Members in the spotlight: Peer Swinkels

Alex de Vries , 31 mei 2023

“If you don’t choose, you lose.”

Peer Swinkels shared that nugget of wisdom with us in the interview we did with him for our magazine. Peer is the CEO of Royal Swinkels Family Brewers. This company is both an international player and one of the Netherlands’ oldest and largest family businesses.

The idea of being able to ‘have it all’ may be encouraging, but unfortunately it is often unrealistic. There is power in focusing on what you really want, Peer explained, as it allows you to dedicate your efforts to specific goals and chase them more effectively.

“Why have we been able to develop a successful business that’s lasted 300 years? It’s because we’ve had to reinvent our company regularly. That’s our biggest lesson.”

In 1924, Swinkels completely rebuilt their factory into one producing lagers (‘pils’ in Dutch). At the time, people in the Netherlands only drank ales, which required a different type of brewery. Peer’s great-grandfather and his sons had tasted lagers abroad, however, and hypothesized the Dutch consumer would like and come to drink it. They dedicated themselves to becoming one of the first to mass-produce it. “Which enabled us to become one of the big players, because we dared to step away from what was towards what might yet be.”

Read the full interview in our 2023 magazine, in the members area!