Dutch Quirk #99: Drink beer like it’s a national sport

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #99: Drink beer like it’s a national sport

The Netherlands is home to many big beer brands like Heineken, Hertog Jan, and Bavaria, but the Dutch drink a whooooole lot of it too! 🍻

In the Netherlands, you’ll always find a couple of beers at a table full of Dutchies!

It’s always a very popular menu item, whether you’re sitting on a terrasje or at a restaurant. Lekker biertje erbij? 😉 

Also, beers in the Netherlands are typically served in small glasses and not your usual pint glass — in this way, drinking 10 beer glasses becomes quite manageable. 🍺

What is it?

It isn’t possible to emphasise just how much the Dutch actually drink.

The Dutch have many occasions on which beer is always present — King’s day, New Year’s, birthdays, weddings, student association gatherings and of course, football matches! ⚽️

It’s always beer o’clock time in the Netherlands, cheers! Image: Freepik

More specific to the Netherlands, the Dutch have borrels regularly, where they let loose with some colleagues and drink!

And, is it really a borrel without tons of beer? 🍺 Nee! 

In 2019, the Netherlands was given the title of the biggest exporter of beer in the EU. They must be doing something right with their beer, eh?

Why do they do it?

The Netherlands has been producing beer for a very long time. 🏰 So it’s no wonder that people have developed a liking for it! 

For example, the Amstel Brewery was founded in 1870, and its first brew was produced in October 1871. Little did they know about the success it was about to gain! 

Also, the Dutch love beer! It’s as simple as that.

Drinking culture is very popular in the Netherlands because it helps people in loosening up a bit. 

The Dutch are pretty good at making things more fun, but it’s still important to know your drinking limits! 

Why is it quirky? 

In 2019, 41% of Dutch adults revealed they consumed about one alcoholic beverage per day or less, according to CBS.

It seems like it’s all or nothing when it comes to alcohol and the Dutchies — and the Dutch never pass up on beer discounts either! 🥴

In 2021, a group of friends in the small town of Gramsbergen took their tractors (yes, tractors!) to the local PLUS supermarket and bought €6,003 worth of beer.

And if that doesn’t sound crazy enough, four whole crates of beer were also completely finished that same day.

So, if beer is ever on sale in the Netherlands, get ready for flocks of Dutchies to march into stores and clear all the beer from its shelves!

(Not to mention all the statiegeld they’ll get back from returning those crates. 😏)

Should you join in? 

If you’re above the legal drinking age of 18, absolutely! 🍺

The Netherlands has a great variety of beers to offer to everyone who wants one.

Dutch supermarkets always have a range of beer packs on their shelves. If you’re with a couple more people, they also sell a lot of beer crates. 🎉

What do you think of Dutch beer? Got any favourites? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).


  1. Of all the more well-known Nederlandse beer brands I prefer Grolsch. Then Bavaria, then Heineken. I do not like Amstel beer at all.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Dutch quirks