A beer at DUVEL.
We got invited to spend the better part of the day at the Duvel-Moortgat brewery in Breendonk, Belgium.
Alain and Joe received us, along with Pascal and Filip that provided some excellent refreshments. We started the day off with the Vedett Extra White.
Refreshing. Crisp. Another one, please.
So what is needed to make a perfect Duvel? Well, Pascal was about to show us.
90% of beer is water. Naturally. 90% of Duvel is water. Perfect water.
Thus, following this logic, Pascal ensured us that to maintain a perfect balance of liquid in your body, drink beer! Duvel, of course. Should you be 10% short on your water intake, just drink one more.
Over to the hops. Oh, hops. How hoppy you make us feel. Actually, Pascal informed us that a handful of hops under the pillow makes for a calm, relaxing sleep. But don’t bring the male hops into your bed, or onto your field, they produce too much oil, so much so that they ruin the beer and therefore are illegal in Belgium. If you find one male plant in your field, a major area surrounding it must be destroyed. The male hops kill the head of the beer, the virgin female hops enhance it.
But as with everything and anything, all in moderation.
In the beginning, Duvel was given out for free. The (still) family-run brewery wanted to get input from regular pub goers. They loved it!
Today these tanks hold 1 million liter of Duvel each! And there are 28 of them. They rest here for 90 days to give it that perfect Duvel taste, before they are bottled. 50 000 bottles of Duvel are filled every hour. And the enormous dishwasher that clean the bottles can take 70 000 at the time. The one we have at home is definitely slacking off.
After the bottle pass the test by the FBI, the Fill Bottle Inspection, they are packed into crates and shipped off around Belgium and around the world.
Just in case, Duvel-Moortgat keeps around 11 million bottles of Duvel in stock, one for each Belgian. We hope they’ll increase this to at least two more, one for each of us.
Make that two. For each of us.
THANK YOU TO ALAIN, JO, PASCAL, FILIP, CEO MICHEL MOORTGAT AND THE REST OF THE DUVEL-MORTGAT CREW FOR A FANTASTIC VISIT TO THE FACILITY. THE ONLY WAY TO TOP THIS IS AS VISIT TO WILLY WONKA’S FACTORY (DON’T WORRY, WE’RE WORKING ON DIRECTIONS).