The Grolsch brewery was founded in 1615 in Groenlo. The town of Groenlo was
then known as Grolle, hence the name Grolsch, meaning 'of Grolle'. Grolsch is
best known for its 5% abv pale lager, Grolsch Premium Pilsner. The brewery was
first operated by Willem Neerfeldt. Neerfeldt's son-in-law, Peter Sanford Cuyper,
later took over. Grolsch was, as of February 2006, the second largest brewer in
the Netherlands with annual production of 3.2 million hectoliters. The domestic
market comprises fifty-one per cent of total production.
On November 19, 2007, the board of Royal Grolsch NV accepted a €814 million
offer for the company by SABMiller. The takeover was completed with the
delisting of Grolsch's shares on March 20 2008.
Grolsch is the 21st largest provider of beer in the world, and is available in
70 countries. Grolsch focuses primarily on the following markets: the United
Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These primary
markets make up 78 per cent of Grolsch's international sales. Grolsch Premium
Pilsner is by far the most important beer in Grolsch's international profile,
while its Amsterdam brand grew by 40 per cent in 2006 primarily in Russia and
In 2006 Grolsch ended its five-year relationship with importer United States
Beverage, LLC, and signed a distribution agreement with Anheuser-Busch effective
April 1, 2006, which was terminated following the SABMiller acquisition as A-B
did not want to promote a rival's product.
Four beers are featured in the United States market: Grolsch Lager, Grolsch
Amber, Grolsch Blonde and Grolsch Light. Grolsch Premium Pilsner is available in
a wide variety of serving sizes, including swing-top bottles, mini-kegs and
half-barrels. The others have only been confirmed available in 6 pack, 12 oz