Gold medal of the Exposition Internationale des Industries Maritimes et Fluviales
Gilt bronze, in a cardboard box with brass fittings
h 1.5 x w 8.7 x d 9 cm
It was literally a golden moment for Gerard Heineken when he received this ‘medaille d’or’ at the 1875 international exhibition in the Paris Palais d’Industrie. This world’s fair featured the latest gadgets of industries linked to waterways, such as navigation and fishing.
Beer breweries, too, were traditionally located on rivers, due to the supply of raw materials, discharge of waste water, and distribution. That is why brewers such as Heineken presented their products at this exhibition. Winning the medal for his beer meant a great deal to him. This was his chance to finally gain access to the French market.
The Amsterdammer had been looking for an importer in Paris for his lager for some time. This proved difficult, as the French massively preferred German beer as long as bräu was in the name. He even briefly considered brewing a ‘Heineken-bräu.’ As luck would have it, after his success at the Exposition Internationale he met Monsieur Tarut in Paris, who became his agent there.
When Heineken again successfully participated in a Paris trade exhibition in 1878, HBM landed a contract with the famous Folies Bergères nightclub for 2000 hectolitres (1 million glasses of beer!) per year.