Distillers District The Story

In Schiedam you can smell, taste and see jenever (Dutch gin) and gin everywhere. In the historic town centre, many buildings and the 6 highest windmills still remind us of the time when Schiedam was the international heart of the jenever industry.

392 roasting houses

The 18th century was Schiedam's Golden Age. Around 1700, cloth manufacturing and herring fishing finally gave way to the malt wine industry. In its heyday, 392 roasting houses, distilleries and mills were active. The stagnation in the import of spirits from France made the rise of the Schiedam jenever distillery possible.

Schiedam jenever was exported all over the world. The jenever industry was the town's main industry during the early Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th century, a dark period to which it owed its former nickname 'Zwart Nazareth' or 'Black Nazareth'. During this time, the large mills were built, which ground the grain for the malt houses.

There were more than 30 windmills in Schiedam. In order to catch sufficient wind and for a larger storage and production capacity, the mills grew to become the tallest in the world. The remaining giants from that time are still characteristic of the city. They have determined the Schiedam's skyline for hundreds of years.

Smell & taste

Visit the museums in the Museumkwartier. Step inside the Nationaal Jenevermuseum Schiedam and learn all about the history of jenever and the production process.
Visit the De Walvisch Molen, a museum mill and mill shop where traditional flour is still mixed and packed.
In the Borrelmuseum, at the back of the famous Jenever cafe - Jeneverie 't Spul, old advertising material, photos, films and other items tell the story of the illustrious jenever past of the city of Schiedam.

Distillers District The Story