Family & History

The history of Duvel Moortgat is one of respect for tradition and family values. Today, the fourth generation of the Moortgat family watches over the legacy of founder Jan-Leonard Moortgat and his two sons, Albert and Victor.

1963: Licence and start of production of Maredsous abbey beers

When Maredsous Abbey wanted to improve the quality of its beers, it sought out a worthy successor for the task. On the advice of the Catholic University of Leuven, it turned to the Moortgat brewery, renowned for its craftsmanship and high quality beers.
Under a licence for the ‘Fromagerie et Brasserie de Maredsous’ and under the strict supervision of the monks, from then on Duvel Moortgat was to brew, bottle and sell the Maredsous range: a blond beer with an alcohol content of 6%, a brown variant with a alcohol content of 8% and a triple with an alcohol content of 10% which was added in 1990.

Late 1960s: Creation of the Duvel glass

Despite its many imitators, Duvel is and remains unique. For instance, the Duvel glass, created in the late 1960s, was the first tulip-shaped tasting glass. Among other things, the new glass had to be able to take a full 33 cl bottle. Until then, there were no beer glasses of this format. The glass is designed specifically to ensure a more complete beer experience: the spherical shape releases the heavenly flavour and aroma of Duvel to full effect. Moreover, the glass narrows towards the top, which helps retain the carbon dioxide and hence the head. The liquid and head can also be more equally distributed in the same glass, whereas with a traditional glass the froth is only produced as the beer is poured.

An engraving on the bottom of the Duvel glass contributes towards the typical effervescence of the Duvel beer and helps support the head. One interesting detail: in the old Duvel glasses, the engraving consisted of a small scratch, but in the modern glasses it is a ‘D’, the first letter of the Duvel logo!
 

1970: Beginning of Duvel's international expansion

In the mid-1970s the brewery gradually left most Belgian family businesses behind. Moortgat beers established a name and reputation abroad, as well, largely thanks to Duvel. The first export initiatives inevitably followed, initially in the Netherlands and shortly afterwards in Belgium’s other neighbouring countries. Today the beer is available all over the world.