Frequently asked questions

Our Products
Heineken Beer
Our Bottle
What makes the Heineken bottle special?

The Heineken bottle is the most iconic beer bottle in the world. The combination of the green colour, the proud shoulders and the racetrack-shaped label with the black bar, plus the characteristic Heineken word mark and red star, make it the most recognised bottle in the world.

Has the Heineken bottle always looked the same?

Although the key elements of the bottle have been in the design for over a century, their details have been refined over the years. Functional improvements, the subtle evolution of the brand and a desire to keep the bottle fresh and up to date are reasons to adjust the design from time to time. Usually, these are very small evolutionary steps to ensure the brand never loses its authenticity and timeless, classic character.

Why is the Heineken bottle green?

Heineken was one of the very first brewers to export bottled beer. The quality was so good that while it was more expensive than local beers, people preferred the premium, imported product. To ensure consumers immediately saw the difference between the regular domestic beers and the premium quality Heineken, the bottle was made green instead of the usual brown.

Green was chosen because it radiates freshness, naturalness, purity and premium quality – just like the delicious, cold Heineken beer inside.

Is the Heineken bottle the same worldwide?

In principle, yes. The basic structure is always the same but details may differ depending on the culture. For example, in certain countries consumers prefer larger sized bottles, and in some countries returnable bottles are preferred.

How many bottles of Heineken beer are enjoyed worldwide every day?

Every day, over 1 million bottles of Heineken are enjoyed in over 170 countries. And that’s just bottles – Heineken also produces cans and draught beer.

Draughtkeg
What is the Heineken DraughtKeg?

The Heineken DraughtKeg is a five-litre keg full of premium Heineken beer. It has an integrated carbon dioxide cartridge that allows you to enjoy fresh, draught beer whenever and wherever you choose.  This means you can now enjoy genuine draught beer at home, at parties, barbecues, birthdays, at the beach, on boat trips – anywhere you like.

The DraughtKeg is an easy-to-carry, instant draught beer system that’s also really easy to use, and the empty keg can be easily disposed of after use.

What is an integrated carbon dioxide cartridge?

An integrated carbon dioxide cartridge is an internal pressure system, which makes it possible to produce real draught beer because the beer is drawn from the keg "under pressure".

How does that work, exactly?

The pressure system – which includes a small tube with active carbon dioxide – keeps the beer under constant pressure. This relatively small cylinder contains more than enough carbon dioxide to completely empty the keg. It’s also equipped with a control valve that maintains the pressure in the DraughtKeg at approximately 1.0 bar.

With consistently good pressure, the beer can be drawn via the beer line attached inside the DraughtKeg. All you have to do is tap and pour cold, fresh, quality Heineken to share with your friends. 

Is it easy to use?

The DraughtKeg is extremely easy to use. Look for the symbols on the keg that explain how it works, and you’re just a few easy steps away from being able to pour and enjoy your own draught beer.

For more detailed instructions, check the booklet in the blisterpack on top of your DraughtKeg.

How long will a DraughtKeg stay fresh for?

You can store your DraughtKeg for up to nine months unopened. Even after you’ve tapped it for the first time, the Heineken beer inside your DraughtKeg will stay fresh for up to 30 days.

How many glasses of beer can I enjoy from one DraughtKeg?

This really depends on you and the size of the glasses you’re using. On average, a DraughtKeg will give you 20 draught beers when you’re using 25 centiliter glasses.

Can I take this packaging on an aeroplane?

In principle, yes. We do, however, recommend that you check the DraughtKeg as luggage rather than taking it on board as carry-on luggage.

What is the maximum temperature that the DraughtKeg can be exposed to?

A maximum of 35 degrees Celsius.  If it is exposed to temperatures higher than 35°C, the keg will first begin to swell. If it becomes even warmer, the keg rim around the lid will become loose, which will cause beer or foam to leak from the DraughtKeg. However, the keg cannot explode and does not pose any serious hazards.

Is it an environmentally friendly product?

Yes, the packaging is 100% recyclable. It is also extremely efficient considering that one single keg holds five liters of beer. For easy disposal, the empty packaging with the tap pipe can also be thrown out with the household garbage.

Is the carbon dioxide cartridge completely safe?

Like all Heineken packaging, the DraughtKeg and its parts meet the most stringent food safety requirements.

When I try to draw a draught beer from my DraughtKeg all I get is foam. Why?

This is usually because your DraughtKeg is not cold enough. It must be placed in the refrigerator for at least 10 hours to ensure the temperature of the beer in the keg is around 5°C.

Even though the keg usually feels cold to the touch when it’s refrigerated, this is because the metal exterior becomes cold much more quickly – it doesn't always mean that the beer is actually cold enough.

For the perfect pour, make sure you open the tap pipe quickly and completely when drawing beer.

The first couple of glasses are just foam. Why does this happen?

The first glass can contain more foam because the line in the keg that carries the beer to the top of the keg is filled with carbon dioxide before you tap it. If the beer is cold enough, your second glass should be perfect.

If your keg was shaken too much when it was being juggled into position, or while it was on its way to you, let it settle for a while in the fridge to keep it cold.

My DraughtKeg is not working properly; after I draw a beer, the beer just keeps flowing.

We apologise for this, but it does happen occasionally. The best thing to do is remove the tap pipe from the keg and put it on again to draw a new beer.

Beertender
What is the BeerTender?

The BeerTender – with a five-litre keg chilling inside – has been designed for you to serve your friends fresh, draught Heineken at home with one easy motion.

Can I cool my BeerTender keg in the freezer?

Cooling your BeerTender keg in the freezer may cause the keg to burst. Freezing the beer will also quickly reduce its quality, resulting in cloudy beer.

How long can I keep my keg once it’s in the BeerTender?

Once in the BeerTender, your keg will stay fresh for 30 days. If you take the keg out of the BeerTender, you can store it in your fridge for up to one week. You can store an unused keg for up to six months.

Can I switch kegs from the BeerTender?

Yes. If you want to take the keg out of your BeerTender, you can store it in your fridge for up to one week and put it back in the BeerTender when you’re ready to enjoy it.

How many beers can I tap from a BeerTender keg?

If you tap a good head and don’t waste too much beer, you can tap between 18 to 20 glasses from the BeerTender keg.

My BeerTender makes noises – is this normal?

The BeerTender has two important features that may cause noise: the cooling system that regularly checks the temperature of the keg, and the pressure system.

This cooling system has two levels:

1) Stand-by cooling. In this mode the fan noise is barely audible.

2) Active cooling occurs when the temperature of the cooling chamber and the keg is too high. Once the keg is cooled to the right temperature, the cooling sound should return to a minimum.

The BeerTender tap has a pump that holds the pressure in the keg constant to maintain the quality of the beer and to allow tapping.

There are three situations where the pump will work:

1) After you close the lid, it will pump pressure to the right level.

2) While you’re tapping the beer – with a full keg the pump will work immediately; in a relatively empty keg the pump will start later or not at all.

3) In stand-by mode. To maintain quality of the beer the pneumatic system keeps the pressure of the keg at the right level.

If you’re tapping a few glasses of beer from the keg per day, the pump will switch on and off briefly – usually around three or four times per day.

Extra Cold
How is Extra Cold served?

As smooth draught from the frozen column, tapped into a frozen glass.  Or from an ice-cold bottle or can straight from the Sub Zero fridge – cooled twice as fast and kept just above its freezing point.

What is the optimum temperature to enjoy Extra Cold?

Extra Cold beer should be served between -3°C and 1°C.

Does Extra Cold taste different to other Heineken beer?

Yes, it’s slightly lighter than regular Heineken, and served extra cold making it smoother, less bitter and easier to drink, with the same delicious Heineken taste.

Can every beer brand be cooled down to extra cold temperatures?

No, some beers are not high quality enough to withstand such cold temperatures and they will taste more like water. Premium Heineken beer retains its top quality, excellent taste so you can enjoy it extra cold.

Why order Extra Cold?

Extra Cold is chilled to zero for instant refreshment that lasts right through to the very last sip – so you can start fresh with every sip. It’s no ordinary beer, so it’s perfect for special occasions, and any time you need something refreshingly different.

What makes Extra Cold the choice for me?

Some people find the taste of beer too bitter. Extra Cold is chilled to zero for a smoother lager that’s easier to drink – perfect for cooling you down quickly and quenching your thirst when the heat is on.

Storing Our Beer
What is the best way to store my Heineken beer?

The best way to store your Heineken beer is in a cool, dry place out of direct light and heat. Of course, if you’re ready to enjoy it straight away, chill it in the fridge until it’s cooled to around 5°C.

How long can I store a Heineken beer before drinking?

Beer is a natural product so it has a limited storage life. Our beer will stay fresh for around six months, so check the best before date on your Heineken beer to make sure you’re enjoying fresh, quality beer.

Heineken Worldwide
How many countries is Heineken enjoyed in worldwide?

Heineken is one of the world’s great brewers. The brand that bears the founder’s family name – Heineken – is available in almost every country on the globe and is the world’s most valuable international premium beer brand.

With our global network of distributors, and 125 breweries in more than 70 countries, we have the largest presence of all international brewers. In Europe, we are the largest brewer and cider producer.

Heineken Merchandise
Where can I buy Heineken merchandise?

Visit the Heineken Experience shop and Heineken The City in Amsterdam for all your exclusive Heineken merchandise. Heineken merchandise is not yet available online.

Heineken Ingredients
What are the main ingredients in Heineken beer?

Heineken contains water, barley malt and hops.

What is the alcohol volume in Heineken beer?

The alcohol volume of Heineken pilsner is 5%.

Does Heineken contain gluten?

Beer contains gluten, which comes from the grain used to brew it. Only a fraction of the gluten in the grain gets into the beer – the exact amount depends on the kind of grain used.

Brewing beer with barley leaves only traces of gluten in the beer, while wheat contributes considerably more. The brewing process can also affect gluten content. Generally speaking, the clearer and blonder the beer is, the less gluten it contains.

Some people are allergic to gluten and have to follow a diet that minimises or excludes their gluten intake. Whether beer can be part of such a diet or not depends on the extent of the allergy and the type of beer consumed. In many cases, lager beers pose no problem for people who have a gluten allergy. However, it is up to individuals to assess their own sensitivity.

Does Heineken beer contain any GMO?

No. Heineken has a policy of not using any GMO raw materials.

Does Heineken use any additives in its beer brewing process?

No. Heineken is brewed using a natural brewing process with no additives. It contains water, barley malt, hops, and the unique Heineken A-yeast for fermentation in the brewing process.

Our Company
Information Pack
Where can I find information to include in my project or presentation?
We’ve put together a special information package that you can request through our corporate website www.heinekeninternational.com
Work For Heineken
How can I apply for a job at Heineken?

You can find out more about working for Heineken by visiting our Careers website which will give you a flavour of the company. The site does not hold vacancies but the connections to our Operating Companies provide access to local opportunities. You can also access our International Graduate Programme website through the careers site.

Visit our Careers website

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.

 

Heineken International
Where can I find more information about investor relations or find Heineken’s corporate responsibility policy?
You can always follow the link to Company Information
Enjoy Responsibly
Information about alcohol
WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
Alcohol is created when fruits, vegetables or grains are fermented – that is, when yeast or bacteria cause the sugars in the original food product to ferment and change chemically into alcohol.

The chemical name for the alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol. Ethanol is a colourless liquid that is lighter than water - one millilitre weighs around 0.8 grams. The amount of alcohol present in different fermented products varies greatly. The percentage of alcohol in a typical serving of beer is around 5%; for wine and spirits these percentages are approximately 12% and 35% respectively.

Alcoholic beverages also contain energy (calories) from alcohol (30 kilojoules per gram). The nutritional value of most alcoholic beverages is very low, because they contain little protein, fat or other nutrients. Some beverages however, such as beer, do contain sugars and carbohydrates as well as some B-vitamins, micronutrients and minerals.

What is a safe amount of alcohol to drink?
As a global brewer, we believe that if you are going to drink beer, always drink in moderation at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons. There are also situations when you should not drink alcohol, even though government legislation or guidelines may permit limited consumption.

Many individual Governments and health authorities give daily or weekly guidelines on the number of alcohol units that can be consumed. In some of our markets, we include these guidelines on our product labels.
There are clear health and behavioural risks associated with consuming too much alcohol either over time or on single occasions.

Cultural attitudes, religious beliefs and legislation can all influence drinking behaviour, but ultimately people decide for themselves whether to drink or not and how and how much to drink.
If people consume alcohol inappropriately, they become a potential danger to themselves and others.
WHEN SHOULD I NOT DRINK ALCOHOL?
There are certain situations when it is better not to drink at all, even though government legislation or guidelines may permit limited consumption.

These are when you are:
  • Driving a vehicle or intending to drive a vehicle
  • At work, especially when work involves the use of complex or hazardous materials or machinery or serious concentration
  • Pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Below the legal drinking or purchase age
  • Unable to control the amount that you drink
  • Medically advised
As a global brewer, we believe that if you are going to drink beer, always drink in moderation at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons.
If people consume alcohol inappropriately, they become a potential danger to themselves and others.
HOW CAN ALCOHOL AFFECT ME?
Alcohol affects everyone differently and even one or two drinks can affect you.

Alcohol accelerates your pulse rate and breathing. It dehydrates your body, reinforcing the need to urinate.

Alcohol reduces your ability to concentrate, co-ordinate your movements or even see properly. Even after drinking the smallest amount of alcohol you are more likely to make mistakes and errors of judgment.

Your ability to safely drive a car or any other vehicle may actually be impaired at blood alcohol levels well below the legal limit. Safe driving requires good vision, sound judgment and fast reaction times. Alcohol impairs all three. If you drink and drive you risk killing or injuring yourself and others. The safest approach for those who intend to drive is not to drink.

Persistent heavy drinking can cause a number of social, psychological and medical problems, including alcohol dependence.
WHY DO DIFFERENT PEOPLE 'BURN' ALCOHOL AT DIFFERENT RATES?
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is determined by the rate at which alcohol is absorbed from the intestines into the blood and the rate at which alcohol is broken down by the liver.

The BAC is affected by various other factors. For example, combining alcohol consumption with a meal helps to lower BAC levels. Your blood alcohol level depends on how many drinks you have consumed; the speed at which you are drinking, your weight and your gender - not how often you indulge.

The same alcohol consumption leads to lower BAC levels in men than in women. Men have a higher average weight and a relatively higher percentage of body fluid. Women metabolise alcohol more slowly than men, meaning that it remains in their system longer.

Although the speed of the breakdown can vary considerably between individuals, on average, the liver can break down around eight grams of alcohol per hour.
DOES ALCOHOL AFFECT WOMEN DIFFERENTLY TO MEN?
The simple answer is yes. The same alcohol consumption leads to lower BAC levels in men than in women. Men have a higher average weight and a relatively higher percentage of body fluid.

Women metabolise alcohol slower than men, meaning that it remains in their system longer.

Consequently, the same amount of alcohol will have a greater physical impact on a woman than on a man, even when differences in body weight are taken into account.
IS IT SAFE TO DRINK WHEN PREGNANT?
For pregnant women or those wanting to conceive it is safer not to drink alcohol.

When pregnant women drink, alcohol is not only carried to all their organs and tissues, but also reaches the placenta and crosses through the membrane separating mother and child blood systems. So when a mother to be drinks, so does her baby.

A number of behavioural, developmental and physical disorders have been associated with the use of alcohol during pregnancy. The most well-defined of these is Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, associated with chronic alcohol use by pregnant women. There is insufficient good evidence to establish which level of alcohol use is safe during pregnancy. The safest approach is not to drink alcohol.
WHY IS IT BETTER TO DRINK WITH A FULL STOMACH?
A full stomach slows down the passage of alcohol into the large intestine and may modify its absorption. If you drink after eating, the effects of alcohol will take longer to appear and blood alcohol concentrations will not rise as quickly as when you drink on an empty stomach.
DOES DRINKING COFFEE HELP MAKE YOU SOBER?
Black coffee, cold showers or fresh air will do nothing to counteract the physical effects of alcohol. They may make you feel better, but only time can remove alcohol from your bloodstream. There are no short cuts.
WHY IS IT BAD FOR THOSE UNDERAGE TO DRINK?
Those underage lack experience with drinking and do not know their own limits. Drinking heavily during puberty can effect brain development, the liver and the hormonal system. Different countries define underage drinking in different ways, mainly depending on the legal purchasing age. People under the legal purchasing and/or drinking age should not purchase or consume alcohol.
WHAT IS A HANGOVER?
A night drinking excessively almost invariably turns into an uncomfortable morning after. Alcohol breakdown in the body turns it into substances that have an unpleasant effect. Alcohol irritates the human body in many different ways, but perhaps most importantly suppresses activity of the hormone that inhibits the secretion of urine. As a result you need the toilet more often when you drink. You then lose fluids, and become dehydrated. No surprise then that you wake up in the morning feeling bad: probably with a headache, possibly also feeling nauseous, shaky and certainly with a dry mouth and raging thirst.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF DRINKING ALCOHOL?
Acute health affects

The acetate from alcohol produced mainly in the liver causes depression in the central nervous system.

This has an effect on a person’s behaviour such as lack of inhibition, decreased problem solving capacity, altered emotional functioning, depression or agitation. It has effects on memory and motor functions such as decreased response time. In increasing amounts, this may lead to accidents or contribute to poor decision-making, violence or unwanted pregnancy. Severe acute alcohol intoxication from extreme excessive drinking can result in convulsions, coma or death.

Long term health affects

In general, for adults there is a J shaped association between alcohol consumption and mortality. This means that consumers of low to moderate quantities of alcohol have lower death risk than people who do not drink at all, as well as a lower risk than consumers of high quantities of alcohol.

Chronic alcohol abuse can cause liver diseases varying from mild disorders such as steatosis to severe life threatening diseases such as cirrhosis.

The cardiovascular system is one of the major organ systems influenced by alcohol consumption. Population based studies show conclusively that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages has a protective effect. This effect is found in men and women and bears no relation to the type of alcoholic beverage. Consumption of higher quantities of alcohol leads to for instance high blood pressure and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Moderate alcohol consumption is also reported to protect against diabetes and dementia. There is a relationship between alcohol and certain types of cancer. For instance a higher risk of breast cancer and oesphageal cancer is correlated with drinking alcohol and the risks increase with increased consumption.
WHAT IS ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE?
Alcohol dependence is a syndrome characterized by the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. This means that alcohol dependents start to suffer physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Their alcohol consumption interferes with their normal everyday life, at work as well as at home. Those who experience problems controlling their drinking to within moderate levels should seek medical advice and should not drink at all.
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