It all began from 1871 when Jan-Leonard Moortgat and his wife, Maria De Block, found the Moortgat brewery together. Around the turn of the centrury, Moortgat just was one of over 3,000 breweries operating in Belgium; nevertheless, Jan-Leonard Moortgat continually improved their beer, his top-fermented beers were soon greatly appreciated in the brewery’s home town of Puurs and far beyond.
The First World War brought English Ales to Belgium between 1900 and 1915, which inspired his son, Albert Moortgat, to create a special beer based on this type of Ale. He travelled to the UK to get a specific strain of yeast and eventually did get his hands on a precious sample from a Scottish brewery, from which we still culture our yeast to this day! Albert Moortgat continued to search and experiment until he had perfected his recipe. To commemorate the end of the First World War, the new beer was initially dubbed ‘Victory Ale’.
Incredible taste as Devil
During a tasting session for local notables, a shoemaker, was so amazed by the beer’s potent aromas that he exclaimed: “Dit is eenechte Duvel”, or ‘this is a real Devil’! A spark of divine inspiration? From 1923 onwards, the beer was marketed under this name.
Apart from pure spring water, which is the main ingredient of our beer, malted barley is the most important raw material. Duvel obtains its typical bitterness by adding several varieties of aromatic Slovenian and Czech hops. We only use hops that are renowned for their constant, outstanding quality. The unique brewing process of 90 days, guarantees a pure character, delicate effervescence and a pleasant sweet taste.
90-Day Brewing Process with Refermentation in the bottle
Duvel ferments for the first time in tanks at 20 to 26°C. After maturing in storage tanks in which the beer is cooled down to -2°C, the beer is ready for bottling. Thanks to the addition of extra sugars and yeast, the beer referments in the bottle. This occurs in warm cellars at 24°C and takes two weeks. Afterwards, the beer is moved to cold cellars, where it continues to mature and stabilize for another six weeks. This extra long maturation period is unique and contributes to the refined and pure taste of Duvel. A team of beer specialists check (taste) the progress daily. It is only after 90 days, when it has achieved its rich range of flavours, that Duvel may leave the brewery.
￼￼￼First Tulip-Shaped Beer Glass
The third generation of the Moortgat’s were convinced that a unique beer deserved a unique glass.
In the late 1960s, the Duvel glass became the first tulip-shaped beer glass. The rounded shape allows Duvel’s exquisite flavor and aroma to be fully experienced by the drinker. On the inside of the bottom of every Duvel glass you will find the “D” of Duvel engraved. It is this engraving that creates the unique Duvel-tornado that swirls through the glass making the glorious foam head on every Duvel.