Osiris students are going to have to drink Sonnema Berenburg. The Leeuwarden student society has signed a sponsorship agreement with the company that makes the drink, a kind of gin flavoured with bitters.
Oud contacted Sonnema himself because Osiris is an enthusiastic consumer of the Friesian bitters-flavoured drink. 'We get through about three hundred bottles a year. To put that in perspective: that's about the same as wine.' Guys in particular drink Berenburg, preferably mixed with a coke. 'The lads sit there all evening drinking beer. Then just before they go home they say: "One last Be-co".'
Oud says Sonnema started actively sponsoring student societies a year ago. The government is trying to discourage young people from drinking but Sonnema sees students as a growth market. In the words of Thomas van der Heide, sales promoter for Sonnema Berenburg: 'It's a fact of life that students drink vast amounts.'
Recently, the Student Town Leeuwarden foundation organized a battle between VHL, NHL and Stenden. The teams representing the three applied science universities had to think up a marketing campaign for Sonnema Berenburg that would make the reddish-brown drink cool among students. A VHL team won the public's prize with a campaign inspired by the legendary Friesian ice skating event through eleven towns, the Elfstedentocht. Anyone ordering 'A round of Sonn' gets a tray with eleven holes for putting the glasses in.