Heineken has announced to buy 20-year old Texelse Bierbrouwerij (Texel Beer Brewery), the third biggest speciality craft brewery in The Netherlands after Jopenbier and 't IJ. Texelse is based on the Dutch island of Texel and brews thirteen distinctive speciality beers, including its flagship brand Texelse Skuumkoppe. Skuumkoppe refers to the ‘foamy head’ of this wheat beer.
Texelse was founded in 1999 and has grown immensely ever since. From a handful of employees just after the turn of the century, 83 people now work at the company, which is located in small village of Oudeschild on the island, and now has a sales department on the mainland in Rossum, Gelderland. In 2018, the company generated sales of more than EUR 11 million.
“Heineken is the ideal strategic partner for us in order to be able to meet this rapidly growing consumer demand in the future and to further professionalize the Texel Beer Brewery” says CEO Cor Honkoop.
“At the Texelse Bierbrouwerij, we cherish the island and give everyone in the Netherlands a nice glass of Texel specialty beer. This will remain our motto with the new wind in our sails. We will continue to do this from here with the same group of people, nothing will change. We will also continue to independently serve all wholesale and retail customers. Of course, we will work more closely with Heineken to better serve the catering market. In addition, we will look together at a sustainable solution to increase the brewing capacity, because the Texel Beer Brewery is now on the edges of what it can handle. We simply grow out of our coat. We were already very well on track. We have had the best summer ever, Heineken is now providing extra tailwind with which we can accelerate further,” Honkoop added.
Heineken had long been charmed by the Texel brewery. On the one hand because of the brewery's unique proposition. “With Skuumkoppe, the Texel Brewery is located in the wheat beer sector where Heineken has a relatively small presence,” says Hans Böhm, CEO of Heineken in the Netherlands. He calls Texel's Skuumkoppe "a young classic" in the world of trendy craft beers. “The twelve other specialty beers also have a unique signature," he adds.
On the other hand, it is a brand with enormous growth potential. Texelse is already very strong in North Holland and well represented in the other provinces. But the brand has still a lot to gain. Due to the growing consumer demand, this ambition ran up against the limits of their own ability. That is where the profit for both parties lies. Heineken will make Texelse beers even more available. Hospitality and distribution will receive particular attention, while Heineken will also use the brewing, quality, sustainability and brand knowledge present in the background.
"Together with Heineken, we are going to push the boundaries of our success," says Honkoop.
To maintain Texel's unique identity, Heineken will manage the brewer autonomously. To guarantee this, the management team and workforce will remain intact. Heineken also attaches great value to the island character and the origins of the company, which is why one thing is clear: Texels will remain on Texel.
“The arrival of the Texel beer brewery is a welcome addition to the growing specialty beer segment. With a range of very tasty specialty beers, Texels is a strong brand with enormous potential. I am very happy to be able to further develop this together, " says Böhm.
According to Honkoop, Heineken will allow his company to continue to grow in the coming years. “We have been around for over twenty years and have been growing double digits for years. However, we need a strategic partner to continue to do so. ” Nowadays, Texels Skuumkoppe can be found everywhere in the supermarket, but in the catering industry it is mainly available in North and South Holland and Utrecht. "We want our beers to be on tap and beer menu in all provinces of the Netherlands, so that everyone can enjoy them."
A year ago, Honkoop therefore started talks with potential candidates. “We set two conditions: that a buyer helps us meet consumer demand and that our culture as a Texel beer brewer is respected. We will continue to brew on Texel and work on the construction of an entirely new brewery. ” Ultimately, Heineken turned out to be by far the best, says Honkoop. “They will help with distribution, but also in other areas: they are so large that they have expertise in every area. All in all, the whole picture was right for us, we are very pleased.”
The acquisition comes at a remarkable time for Heineken. Last week, the brewer released its results for third quarter which was still widely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Net profit fell by three-quarters in the first 9 months of the year and the company announced to axe 20% of office jobs worldwide (inside.beer, 28.10.2020).
However, “this opportunity came along and we don't want to let it go,” says Böhm. “Obviously this is a period in which we have to pay extra attention to expenditure, but at the same time we are always looking to expand our portfolio of beers. You have to keep investing even in difficult times. We have talked about it for a long time and the fact is that the beers from the Texel brewery are a nice addition to ours.”