The history of an authentic Dutch beer

Amsterdam is proud of its Dutch roots and is inspired by the history and symbols of the city whose name it bears.

city blazon - Amsterdam beer

1275: The birth of the city of Amsterdam

Fishermen based on the right bank of the Amstel built a dam to protect themselves from the tide, hence the name “Amsterdam” (the dam on the Amstel). The patron saint of Amsterdam is St Andrew who was martyred on an X-shaped cross. The three crosses symbolise St Andrew’s protection against the three scourges of the era: Flood, fire and plague.

The three white St Andrew’s Crosses on our coat-of-arms are set against a black background representing water, the main ingredient of the Amsterdam range.

flying dutchman - Amsterdam beer

1680: The legend of the “Flying Dutchman”

A Dutch ship set sail from the port of Amsterdam towards Jakarta. It is said that whilst rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of South Africa, the ship was struck by a violent storm. In a mad rage, the captain defied the sky to sink the ship. The gods then condemned the ship and its occupants to rove the oceans for eternity, bringing death to any unfortunate who crossed their path. Some say that Admiral de Ruyter rose from his grave to return to the sea at the helm of the infamous “Flying Dutchman”.

The Amsterdam brand’s ship emblem is inspired by this legend.

letter - Amsterdam beer

1807: The King of the Netherlands rewards the best companies

This custom was introduced in 1807 by the then King of the Netherlands, none other than Louis Napoleon. The best companies in the country receive the honorific title “Koninklijke” (“Royal”). This distinction is reserved for the top Dutch businesses and only granted if the business meets certain criteria; is the leader in its field of expertise, is of national importance and has been in existence for more than a century.

In 1995 the Queen of the Netherlands authorised Amsterdam to conserve its name and granted our brewery the “Royal” title. We are extremely proud to bear this title which can only be granted to a single business in each sector.

buoy - Amsterdam beer

1957: Creation of sea mark colour codes

For nearly half a century, the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) has worked to harmonise European countries’ navigation and sea mark systems. It is thanks to IALA that sea mark systems have been harmonised, notably the lateral marks that indicate a sea channel between red (port) and green (starboard) buoys.

These two colours can be found on Navigator and Maximator beers, symbolising voyage, navigation, and above all, the spirit of adventure of Amsterdam beers.

rudder sketch - Amsterdam beer
Amsterdam Navigator, une bière au goût intense et aux arômes fruités

1995: The launch of Amsterdam Navigator

The firstborn of the Amsterdam range, Navigator evokes the traditions and emblems of the city of Amsterdam and is inspired by the maritime world, paying homage to the great Dutch navigators of the 16th and 17th centuries. The brand’s emblem is a ship.

octopus sketch maximator - Amsterdam beer
Amsterdam Maximator - Bière hollandaise

1996: The launch of Amsterdam Maximator

Following the success of Navigator, Amsterdam launched Maximator beer as a way of affirming the brand’s character. With its more intense taste, Maximator extends the range, whilst staying faithful to the maritime traditions inspired by the heritage of the Amsterdam brand.

anchor sketch - Amsterdam beer
Amsterdam Black Rum - Bière hollandaise

2016: The launch of Amsterdam Detonator

Amsterdam Detonator is the most audacious of the Amsterdam beers. Flavoured with aged rum, seafarers’ traditional tipple, Amsterdam Detonator appeals to drinkers of beers with character who want to explore new flavours. 


The newest addition to the range, Amsterdam Liberator is the wildest of the four.

With its influence drawn from the American West, its uniqueness lies in its sweet blend of the aroma of bourbon and hops.