Hengelo Bier

Hengelo Bier is a historical Dutch beer brand brewed by the Hengelosche Bierbrouwerij, a brewery that was located in Hengelo at the heart of the Twente region in the Netherlands. The brand had disappeared in 1988 after its owner Stella Artois lost a major supermarket contract. In December 2007 the Hengelo Bier brand was re-established and the Hengelosche Bierbrouwerij is now an independent company.


The original brewery was established on 1 June, 1879 by Herman Meijling and J.H. Bartelink as the Hengelosche Stoom Beiersch Bierbrouwerij, translated as the Hengelo Steam Bavarian Beer Brewery. Beiersch Bier refers to the German state of Bavaria, home of an innovative method of brewing that soon became the standard in brewing lager beers. Like other Dutch brewers in the 19th century, Meijling and Bartelink adapted the Bavarian brewing process of lager beer, using bottom fermentation and cellar storages to mature the beer for several weeks. This approach resulted in typical clear lager, increased preservation and a smooth taste. The early adapters of this technology were able to increase their territory and market share, taking advantage of the extended sell by date.

After the First World War Bartelink left and the brewery name was changed in Hengelosche Bierbrouwerij a family owned company. In the years before and after WWII the brewery was one the largest in the Netherlands, for example bigger than local rival Grolsch. The company was bought from the Meijling family in 1974 by Stella Artois from Belgium. The expansion from the Belgian brewer into the Netherlands was at the root of the creation of InterBrew, now InBev. In 1988 the brewery was closed by Stella Artois after they lost a major supermarket contract to Bavaria Brewery.


The Hengelo Bier beer brand is well known for its classic label with the white staggering stallion on a red shield, the traditional symbol of the Twente region. The brewers produced some of the following types of beer, marketed as:

  • Hengelo Bier Pilsener
  • Hengelo Bier Bokbier
  • Hengelo Bier Oud Bruin
  • Hengelo Bier Speciaalbier

Hengelo Bier today

On 1 December, 2007 Dutch artist and designer Herbert Capelle re-established the beer brand after twenty years of absence from the beer market. The return created much media attention in the local press. Temporarily the beer is being brewed in Bavaria, Germany. A new brewery will start operations in Hengelo in 2009. The first beer is labeled as "Hengelo Bier Traditie Pilsner".

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