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HEINEKEN Ireland launches 10m Fresh Beginnings programme

Date:27th May 2021
  • €275K staff stimulus fund to be spent in pubs and bars by HEINEKEN Ireland employees along with ‘welcome back’ fund for pub and bar staff
  • €3m investment to support publicans preparing for outdoor re-opening
  • 8.5 million pints brewing at iconic Cork brewery as re-opening countdown is on


Thursday, 27th May 2021:  Ahead of almost 3,500 pubs and bars re-opening around the country on Monday 7th June, HEINEKEN Ireland is deploying its very own green army to support the re-opening of the hospitality sector with a comprehensive €10 million ‘Fresh Beginnings’ support programme.  This will see every HEINEKEN Ireland employee receive a staff stimulus fund to spend in pubs and bars across the country supporting footfall and cashflow for publicans and a ‘welcome back’ fund for hospitality staff going the extra mile to welcome consumers back to pubs and bars. 


The HEINEKEN Ireland ‘Fresh Beginnings’ €10m stimulus programme is the largest in the brewer’s 165-year history and aims to recognise the passion of people right across the sector that will power the much-anticipated hospitality re-opening after the longest lockdown in Europe.  It will support a safe re-opening and fast recovery for pubs and bars through a range of bespoke measures and builds on the significant support HEINEKEN has provided to its 7,000 hospitality customers since the start of the pandemic last year, now totalling €19m.


The targeted supports included in the new HEINEKEN ‘Fresh Beginnings’ €10 million programme include: 

  • €275,000 HEINEKEN staff stimulus spend and ‘thank you’ fund for bar staff across the country: To stimulate footfall and cashflow in pubs, HEINEKEN is deploying its own green army of ambassadors into pubs and bars by providing every employee with €250 to spend in venues all over Ireland to treat fellow customers, friends or family to a round.  HEINEKEN sales representatives will also deploy a ‘welcome back’ fund of gift vouchers to bar staff to acknowledge those going the extra mile to deliver a positive experience for returning consumers.
  • €3 million investment supporting pubs that are enhancing their outdoor areas: outdoor service is a key feature of the re-opening phase on 7th June.
  • €2.5 million high profile advertising campaign:  Building excitement around the countdown to re-opening, HEINEKEN will also launch high profile advertising campaigns across the summer worth €2.5 million to remind consumers just how unique and enjoyable the pub experience will be.
  • To support the re-opening, HEINEKEN Ireland will also provide strategic financial relief to its publican customers through keg replenishment to the value of €4.2m.

Reflecting its passion for quality, HEINEKEN Ireland is also deploying an unprecedented brewing and supply chain roll out for the re-opening involving every member of its team:

  • The brewery team in the heart of Cork City have ramped up production, brewing over 8.5 million pints in May and June; 
  • With production running at 72,000 pints per hour, 60 trucks will leave the brewery each week now to fulfil publican orders;
  • The dedicated in-house HEINEKEN quality team are refreshing dispensing lines in pubs all over Ireland, visiting 1,500 pubs per week, to ensure a top-quality fresh pint awaits in every local; 
  • The trade team have been partnering with pubs to revamp and maximise outdoor spaces and beer gardens so that consumers can enjoy a safe and sociable pint this summer.

Sharon Walsh, Commercial Director of HEINEKEN Ireland, says that after the longest lockdown in Europe, we are all ready to emerge from the pandemic for a fresh beginning:  “People will be at the heart of this re-opening which we hope marks our last lockdown.  Every HEINEKEN Ireland employee stands in solidarity with our sector colleagues as we unveil our ‘Fresh Beginnings’ €10m stimulus package, bringing our total investment to €19m. We have never been more aware that behind every closed door over the past 400 days are people and families.  That’s why every member of our HEINEKEN Ireland family is pulling together to be personally involved in contributing to a fresh beginning for the sector after a truly unprecedented 18 months.


Fresh Beginning’s is designed to help stimulate an industry-wide recovery over the crucial weeks and months ahead by getting footfall through the door, cash flowing for publicans and having 8.5 million fresh pints at the ready for consumers to enjoy in revamped beer gardens and locals across the country.  During the lockdowns we have listened to our customers to pinpoint exactly where help was needed and to show up in the most supportive way we can.  As consumers settle down to a fresh pint this June to re-connect and reminisce with friends, we hope that with each sip they toast to the hope of a brighter future.”


Coinciding with the announcement, today also marks the much anticipated first deliveries of fresh kegs from the iconic HEINEKEN brewery in the heart of Cork to pubs across Ireland.  Irish rugby star Conor Murray, lined out with the HEINEKEN team today for these special deliveries:


"Some of the toughest matches I’ve ever played in have been in the Heineken® Champions Cup and there’s no question the last 15 months have been hugely challenging for people across Ireland, and in particular publicans who have endured so much. Now is the time to toast a return to some better days and I’m certainly looking forward to a well-earned pint of Heineken® on my break later this summer."




For further information contact:

  • Cian Connaughton, Account Director, Murray Consultants – 0876480809 / cconnaughton@murraygroup.ie
  • Avril Collins, Corporate Affairs Director, HEINEKEN Ireland – 0863964368 / avril.collins@heineken.ie


A Snap-shot of the Preparations for Re-opening of Pubs on 7th June:

  1. To ensure enough fresh kegs are delivered to its pub customers all over Ireland, activity at the HEINEKEN Ireland brewery is ramping up. 
  2. The iconic HEINEKEN brewery in the heart of Cork city will brew 8.5 million pints / 95 thousand kegs in May and June. 
  3. Production is running at an average of 72,000 pints / 800 kegs per hour.  More power is now being used to brew this beer and this is all being done with green electricity.
  4. As re-opening nears, keg deliveries to pubs are also scaling up and 60 trucks will leave the HEINEKEN brewery each week for distribution depots around the country. 
  5. HEINEKEN Ireland’s in-house quality team has been calling to 1,500 pubs per week over the past month to refresh dispensing lines to ensure that every pint pulled is of superb quality when publicans open their doors to their locals.
  6. The HEINEKEN sales team have been supporting customers with a range of re-opening advice, specifically supporting pubs on how to re-develop their outdoor areas in line with Government guidelines and the focus on an outdoor re-opening on June 7th.
  7. HEINEKEN’s Pub Hub online platform is an exceptional support tool for its 7,000 pub customers with practical advice on product quality, staff training and social media activity to excite and reassure consumers of a safe return to the pub this summer.
  8. This new suite of ‘Fresh Beginnings’ support measures for the hospitality sector builds on previous HEINEKEN measures including credit freezing, industry training, advice on staff and customer engagement and digital innovation.
  9. Last June, in advance of summer re-opening, HEINEKEN removed 100,000 kegs from on-trade premises across Ireland, covering the cost of the replacement stock for its on-trade customers. In total over 17 million pints have been repurposed in 2020-21 to produce green electricity and fertiliser through anaerobic digestion, as part of HEINEKEN’s award-winning Brewing a Better World sustainability programme.