Tradition meets sustainable innovation at Brewery Huyghe
Text: Maya Witters | Photos: Huyghe
F ourth-generation family brewery Huyghe, producer of the popular Delirium beer, boasts a long and successful brewing history. Now, the current generation has its eyes firmly on the future, with continuous innovation and greener brewing at the forefront of the company’s policies. “We want to be the most sustainable brewery in Belgium.”
Huyghe is one of Belgium’s largest family-owned breweries, brewing a whopping 250,000 hectolitres of beer in 2019 alone. The most famous among its brands is the distinctive Delirium beer, with its ceramic bottles and pink elephant mascot, but the brewery is also responsible for delicious creations such as Averbode, La Guillotine, St Idesbald, Floris, Artevelde and the Fairtrade and organic Mongozo beers.
Family traditions on an international scale
Despite the scale the brewery operates on – it exports to more than 100 countries – the family aspect is still really important, explains global sales manager Benedikt Debeuckelaere. “We treat each other, as well as our clients, as family, here at Huyghe. And despite our size, we have a flexibility that major corporations on the market don’t have. For example, we can adapt the alcohol percentage in our recipes for foreign markets if required, allowing us access to more territories.”
“At the same time, quality is at the forefront of all our operations, and so the brewery liberally invests in technical innovations, but also in people, too. Our commercial team has more than doubled in size in the past five years, allowing us to implement our Belgian brewing quality in countries all over the world.”
Innovation is another major aspect of Huyghe’s operations. “We mostly work within the scope of our major beer brands, but we also test new recipes,” attests Debeuckelaere. “For example, we have a craft beer project where we release a new flavour on the market every three months and assess its performance.”
“Our most important innovations, however, are to do with sustainability. We aim to be Belgium’s most sustainable brewery – a metric that is hard to quantify, but we have designed our own guidelines to reduce the use of water and the output of carbon dioxide. We think it’s incredibly important to invest in the future and to think in the long term. After all, our fifth-generation brewer is ready in the wings to continue the family business – we want to set him up for success, and do our part to keep our world liveable,” Debeuckelaere concludes.
For more information, please visit: www.brouwerijhuyghe.be
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