Happy 400th Birthday Grolsch

Beer and banking

Grolsch celebrates 400 years of creativity

The countdown clock projected onto the outside of Grolsch’s brewery in Enschede finally reached zero days on 11 May this year, signalling the start of the legendary Dutch beer’s 400th birthday celebrations

While due respect has been paid to Grolsch’s history, the celebrations around the globe are very much rooted in the present day, and in particular Grolsch’s patronage of the creative arts.

The celebration centrepiece is a mosaic of bespoke canvases featuring the work of contemporary artists from around the world, brought together earlier this year at the Grolsch Creative Hub in Amsterdam for three days of creation and inspiration. Each of the 400 canvases draws inspiration from the iconic Grolsch Swingtop and are featured on special edition packs of Grolsch, available in stores around the world. 

You can find out more about the artists and see their works in greater detail on Grolsch’s dedicated urban creativity site Canvas

However, the challenge is open to everyone, with a three-month competition inviting budding artists to download their own template ‘canvas’ and submit their re-imagining of the Swingtop via social media. Prizes include a chance to be profiled on Canvas and the top prize: a trip for two to Amsterdam.

Other celebratory collaborations include a project to build a hotel room – complete with its own Grolsch bar – using only 3D printing. The room will be part of Amsterdam’s celebrated 3D Print Canal House, which has been wowing visitors since it was unveiled by DUS Architects in May 2014. And Grolsch is teaming up with hot jeans label Denham to bring a new look to the worker’s wardrobe, including denim workwear that will be designed for a Grolsch brewmaster.

There will be numerous other activities in the fields of art, music, film and design in the months and years to come, as Grolsch continues to stamp its mark on the urban creative community. Today’s Grolsch may be very different to what Willem Neerfeldt set in motion back in 1615, but the brewery’s founding father would surely recognise the creativity and innovative thinking that is becoming the hallmark of this 400-year-old Dutch institution.