Netherlands: Heineken takes full ownership of craft brewery Oedipus

Heineken acquires full ownership of Amsterdam-based craft brewery Oedipus, as reported by Het Parool and today. Heineken, which previously held a minority stake in the brewery, purchased the remaining shares earlier this month, thus taking complete control of the once independent beer business.

Oedipus established its brewery with an attached bar in 2015 and gained recognition for its vibrant beer labels, including popular brews like Mannenliefde, Thai Thai, and Gaia. They later expanded with a second café location in Amsterdam-Oost on Javaplein.

In 2019, Heineken had already obtained a minority share in the Amsterdam craft brewery. The founders of Oedipus explained at that time that they decided to collaborate with Heineken because they required additional funds to construct a new and larger brewery on the outskirts of Amsterdam. In a statement from 2019, Oedipus stated, "Dreams need funds though, and for funds you need a partner." (, 6.6.2019)

According to Frederik van Droffelaar, the current business director at Oedipus, selling a stake to Heineken also allowed them to quickly shift their focus from the hospitality industry, which was affected by the pandemic-related closures, to supermarkets, where sales were surging. He added that the complete acquisition comes at a crucial time as breweries face challenges due to rising costs of raw materials and electricity amidst the conflict in Ukraine.

"We can't ignore it; energy shortages, labor shortages, price increases, everything," said Van Droffelaar. "I'm very pleased with the collaboration with Heineken now, as we can benefit from their purchasing power. It brings much-needed stability."

Heineken's acquisition of Oedipus coincides with the brewery's planned relocation. The craft brewery is scheduled to move to larger premises near its current location in Amsterdam-Noord next year.

Heineken intends to preserve the essence of Oedipus's operations. A Heineken spokesperson told that they were attracted to Oedipus's "sense of community" as well as their focus on art and music. "We believe we can learn from them, and they can learn from us," stated the spokesperson.

In the past, large brewing companies showed increasing interest in craft beers but recently the mood for further acquisitions has slowed down. Heineken has previously acquired the American brand Lagunitas and owns an online store called Beerwulf, which offers a variety of craft beers.

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