Belgian beer looks for bigger market in Singapore

 

Belgian beers have always been somewhat of a dark horse in the Singapore beer industry.

While many Belgian beer brands have been in Singapore for the longest time, they’ve never really reached the heights of popularity that have been experienced by its German brethren despite dominating the market with choice in the number of brands offered. Only the likes of Hoegaarden and Stella Artois has risen up enough to compete for a decent slice of the market, even as the highly saturated Singapore beer market grew with a CAGR of 3.9% between 2009 and 2013 in terms of volume.

The reasons are multifold. The main one, of course, is that like with most other countries the Singapore beer market is largely centred around standard lagers, which accounts for around 72-75% of the market (in terms of value) while that of the specialty beer segment – in which many Belgian beers fall into – only account for about 11% of the market. The large commercial brands pushing lagers also have a far larger marketing budget to play with, while local distributors with their generally small allocations can struggle with marketing support for retail and on-premise establishments.

Then there is the generally high alcohol content – alcohol by volume, or ABV – of most Belgian beers, many of which fall between 6-8% ABV while a number even exceed the 9% ABV mark. This not only makes the beer a little harder to drink in our local tropical climate, but also means that excise is higher and translates to a more expensive drink especially for on-premise establishments.

But these reasons aren’t stopping Belgian breweries for looking further afield into the Singapore beer market. Wallonia Trade & Investment Agency (AWEX) and Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT)  recently held a beer trade event to promote Belgian breweries and their beer, in the hopes of building further business relationships in this region.

Here’s a list of the Belgian breweries present at the event that were looking for representation here in Singapore, as well as a number already with distributor commitment:

Brasserie {C} – Microbrasserie de la Prinipaute

Located in Liège’s historic city centre Brasserie {C} is a microbrewery and brewpub that’s built right within a 17th century nun’s convent.

Products: Curtius, a blonde ale; its Torpah range of three single hop blonde ales

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Maxime Bragard (maxime@brasseriec.com)

Brewery Broeder Jacob

Brewery Broeder Jacob (Brother Jacob) was founded by Johan Claes and Bruno Verbiest in Wazemaal in 2010. A gypsy brewery – it contract brews at Brewery du Bocq – it is named after a children’s song.

Products: Tripel, Brown, Double Port, Double Espresso, Formidabel, Carillon, Brute Rose

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Johan Claes (j-claes@telenet.be)

brewery broeder jacob

Brunehaut Brewery

Craft Belgian brewery founded in 1890, it is one of the few official and certified Belgian ‘Abbey’ ales with it’s St Martin range. Its Brunhaut range is totally organic and, while made with malted barley, is totally gluten-free.

Products: St Martin Blond, St Martin Dark, Brunehaut White, Brunehaut Pomfraiz, Brunehaut Triple

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Marc-Antoine De Mees (info@brunehaut.com)

De Gouden Arend – Brouwerij de Ryck

A small family brewery founded in 1886 in Herzele. Still family run, its flagship beer is the Special De Ryck, a double bronze medal winner at the World Beer Cup.

Products: Special de Ryck, Arend Blond, Arend Dubbel, Arend Tripel, Gouden Arend, Steenuilke

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Miek Van Melkebeke (info@brouwerijderyck.be)

Brouwerij De Halve Maan

A Brugge-based family brewery, De Halve Maan (Half Moon) was founded in 1856  and is the only surviving brewery in the town.

Products: Brugse Zot Blond, Brugse Zot Dubbel, Straffe Hendrick Tripel, Straffe Hendrick Quadruppel

Distribution Status: Committed – Epicurean Nomads
Contact: –

Brasserie de Silly

Silly Brewery is an artisanal brewery founded in 1850 and named after the village of Silly (and not its lack of judgement). It offers a diverse range of Belgian style beers. It recently enhanced its export business, winning several prizes for quality. 

Products: Blanche de Silly, Abbaye de Forest, Saison Silly, Pink Killer, Titje Blanche, etc.

Distribution Status: Committed – Beer Importers & Distributors (BID)
Contact: –

Brasserie du Bocq

Located in the heart of the Condroz region northwest of the Ardennes, this family brewery is currently led by its sixth generation.

Products: Blanche de Namur, Blanche de Namur Rose, Saison 1858, Gauloise Blonde, Triple Moine, etc.

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Carmelo Sutera (csu@bocq.be)

Brasserie Dubuisson

The oldest brewery in the Walloon region, Dubuisson was founded in 1769 and is still an independent brewery. The brewery recently completed an expansion programme allowing it to double its production to over 10 million litres per annum.

Products: Bush Ambree, Bush Blonde, Cuvee des Trolls, Peche Mel Buh, Bush de Nuits, etc

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Michael Nisen (info@br-dubuisson.com)

Haacht Brewery

Founded in 1898, Brewery haacht is still managed by its founding family, and has grown to become the largest independent family brewery in Belgium.

Products: Primus, Tongerlo Blond, Tongerlo Brune, Mystic Cherry, Mystic Peach, etc

Distribution Status: Committed – Starbev
Contact:

Het Anker

One of Belgium’s oldest breweries with a history dating back to 1471, today this family brewery – run by its 5th generation – is best known for its Gouden Carolus beers.

Products: Gouden Carolus Classic, Gouden Carolus Tripel, Het Anker Peach, Het Anker

Distribution Status: Committed – TSA Wines
Contact:

Brewery Omer Vander Ghinste

With a history dating back to 1892, Omer Vander Ghiste remains one of the most progressive breweries in the Southwest Flanders region.

Products: Omer, Brasserie LeFort, Vander Ghiste Oud Bruin, Cuvee des Jacobins etc

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Roland Dutoit (roland@omer.be)

Oud Beersel

Founded in 1882, Brewery Oud Beersel is one of the last remaining authentic lambic breweries of Belgium and well known for its lambic beers made along traditional brewing methods.

Products: Bersalis Kadet, Bersalis Tripel, Oude Gueze Oud Beersel, Oude Kriek Oud Beersel, Framboise Oud Beersel

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Jos Christiaens (sales@oudbeersel.com)

St-Feuillien

Founded in 1873 St-Feuillien Brewery has been owned and run by the same family for 5 generations and brewing a wide variety of Belgian style ales.

Products: St-Feuillien Grand Cru, Saison, St-Feuillien Blonde, Car d’Or, Grisette Blanche etc

Distribution Status: Committed – The Drinking Partners
Contact:

Brouwerij The Musketeers

Founded in 2000, Brouwerij The Musketeers has developed a portfolio of non-traditional beers that’s hard to classify within existing beer styles.

Products: Troubadour Blond, Troubadour Obscura, Troubadour Magma, Antigoon, etc

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Stefaan Soetmans (stefaan@troubadourbeers.com)

Brouwerij Van Ecke

A traditional Belgian family brewery since 1624 located in Watou in the midst of Belgian hop fields near Poperinge and Ypre, it brews top fermented Abbey style beers under the name of Kapittel Watou.

Products: Poperings Hommelbier, Kapittel Prior, Kapittel Tripel Abt, Watou’s Witbier

Distribution Status: Looking for distributor
Contact: Danny Dieussaert (export@brouwerijvanecke.be)