Bavaria takes over Haarlem brewery Uiltje

Uiltje Brewing Company from Haarlem, the brewer of specialty beers such as Bird of Prey, Dikke Lul 3 Bier! and F * ck the caravan is in the Fik, will be owned by Swinkels Family Brewers. Het Uiltje will expand and remain autonomous.

Uiltje Brewing Company was founded in 2012 and focuses on specialty beer. The beer brand is known for the illustrations by cartoonist Gerben Valkema on the labels. The brewery employs 27 people who are all allowed to stay.

The brewery started as a contract brewery and since 2016 has its own brewing installation in the Waarderpolder, partly thanks to crowdfunding. This produced 10,000 hectoliters of beer in 2020. Uiltje has won national and international awards and is for the second time in the Top 100 Best Brewers in the World of beer platform RateBeer.

How much Swinkels Family Brewers pays for Uiltje has not been announced. Founder of ”Uiltje” Robbert Uyleman does not want to say anything about that either. He says that Swinkels Family Brewers has a lot of technical knowledge that Uiltje can put to good use.

Thanks to the takeover, Uiltje can focus again on the creative side and invest in the brewery. Uiltje was recently held back because there was not enough money to make certain investments and that will soon be possible again, according to Uyleman. He was the majority shareholder until the takeover.

Swinkels Family Brewers is already the parent company of beer breweries Bavaria, Palm, De Hoorn, Rodenbach and De Molen. Due to the corona crisis, the profit of the family business dropped to 70 million euros last year. In 2019, 94 million euros was still earned. The beer concern from Lieshout also fired 65 of its approximately 1,800 employees, but indicated earlier this month that it would continue to invest in the future.


Expand brewery

Uyleman started the brewery in 2012 and now 10,000 hectoliters of beer are brewed. In the current, relatively small, building in Haarlem, the capacity can be increased by half to eventually around 15,000 hectoliters, he says.

He does not want to prejudge whether further expansion will also take place in Haarlem.

Remains autonomous

Uyleman will remain involved with Uiltje and agreements have been made with Swinkels Family Brewers that the brewery will remain fully autonomous.

“Swinkels Family Brewers has experienced in previous acquisitions of De Molen en Palm how important it is to allow breweries to keep their own identity,” he says.

The advance of specialty beers

In recent years, smaller breweries of specialty beers have been taken over by large brewers more often. They hope to benefit from the increased popularity of this type of beer.


[Sources: RTL Nieuws and Haarlems Weekblad]