Heineken History

When was Heineken founded?

Heineken's proud heritage includes generations of family involvement and celebrated beers. Gerard Adriaan Heineken purchased the De Hooiberg brewery and founded Heineken in 1863. He made the business an immediate success by adhering to the highest quality standards, treating his employees well, and actually offering a money-back guarantee to his customers. Heineken's success was great with demand spanning across Europe and year after year of growth backed by additional breweries.

To share in the secrets behind our beer, explore the Heineken Story

What does the red star on the label mean?

The red star is an original icon of the brand, used since the very beginning. Its exact origins are unknown but there are a few possible explanations. For example, some people think it was a symbol of European brewers in the Middle Ages, who believed it to have mystical powers to protect their brew. 

Another explanation is that four points of the star symbolise the elements earth, fire, water and wind and that the fifth point is the unknown, representing an element that brewers in the Middle Ages couldn’t control.

A third explanation is that the position of a star on the front door of the brewery indicated the stage of the brewing process. During the Cold War, the original design was altered to avoid association with communism (it was replaced by a white star with a red outline). After the end of the Cold War, the original full red star was restored. For us, the red star's principle association is a festive, warm and cheerful mood.  

Where can I find more information on Heineken’s history?

Please click here  for more information.