Duvel is one of Belgium's most iconic beers. Brewed to perfection, it is enjoyed around the world. But all this success has not been easy. Duvel has a complex history that led to beer as we know it today.
How many of these facts about Duvel do you know? Do not cheat!
Jan Leonard Moortgat created the Moortgat brasserie in 1871, and the brewery has remained in the family ever since. When Jan became too old to run the brewery, his sons Albert and Victor took over. Then the brewery was run by Victor's sons, Emile and Léon. Finally, the fourth generation brings us to Michel, one of Leon's sons. Each generation has played an important role in the development of Duvel. While Jan started it all, Albert was the one who created the original version, Emile and Léon developed the Duvel as we know it today, and finally, Michel brought it worldwide recognition.
The Duvel was not always called Duvel. When the beer was created, it was called Victory Ale. This name was intended to celebrate the end of the First World War. According to some stories, the name comes from the two brothers, Victor and Albert. It's even more likely that the beer was a celebration of the end of a dark era. During a beer tasting, a local cobbler called the beer "a real devil", prompting the Moortgats to rename the beer Duvel and give it a naughty image.
Politics and Beer
The original creator of Duvel, Albert, was not only a brewer but also a politician. During World War II, he was accused of switching sides and allying with the Germans. It was claimed that Albert advertised his beers by saying "One People, One Nation, One Beer", a slogan similar to that used by Hitler. He was therefore arrested and imprisoned. He pleads his innocence, but an additional year is added to his sentence. Duvel's production then experienced difficult times.
Notes from Scotland
Several strains of Edinburgh yeast were used to brew the original beer. It is not clear, however, how Albert Moortgat launched Victory Ale beer. Some stories claim he traveled to Scotland to procure the yeast. Some doubt this story as Scottish beer was imported into Belgium at this time, and it is believed that Albert sourced the yeast through the import trade. Thus, the original Victory ale could have been closer to the Belgian Scotch Ale. In the 1960s, the strains were isolated and resulted in the development of the Duvel we know today - a Belgian Golden Strong Ale.
Tulip Shaped Beer Glass
In the sixties, the brewery introduced a new tulip-shaped glass. She was one of the first in Belgium to do so. It has been designed to hold the entire beer bottle while leaving room for foam. It has now become an iconic beer glass.
Duvel was so successful that she received several awards. In 2018, she received the gold medal of the Brussels Beer Challenge. In 2010, Michel Moortgat received the prize Manager Of The Year. Finally, in 2019, Duvel Moortgat received the award for Family Business Award.
But why the Duvel beer is she so special? First of all, it is extremely clear, and the blond color of a beer has always been an attraction for its drinkers. Duvel beer also has an interesting fermentation profile. Namely, it is brewed with a single malt, and it is one of the driest beers in its degree of alcohol. Finally, it is strongly carbonated. For example, the level of carbonation is double that of most English Ales.
So how did you do? How many facts about Duvel beer and the Moortgat brewery do you know?