Award-winning Belgian abbey beers launched in UK


A range of authentic Belgian beers has been launched in the UK by Brewery Haacht after one of its brews was named “world’s best beer”.

Tongerlo are top-fermenting certified abbey beers, brewed using traditional methods including a second fermentation in the bottle which imparts more complex aromas and refined flavours.

Tongerlo Blond, at 6% ABV, was last year named world’s best pale beer and world’s best beer in the World Beer Awards, part of the World Drinks Awards.

The launch of Tongerlo in the UK is being managed by sales agency Windfall Brands which is also introducing Haacht’s flagship pilsner beer Primus and two of its Mystic fruit beers. They are available on draught and in 33cl bottles as well as cans.

Johan Joostens, export director at Brewery Haacht, said: “We are very excited about launching Tongerlo, Mystic and Primus from Haacht into the UK market.

“As the largest independent and family-run brewery in Belgium, we are able to continue the authentic and traditional production processes that were laid by our founder, Mr De Ro, in 1898 and are overseen by his grandson and CEO, Mr van der Kelen, today. This has led to our beers being recognised all over the world.

“Scooping the coveted ‘world’s best beer’ award last year has given us a real boost in Belgium and beyond, and we are confident that UK beer connoisseurs and novices alike will appreciate the crafted quality and strong heritage of Tongerlo, Mystic and Primus.”

Primus, a low-fermentation light blond pilsner, is named after Jan Primus, Duke of Brabant in the 13th century. At 5.2% ABV, it has a classic pilsner taste with a light malt character and a dry hop finish.

Mystic fruit beers are based on traditional wheat beers with juices added after fermentation – the juice content is 25% for the cherry beer and 26% for the peach beer. Cherry is at 3.5% ABV and peach is at 3.7% ABV.

Also in the range is Tongerlo Prior, a full-bodied beer with fruity notes, at 9% ABV.

The range will be showcased at Imbibe Live in London on June 29 and 30.

Windfall Brands has already secured a wholesale listing for the range at Nectar Imports. Its customer the South Deep Café in Parkstone Bay Marina, Dorset, has become the first stockist of Tongerlo Blond and Mystic in the UK.

South Deep Café’s Belgian owner Stephané Rondoz said: “As a proud Belgian and a keen beer drinker, as soon as I heard about the Brewery Haacht range coming to the UK, I set my heart on becoming the first to stock Tongerlo and Mystic.

“If tasting is believing, then Tongerlo Blond and Mystic Peach really are the best Belgian beers I’ve enjoyed during my time in Britain. I want to share this beer discovery with my customers and the grand plan is to transform our outside summer bar into the ‘Haacht Belgian Beer Bar’.

“I can’t think of a better way to serve and share these first-class Belgian beers with my regulars and new customers alike.”

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