Overall, beer production held up surprisingly well, with the quantity in 1944 well above that of 1939. The numbers after 1940 are, however deceptive. Big cuts in gravity meant that in terms of º Plato hl, it was in reality well down. The majority of the beer produced in 1945 was after the liberation of Holland.
This is in contrast to the UK, where despite wartime restrictions, both the bulk quantity produced and degrees SG barrels increased. The latter can be observed by looking at the number of “standard” barrels – 36 gallons with an OG of 1055º. In 1939 18,364,156 standard barrels were brewed and in 1945 19,678,449.
Surprisingly, at least some breweries continued to brew through the Hongerwinter (“Hunger Winter”) of 1944/45. Amstel in Amsterdam managed to produce a few thousand hectolitres each month January to April 1945. Though this was far below their normal output level. By the end of the year the amount being brewed had shot up – 33,190 hl in December compared to 3,499 hl in January.
Despite this bounce back, total Dutch beer production in 1954 remained below that of 1930.
|Dutch beer production 1930 - 1954|
|De Nederlandse Brouwindustrie in Cijfers, by Dr. H. Hoelen, Centraal Brouwerij Kantoor, 1955, page 17, held at the Amsterdam City Archives.|