Beer on board VOC ships
Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) is the United East India Company or Dutch East India Company. Between 1602 and 1795 the VOC had almost 1800 ships that made 4722 outward and 3359 return voyages to and from the East. Durable beer was very important aboard and the long travels of these times brought about an enormous experience in this respect. De Witte Haan brewery (White Cock brewery) in Amsterdam was an important supplier. This brewery was founded in 1610 by Pieter Dirksz, son of a Haarlem brewer (1).

Large scale brewing
As son of a brewer Hasselaer was very familiar with every aspect of brewing. This was his third brewery and he probably put all his experience in this one. For example, in the 20th century a building contractor would find the brewery was build on large water-reservoirs. Hasselaer was somewhat older now and at a certain time he left the actual brewing to his son-in-law Pieter Hulst. King Christian IV of Denmark initiated the build of a royal brewery finished in 1616 to produce beer for the court, the navy and overseas trading companies (2) and was helped and advised by a Dutch master brewer, perhaps one of these men. The Netherlands were leading in many respects in these times, apparently also in brewing on a somewhat larger scale.

Family business
De Witte Haan brewery is owned by Pieter Hulst in the forties through the sixties of the 17th century (3). Joachim Rendorp, born in 1609, marries his daughter and takes over the brewery later. They were both depicted on the painting underneath this article. This painting is now on display right next to the famous Nachtwacht in the Rijksmuseum. Internal reporting to the 'lords seventeen' of the VOC listed in 1636 states 'the Amsterdam beer has arrived fresh and well' and was sold in the East (4). Rendorps son was named after his father and this Joachim Rendorp (1671-1730) became, next to owner of the brewery, commissioner of hops, captain of poorters of Amsterdam and lord of Marquette.

East India
Pieter Rendorp (1703-1760) of what was then, in short, De Haan brewery, brewed six varieties of beer. There is little further indication of what kinds exactly but we know they were made with hops; 'witte en bruyne bieren, durabel en bequaem om tot in Oost Indien toe te konnen vervoeren'. White and brown beers, durable and suitable to be transported to East-India.

Progenitors
In 1675 we found the first one hundred barrels of 'Haantjes beer' (5), administrated in the East. These were progenitors to the later Porter and India Pale Ale, beers that did not yet exist in those days. The brewery in possession of the influential Rendorp family remains the main exporter of beers.

Varieties
Rotterdam, Mol, Delfts, Mom, Luijks and Jopen beer were perhaps bought and shipped, but could very well in whole or in part have been brewed in Amsterdam (5, 6). This phenomenon had to do with beer-names slowly evolving into styles as happened through the ages. Who got to drink what kind depended on ones position in the hierarchy. And there was 'Bier Equipagie' and 'Bier tot Coopmanschap'; beer to be consumed onboard and beer meant for trade (7).

Next to IPA
Much later, mid 19th century the De Haan brewery was still a big exporting brewery owned by the Rendorp brothers (8) with over a hundred employees. Their beer was still called 'Haantjes' beer and was sold next to India Pale Ale and Guinness in Indonesia. Advertisements of those days (9) are next to a steamboat, but also still a fast sailing vessel with a milking cow on board for convenience of the passengers; Passage to the Netherlands.

Frederik Ruis

vd-Helst-1639b
Bartholomeus van der Helst 1639 Collection Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Renaissance painting at brewery De Haan, Amsterdam. (detail)
Jochem Rendorp is depicted with his hand on his side, on the beer barrel is a white cock (witte haan).

glas bier vd helst-1639
Bartholomeus van der Helst 1639 Collection Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Renaissance painting at brewery De Haan, detail; beautiful glass of blond beer with some foam.

(1)
Pieter Dirksz was son of a Haarlem brewer and a war hero. Later he would be involved in finding a route to India and even payed the maps for Willem Barentsz. He was founder and participant of the pre-company and the later VOC.

pieter dirksz-arrest-1573

Imprisonment of Pieter Dirksz. Hasselaer, 1809 - 1813 Collection Rijksmuseum

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(2)
Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, R.W. Unger
2007

25 years later 35 were employed in this brewery
production 3.200.000 liters per year.

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(3)
Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen van Amsterdam 1510-1672
Eerste deel
Nijhoff,
1929

p.715
1663
Pieter Hulft, brouwer in de Witte Haan.

'Pieter Hulft, brewer in the Witte Haan'

witte-haan-voc-1663

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(4)
Rijks geschiedkundige publicatiën

Uitgegeven met opdracht van de minister van onderwijs en wetenschappen
onder toezicht van de rijkscommissie voor vaderlandse geschiedenis
Grote serie 150
's Gravenhage
Martinus Nijhoff
1975

Generale missiven van gouverneurs-generaal en raden aan heren XVII der Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie

28 december 1636
't Amsterdams bier is versch ende goet overgecomen

'the Amsterdam beer has arrived fresh and well'

amsterdams-bier-1975-1636


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(5a)
Dagh-register gehouden int casteel Batavia
vant passerende daer ter plaetse als over geheel Nederlandts-India
Netherlands. Departement voor Uniezaken en Overzeese Rijksdelen
1675

p.228
2 vaten haantjes bier

 

p.301
100 vaten haantjes bier

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(5b)
Dagh-register gehouden int casteel Batavia vant passerende
1677

2 leggers France wyn en 2 leggers seck wyn;
5 vaten mom, 5 vaeten haantjes bier

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(5c)
Oud en nieuw Oost-Indiën
vervattende een naaukeurige en uitvoerige verhandelinge van Nederlands mogentheyd in die gewesten
(Google eBoek)
François Valentijn
by Joannes van Braam,
1724

p.263
This years profit on sales
Mom
Bengaanlse Tarw
Roosewater
Luyks Bier
Serbster dito
Haantjes dito
1704 tot 1705 tot 1706.

haantjes-bier-1704-1724


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(6)
Bier! Geschiedenis van een volksdrank
J. Gawronski
1994

p.132-144
'witte en bruyne bieren, durabel en bequaem om tot in Oost Indien toe te konnen vervoeren'

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(7)
Staat der generale Nederlandsche Oost-Indische Compagnie
dato 14 July 1791, Volume 2 (Google eBoek)
Nederlandsche Oost-Indische Compagnie
J. Allart,
1792

p.147
translated:
Dutch East India Company
Beer for the crew
Beer as merchandise
'All domestic and foreign, and Jopen beer, able to meet the demands of Indonesia.'

voc-bier-1792

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(8)
Amsterdamsche almanak voor koophandel en zeevaart
Volume 1 (Google eBoek)
Collegie Zeemanshoop
H. Blikman,
1830

p.109
SCHEEPS-BIERBROUWERIJEN.
Ships-breweries
De Haan, P. en S. Rendorp

(The Hooiberg was acquired by G.A. Heineken in 1864)

scheep-bierbrouwerijen-1830

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(9)
Samarangsch advertentie-blad
28-09-1855
Nummer: 39
Uitgever: de Groot
Samarang
1855

Allsopp's India Pale Ale casked
Haantjes Bier van Rendorp casked and in bottles.

haantjes-bier-rendorp-1855c

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(9b)
Bataviaasch handelsblad
16-10-1875
Jaargang, nummer: 18, 244
Uitgever: W. Bruining
Batavia
1875

GUINNESS' STOUT.
ALLSOPP'S PALE ALE.
HAANTJES BIER of Rendorp.
CHAMPAGNE brand Moët & Chandon.

haantjes-rendorp-1875


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(9c)
Nieuwe Surinaamsche courant
Datum, editie: 12-04-1894
Jaargang, nummer: 2, 186
Uitgever: T. Libertador Ellis
Paramaribo
1894

HAANTJES BIER
Export Bier
die sinds onheugelijke jaren met succes in West-Indie ingevoerd zijn

since times immemorial exported to the West-Indies

P & S RENDORP

de haan-1894

 

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