Carlsberg CEO hails speciality beer as Grimbergen microbrewery opens

The beers were all brewed at a new microbrewery at Grimbergen Abbey, the original producer of Carlsberg’s Grimbergen Belgian brand. They are the first to be brewed at the abbey since it was destroyed by fire in 1798.

The new beers are:

  • Magnum Opus Brut Beer – a light ale made with Nelson Sauvin hops and a second fermentation
  • Ignis Quadruple – uses beech-smoked malts
  • Astrum Pale Ale – produced with a combination of Galaxy hops from Tasmania and Flemish hops

Speaking at the launch in Grimbergen Abbey today, Carlsberg CEO Cees ‘t Hart said ‘craft & speciality’ remains important to the group as consumers emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. Pointing to a double-digit volumes jump in Carlsberg’s craft & speciality portfolio in Q1, he added: “It is very important to our growth now and in the future.”

Carlsberg’s craft & speciality division increased Q1 volumes by 13%, although in full-year 2020 results, the division added just 1% in volumes as the closure of the European on-premise affected performance.

The Grimbergen brand has a complicated ownership structure. Since 2008, Carlsberg has managed the brewing and distribution of Grimbergen around the world outside of Belgium. Alken-Maes, which Heineken took control of in the wake of its joint takeover of Scottish & Newcastle with Carlsberg, brews for the domestic market in Belgium. According to an NPR article on the new microbrewery, the abbey receives a share of the profits from Grimbergen sales.

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