Amsterdam is not yet Portland

Yesterday I learned more about the rapidly growing local microbrewery scene at Pakhuis de Zwijger. This ‘Brewery Special’ was organized by Indie Brands and mainly consisted of 5 presentations by different local breweries to introduce themselves and tell something about what they do, why they do it and additional anecdotes (the featured breweries were Amsterdam Brewboys, De Vriendschap, De Prael, Oedipus, and Browerij t’IJ). Naturally, this was followed by a beer tasting…

Indie Brands Brewery Special - Amsterdam microbreweries Selection of local craft beers at the ‘Indie Brands Brewery Special’

Apparently the local craft beers are really on the rise and all microbrewers on stage confirmed that they can hardly keep up with the demand. And there is still room for further growth. In the Netherlands small-scale breweries have grown quickly over the last ten years, but the market share (of all beer sold) is still very moderate, about 5-7% (depending on who you ask). This best reference number in this field is probably the share of microbreweries in the USA with some states already exceeding 20% market share1 .

Rick from Oedipus gave a great talk and showed that we can still learn so much from cities such as Portland. Especially if it comes to food in general, and beer in particular. I couldn’t agree more.
Anyway, it was nice to hear that we’re living in good times for upcoming microbrewers. Interestingly this also means that locality will become more important which is good since it can form a pleasant contrast to the often boring uniformity that arises from global markets.

Indie Brands Brewery Special - Amsterdam microbreweries
Indie Brands Brewery Special - Amsterdam microbreweries -Rick from Oedipus Brewery
Anneloes van Gaalen introduces ‘Indie Brands’ (top). Rick from Oedipus Brewing shared his Portland impressions.

Footnotes
  1. In entire US had less than 100 breweries in 1979 and went to about 2500 breweries right now http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbrewery []

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