Netherlands: Heineken buys minority stake in Oedipus Brewing

Heineken and Oedipus Brewing today jointly announced that the Dutch brewing giant has acquired a minority share in the Amsterdam based craft brewer. Details about the transaction like the size of the stake in the company and the sales price were not disclosed.

Oedipus was founded by four friends Alex Mager, Paul Brouwer, Sander Nederveen and Rick Nelson, who started in 2011 brewing beer in an Amsterdam kitchen and selling it at events and festivals. They soon started brewing beer under contract at Brouwerij de Molen in Bodegraven, Netherlands, Brouwerij Anders in Halen, Belgium, and others, before starting their own brewery and taproom in Amsterdam Noord in 2015.

However, fastly outgrowing its capacity and having problems with the neighbours, the brewery is seeking a new location. "We're in a temporary environment here in Noord, so we had to think about the next step," Tristan Spits, CEO at Oedipus Brewing told Het Parool. The investor was the first to join the company in 2015 after the brewery moved to the new location.

“We want to move from one place to more locations, inside and outside the city in a short time. Our dream is a farm just outside of Amsterdam where we produce beer with special local ingredients. We want to grow the raw materials ourselves,” Spits added.

“Dreams need funds though, and for funds you need a partner,” Oedipus says in a statement on its website. “We found that partner in Heineken. They immediately understood our vision and are willing to support our dreams with their capacities and resources,” the statement goes on. And finally: “Heineken will own a minority stake in our business. This means that we will maintain full control of what we brew, how we do it and with whom.”

Pascal Gilet, CEO Heineken The Netherlands: “I think it’s fantastic that we can work together with the people at Oedipus. Thanks to their superb, colorful, progressive beers and a wonderful mix of design, music and culture, Oedipus has established a unique position in a short time. I am really impressed by the creativity, passion and imagination with which they brew and present their beers. They are a source of inspiration to many and know how to bring people together – something that I personally value enormously. Oedipus provides beer and pleasure, and I admire that. They are non-conformist, independent and free-spirited: brewers first, and a passion for music close behind. I am happy that we are be able to help support their dream, the galaxy, while at the same time Heineken can learn a lot from how Oedipus has developed and will develop in the future. Together we can move towards a bright future with beer and pleasure at its heart.”

Oedipus’ beers include among others the flagship brand MannenLiefde (engl. men love), a 6% saison with lemongrass, Szechuan peppers, and hopped with Sorachi Ace; Thai Thai, a 8% triple spiced beer with cinnamon and ginger; Mama, a 5% citrus hoppy and bitter fresh pale ale and Polyamore, a 5% mango sour pale ale.

Amsterdam has a vibrant craft brewing scene, which is mainly influenced from Belgium craft beers. In 2015, Brouwerij 't IJ, one of the pioneers founded in 1985 in Amsterdam,  was sold to Belgium family owned brewer Duvel Moortgat (, 27.11.2018).

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