On June 11, 1870, the first stone for the Amstel brewery in Amsterdam was laid. The new brewery was the brainchild of two Amsterdam businessmen, De Pester and J.H. van Marwijk Kooy, responding to the skyrocketing popularity of Bavarian beers in Holland. Although there were already 559 breweries in Holland at that time, only two of them brewed Bavarian-style ‘lager’ beer.
By 1886, the Amstel brewery was the city’s largest brewer of lager beer. In 1883 Amstel started exporting beer to the U.K. and to the Dutch colonies in the Far East. The name “Amstel” comes from the river that flows through the city of Amsterdam. The brewery was situated next to the Amstel river, whose water was to cool the beer.