will feature on limited-edition packaging, out of home and digital material.

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