On 15 February 1864, Gerard Adriaan Heineken (1841–1893) got his wealthy mother to buy De Hooiberg (The Haystack) brewery in Amsterdam, a popular working-class brand founded in 1592. In 1873 after hiring a Dr. Elion (student of Louis Pasteur) to develop Heineken-A Yeast for Bavarian bottom fermentation, the HBM (Heineken’s Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij) was established, and the first Heineken brand beer was brewed. In 1875 Heineken won the Medaille D’Or at the International Maritime Exposition in Paris, then began to be shipped there regularly, after which Heineken sales topped 64,000 hectolitres (1.7 million U.S. gallons), making them the biggest beer exporter to France.
In Heineken’s early years, the beer won four awards:
- Medaille d’Or (Gold Medal) at the International Maritime Exhibition (International Exhibition of Marine and River Industries) in Paris in May 1875.
- Diplome d’Honneurs (Honorary Diploma) at the International Colonial Exposition in Amsterdam in 1883.
- Grand Prix (Grand Prize) at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889.
- Hors Concours Membre du Jury in Paris in 1900.
In 2014 Heineken celebrated its 150th anniversary. In 2015 Heineken won the Creative Marketer of the Year Award, becoming the second company to win the award twice.
The original brewery where Gerard Adriaan Heineken first started making Heineken is now the Heineken Experience Museum.