A while back, I posited that De Koninck might perhaps be up for sale. Turns out it was, and the winner is…
In a deal announced Thursday, August 5, the family-owned regional brewery has acquired 100% of the Antwerp-based De Koninck for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes “significant real estate” in the Antwerp area, including the iconic bar – and scene for me of many enjoyable evenings – Den Engel.
On the surface, this would appear to be a good arrangement. De Koninck has been struggling for some time and Duvel Moortgat has proved thus far to be a good steward of its acquisitions, which include the Wallonian brewery Brasserie d’Achouffe and the northern Liefmans. In the release, Duvel ceo Michel Moortgat seemed to express interest in reinvigorating the De Koninck brand.
I may have to drop in to a De Koninck-carrying bar this afternoon to toast the future of the bolleke!
12 Replies to “De Koninck Sold!”
Interesting – I wonder how far DM’s involvement will go? I can’t imagine that there is much rationalisation to be done with the brewery itself, and it’s not as if there are a lot of brands that need to be consolidated.
That said, I’m still vaguely cheesed of about what happened to Liefman’s when DM bought it – Fruit Cuvée, anyone?
Really, Zak? Fruit Cuvée? I’ve not come across that, but even the name sounds dreadful.
Yes, the fruit cuvée (just referred to as Liefmans on ratebeer.com) is their shot at a commercial fruit beer. The saccharine was horribly prominent to my palate – but others seem to like it.
There are two beers from Liefmans that may have been confused here. Liefmans Cuvee Brut is a 6% blend of aged beers which are then further aged on whole cherries for up to a year. It’s a pretty fine fruit beer and not overly sweet. It gets good (yet limited – due to it’s newness and fact it isn’t in US yet) ratings on Beer Advocate.The beer that may be referred to is Liefmans Fruitesse. It’s a 4.2% blend of brown beer, different fruits and juices. It is light, fruity and yes, sweet. This is a beer which appears to have been conceived for the growing European market for quite light, sweet fruit-based beers. The beer is served over ice in several countries in Europe as a “summerish” refresher, successfully displacing fruit/wine coolers.The jury is out on when and how that beer may come to the US. On the other hand, Goudenband — an 8%, really fine, blended and aged West Flanders brown ale — will be back late this fall, as will Cuvee Brut. Larry at Ommegang / Duvel USA
Thank you for the clarification, Larry, and the news that Liefmans is on its way back to this side of the Atlantic.
Thanks for letting us know, Steve. I’ve also had many enjoyable evenings in the “iconic bar.” Great memories.
Steve you are right on the money. Duvel is a good steward and Antwerp needed this to happen. Better Duvel than ABI.
We missed you this weekend at BollekeFeest in Antwerp where we enjoyed many a fine DK bolleke’s! For a great sampling of fruit beers, the beerfest in Mons is one of my favorites. See the list of Belgian beer festivals here and come see us!