Colruyt bets on Belgian craft beers

Beer consultant Jo Panneels (Colruyt)
Beer consultant Jo Panneels (Colruyt)

In collaboration with nine small, independent breweries from all over Belgium, Colruyt expands its beer offering with 16 experimental craft beers. The beer department at the food retailer is 99 percent Belgian.


Local anchoring

Keekebisj, Troebel in Paradise, Schuppenboer (Jack of Spades) or PokerFace: these are just a few of the original names that are now appearing in the Colruyt beer rayon. With these extra references, the supermarket chain wants to bring innovation to its beer department and at the same time keep up with the trends in the beer market. "Craft beers are on the rise and we still lacked that piece of the puzzle in our offer," explains Jo Panneels, beer consultant at the retailer. "Because of their local roots, these beers fit perfectly within our philosophy. As a Belgian retailer, we find it important to support Belgian breweries."

The craft beers have recently become available in 30 to 50 Colruyt stores, mainly in the region where they are brewed. They are offered in a package of 4 bottles. Jo Panneels: "This is a conscious choice. Four bottles are ideal to try out a beer and to share it. We drew the inspiration for this from the craft scene itself, where it is customary to get together among beer lovers and share bottles of beer with each other."


Discovery box

From the beginning of August, a discovery box will also be available in all 240 Colruyt shops in Belgium. It contains 6 beers from 6 different breweries: Keekebisj (Belgoo), Witgoud (Hof ten Dormaal), XX-Bitter (De Ranke), Rouge Ardenne (Brasserie Minne), Rebel Local ('t Verzet) and Land of Mortagne (Alvinne).

"A creative wink is never far away, both in terms of content and packaging," says Jo Panneels. "For example, Hof ten Dormaal brews a beer with chicory roots. Brewery Belgoo gave its IPA the playful name Bloemekei, a reference to the floral hints of hops. And on Brasserie Minne's Super Sanglier is a wild boar dressed as Superman. The crazier, the better. Which does not alter the fact that these are high quality beers. These are often relatively young, small breweries that, apart from all traditions and commerce, are experimenting and reinventing the beer world."