Since 2016, Heineken has been the second-largest brewer in the world, behind the parent company to Anheuser-Busch. Having been around for over 150 years, Heineken has some solid history that could be tapped for another documentary series style show. This would likely be an informative show in the style of something Disney+’s The Imagineering Story as the current majority shareholder, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, is reported by Fortune to be extremely private.
That could have to do with her father, Freddy Heineken, being kidnapped in 1983. Freddy and his driver, Ab Doderer, were kidnapped in November of 1983, outside of Freddy’s office. They were imprisoned for three weeks before being found in a Quonset hut that was prepared in advance for the kidnapped victims.
Beyond the kidnapping making for a fascinating episode (or two, it was already part of two books and a movie), the history of Heineken dates back to 1864 with founder Gerard Adriaan Heineken. There are plenty of interesting moments from that origin, where the key ingredient of Heineken beer is still used today, to his son, Henry Pierre Heineken, who exported the first Heineken shipment to the US three days after Prohibition ended. Or from Freddy’s tenure and his global expansion of Heineken (and, of course, the kidnapping) to the present and becoming the second-largest brewer in the world.
The story of Heineken may not be as wild or as fun as the Busch family or Jimmy Buffett; but it doesn’t lack interest, especially for beer fans.