Beer has always played an important role in Breda. There were many breweries in the city, a lot of beer was exported and consumed. In 1540 there were as many as 38 breweries in the city, and a lot of this Breda beer was exported to Holland, Antwerp, and Zeeland. One in 14 men in Breda was involved in malting, brewing, or transporting Breda beer. Breweries can still be found in Breda. Beer and Breda just go together.
The history of breweries in Breda
Everyone was drinking beer, even the children. After all, it was healthier than the filthy water at the time. The alcohol content of most beer was low. Especially at the Harbor and Ginneken there were many breweries, but beer was also brewed on the Haagdrijk, Gasthuiseinde, in the Veemarktstraat and the Brugstraten. From 1550 onwards it became much easier to load and unload in Breda, as the capacity of the port was expanded a number of times. At first, there was city wall there, and only small ships had the opportunity to dock. The good connection by water from Breda allowed ships to go in all directions from the port. Through the river 'Mark', they sailed to other cities in Holland such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam, as well as to Zeeland and Antwerp.
Did you know…
Back in the day, the water that was used to make the beer was taken from the mark. The quality of this water was better than the water of the Weerijs, Because the water there had a higher acidity, which was detrimental to the quality of beer.
'De Drie Hoefijzers'
One of the oldest breweries in Breda is 'De Drie Hoefijzers', which was founded in 1538. The brewery on Ceresstraat became one of the most important breweries in the Netherlands. The name changed several times over the years, among which it turned in F. Smits van Waesberghe and Oranjeboom.
As early as the Middle Ages, breweries in Breda had a name. Names related to horse riding were in demand: the appellation Het Hoefijzer was so popular in Breda that at one point there were three breweries with Hoefijzer in the name, namely The 'Hoefijzer', 'De Twee Hoefijzers' and 'De Drie hoefijzers'.
Beer breweries in Breda
Nowadays you can still find many breweries in Breda. You can tell this by all the delicious local speciality beers that are on offer.
Founded in 2015, so still a fairly young brewery in town, but already a household name! Frontaal is of all trades: Juicy IPAs to wicked Stouts. Also fun: you can visit the brew pub, located in the old factory of De Faam, where you can enjoy a delicious beer with a tasty snack. Or have a seat on the sunny terrace!
Brewery St. Joris
Did you know that beer has been brewed from the basement of the Boterhal since 2016? In the basement – dating back to 1438 – beer is being brewed and tasted. In the tasting room and at the Boterhal you drink beers straight from the barrel. You can’t get it any fresher!
Grote Markt 19
Big Belly Brewing Company
In 2016, three friends from Breda started their own brand of beer, Big Belly Brewing Company. Meanwhile, they also have their own bar located in the harbour, where you can taste the wide range of home-brewed beer. Inspired by their beers, comfort food is also being served.
Tip: enjoy the last rays of sunshine in their lovely garden!
Where brewery ‘De Drie Hoefijzers’ was established on the Boschstraat in 1628, just under 400 years later, the brewing trade was brought back to the street by De Beyerd. “Drie Hoefijzers Klassiek’ is therefore the first beer brewed here according to its original recipe. Besides Drie Hoefijzers, De Beyerd also brews several beers according to its own recipe.
Brewery Witte Anker
After 116 years, Brewery Witte Anker relaunched in 2017. The building where ‘het Wit Anker’ was located still exists. Above the gate on the left side of the property (Haven 4), a White Anchor can still be seen in a framework. Today, the brewery is run by two friends with a passion for beer.
Bliksem is rock ’n roll! Delicious beer and good music are the ultimate combination for brewery owners. They like to experiment with flavours and styles. Bliksem’s tasting room can be found at BRACK, the former machine factory of Backer & Rueb.
Tip: It is possible to visit Trappist brewery De Kievit and see where Zundert Trappist Beers are being brewed. The excursion can be booked through the VVV in Zundert and consists of an explanation, walk, brewery visit and final tasting. The tour lasts about two hours and can only be booked in advance via email@example.com.