A visit to...Brand
The Brand Brewery is one of the oldest in the Netherlands. Beer has been brewed in Wijlre, South Limburg since 1340. In 1871, the brewery was acquired by the Brand family, who gave the beer its name. Rob Habets, the current brewmaster at Brand, knows all about this history:
“Ever since the Brand family came to own the brewery, the quality of the beer and the variety of flavours have always been the top priorities,” says Rob. It’s unsurprising then, that the oldest craft beer in the Netherlands is the Brand Imperator. This amber-coloured beer has been sold in the Netherlands since 1949. In 1952, Brand launched Brand UP, a pilsner based on the original Czech recipe. And then there’s the glass: the wafer-thin pilsner glass is commonplace in the Netherlands, but it was the Brand family that introduced this type of glass to the Dutch.
Around two years ago, the Brand ‘brand’ underwent a revamp, which involved the creation of a new bottle design based on the brewery’s very first bottle from the early 19th century. They also introduced new labels, six-packs and cans. Altogether, it’s a colourful combination of nostalgia for the past and the quality and distinction needed in the contemporary beer market. In recent years, Brand has added many new beers to its range— twelve in total. And many more will be launched in the future.
The new design reflects the brewery’s traditional focus on quality and flavour.
Since 2012, Brand has held an annual homebrewing competition for brewers from all over the Netherlands. The winning beer is brewed for mass consumption and sold in shops all around the country. Brand Zwaar Blond, Brand IPA, Brand Saison and Brand Porter were all winning entries in this competition and next year, it’s Brand Session IPA’s turn.
Do you want to visit the oldest brewery in the Netherlands and see where Brand beers are brewed?
Take a trip to Wijlre, which has been a brewer’s village since 1340, nestled in the beautiful Limburgian hills. Cheers!