AB InBev takes over Flemish family brewer Bosteels

Summary

Bosteels, the family-owned brewer of Kwak and Tripel Karmeliet, has been taken over by Leuven-based brewing giant AB InBev

‘Best chance for the future’

Leuven-based AB InBev, the largest brewer in the world, has announced the takeover of Bosteels, the East Flemish brewers of Kwak, Tripel Karmeliet and Deus beers. No terms have been revealed.

The takeover is in line with InBev’s strategy of moving into craft beers not by in-house development, but by acquisition. Consumption of speciality beers is rising worldwide.

In Belgium, sales of pils-type beers, like Jupiler and Maes, are falling, while craft beers are enjoying a steady rise. Bosteels will be the first brewery in InBev’s new “crafts and speciality” network, which suggests that other small brewers will follow.

Bosteels has been a family-owned brewery since 1791; current boss Antoine Bosteels is the seventh generation of the family to head the business. According to production figures, Bosteels is in the top 10 in Belgium, despite having an unusually limited portfolio: Kwak, the beer known mostly for its round-bottomed glass and wooden holder; Tripel Karmeliet, made with three cereals, including oats; and Deus, made according to the rules of champagne, but with beer ingredients.

“We will carry on working on our own identity and quality,” said Antoine Bosteels, “while we’re getting a partner that’s rooted in Belgium and that offers new possibilities in distribution and marketing. Things are going well with the brewery, but they could always be better. What counts is giving the beer and the brewery the best chance for the future.” 

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