VERHAEGHE BREWERY

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    Single
    330ml
    $12.00
    4 Pack
    4 x 330ml
    $47.00
    Case
    24 x 330ml
    $265.00
    Double Case
    $515.00
  • Learn more
    Single
    330ml
    $11.50
    4 Pack
    4 x 330ml
    $45.00
    Case
    24 x 330ml
    $250.00
    Double Case
    48 x 330ml
    $490.00

let's tap into their story!

The history of Verhaeghe Vichte Brewery dates back to 1885, where it was founded as a brewery-malterie by Paul Verhaeghe in the southwest of the province of West Flanders, Belgium. Many of the Belgian breweries at the time made their sales in the immediate vicinity of the brewery, and Verhaeghe Brewery was no exception. Through a railway line linking Vichte with Brussels, the brewery was able to sell a significant part of its production on the Brussels market.
The Beer Log: In the barrel room of Duchesse De Bourgogne
During the First World War, the Belgian Government urged Verhaeghe brewery among many others to resist the German occupation economically by stopping their production. Verhaeghe refused and the brewery was dismantled as a result.

After 4 years of inactivity, the brewery had lost all its customers in Brussels and had to slowly put itself back on the market. While the brewery was being rebuilt after the First World War, a train line from Eecklo to Kortrijk was established. This new train line connected the village Verhaeghe was in to Brussels and other parts of Europe. Around that time, Verhaeghe’s sons married into other brewing families, which helped the brewery to form a network of connections.
Verhaeghe Brewery continued to grow by investing in new production equipment, adapting to new trends, and improving the quality of its beers. Eventually, the brewery created the Duchesse de Bourgogne (Duchess of Burgundy) - a beer that was so successful that the brewery managed to become a strong regional player after its release.

At the time, Verhaeghe realised that breweries that focused on producing less (beers), but better were better at attracting crowds. This not only applied to customers in Belgium, even far outside the Belgian borders, consumers preferred high-quality beers with a unique identity, rather than mass-produced low-quality beers that tasted pretty much the same as one another. As such, Verhaeghe Brewery came up with the Duchesse - a red brown ale matured in oak casks and brewed according to an ancient method from West Flanders.

Verhaeghe’s Duchesse and other brews

When Verhaeghe created the Duchesse, he wanted to give it a name that suits its unique and outstanding flavours. As such, Verhaeghe decided to name it after a prominent figure from the splendid period of the Burgundian rule in Belgium that stretched across the 15th and 16th centuries. That period had a very rich history and was ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy.
In 1457, Mary of Burgundy was born, and she ruled over France and the Low Countries. That’s right, Mary is the Duchess that Verhaeghe’s flagship beer is named after. Interestingly enough, Mary was involved in a serious accident that affected her spine. During a falcon hunt in the woods near Wijnendale Castle, her horse tripped, threw her in a ditch, and landed on top of her, breaking her back.

Unfortunately, Mary died several weeks later due to her severe injuries at the tender age of 25 - a fact that Verhaeghe was not aware of when he named his unique beer after the Duchesse. Contrary to Mary’s tragic fate, the beer rose to fame and success. Many simply loved the sweet fruit ale - with its vinous aroma and a sharp sourness tempered by the sweet character of the malt.
Verhaeghe Brewery has two other beers from the Duchesse lineup - the Duchesse Cherry and the Chocolate Duchesse Cherry. The former, as its name suggests, is a cherry beer that is brewed only with real Belgian cherries. The Duchesse Cherry is not a Lambic, but rather, a Flanders red ale of mixed fermentation - the cherry-infused sibling of the original Duchesse de Bourgogne.

The Chocolate Duchesse Cherry is also rather self-explanatory; it is a delicious Flanders red ale complete with whole cherries and the natural aroma and richness of chocolate. The brewery also offers 2 other beer lineups, the Barbe Bieren and the Streekbieren, which include blonds, stouts, and browns.

Verhaeghe Brewery’s not-so-smooth sailing history and beyond

Today, Verhaeghe Brewery continues to be family-run, with the 4th generation of Verhaeghe - Karl and Peter - running the brewery since 1991. Besides the world war-related issues Paul faced back then, the Verhaeghes have continued to face several issues, including Karl. During a furniture run in 2012, Karl was involved in a horrible traffic incident that left his ribs broken and his back vertebrae completely smashed into pieces.

Verhaeghe Brewery’s future was shaky and uncertain due to Karl’s serious road traffic accident. When Karl first came back to work, he became exhausted at the slightest physical tasks, and was struggling to get back into his work routine. However, Karl was incredibly tenacious; he began waking up at 4.30am every morning for appointments with a physical therapist before undertaking an extra gym session at 8am. He continued going to the office and sticking to his routine until he was eventually able to resume his work activities as per normal.
Besides Karl’s accident, the brewery also had to face another pressing issue: the decline of the Flemish Red-Brown beer in the region. Around the time of Karl’s incident, the 4 remaining breweries that produced the style had a decrease in their production of such beers year after year due to the changing beer market. However, the Verhaeghes continue to run the business together despite the risks in being economically reliant on one product.

The Verhaeghes decided to persist with regional heritage in modern times instead of simply giving up and it worked! In 2018, Karl and his wife were invited by the Belgian Royal Palace on an economic mission to Canada. From then on, the Royal visits continued, which helped improve not only Verhaeghe’s reputation, but also improved its export collaborations.
Perhaps it is only fitting to mention Verhaeghe’s logo - a coat of arms that features a lion on both sides and a crown on top. From a distance, the brewery’s logo could easily be mistaken for the emblem of Belgian Royalty, but with its characteristic beers and frequent Royal visits, who could blame you? Verhaeghe Brewery has had a rich history of beer production, tenacity, and glowing success, and with that, we can only anticipate what’s to come in the future!
 

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