Discover Belgian beer and food in Brussels.

Jean-Louis Van de Perre, President of the Belgian Brewers

Email  •  Print

Published: 2014-12-11 11:08:31 +0100 / Last Updated: almost 5 years ago

Jean-Louis Van de Perre, Belgian Brewers Jean-Louis Van de Perre

BRUSSELS - In June, Jean-Louis Van de Pere succeeded Theo Vervloet as President of the Belgian brewers’ federation known as the Belgian Brewers. This was also shortly before Sven Gatz would leave Theo Vervloet, Affligem Former President, Theo Vervloet
his position as Managing Director of the federation to become a minister in the newly formed Flemish Government.

“I am not a brewer, unlike Theo who worked for the Affligem brewery,” he apologises straight away. “But my father was a brewer and I spent my childhood in the brewery."

"I saw my Dad at work, played in the storage areas, inhaled the wonderful aroma of malt... That magic has never lost its grip on me. Also, even as a child, I had our table beer with meals and that gave me a taste for beer.”

The Antwerp-based Van de Perre brewery, owned by Jean-Louis’s grandfather, ceased trading in 1961.

Jean-Louis’s father was in charge of the Veltem brewery, which was eventually taken over by Anglo Belge, itself a subsidiary of the French Kronenbourg Group.

So the newly installed President will have his own views on the wave of consolidations in the beer world. Van de Perre Senior brewed "spéciale belge amber beers in the days before the great revival of Belgian speciality beers that was the basis for success in export markets.

the knights of the Mash staff, Belgian beer weekend 2014 The Knights of the Mash Staff

The World Cup of Beer

The new president is a down-to-earth lawyer, financial expert and tax adviser. Jean-Louis Van de Perre started his career as an advisor with KPMG Management Consulting, and spent 12 years with Belgian Brewers The president is 'Fier op ons Bier'
Exxon in a similar role followed by 14 years with AB Inbev, working in global finance.

You would expect a financial expert to come up with numbers. Every year, Belgian breweries make investments to the tune of some €150 million. They employ 4,500 people and indirectly create 45,000 jobs.

“Don’t underestimate the economic importance of our sector,” says Jean-Louis Van de Perre. Our brewers also work closely with local distribution partners, which accounts for 60% of the brewers' turnover, and the hotel, café and restaurant trade, which takes the remaining 40% of production by turnover.

The Federation of Belgian Brewers represents the lion’s share – measured both by volume and by turnover - of beer production in Belgium. Members include most of the large and medium-sized brewers. And business is booming. After a small dip caused by the increase of excise duty on beer in France, exports are increasing once more. In Belgium itself, the good summer we’ve had played right into the brewers’ hands.

Also, the football World Cup, at which the national team went out at the quarter-final stage, gave the entire world a thirst for Belgian beer.

Belgian Brewers, Brewers house brussels at the Brewer's House

To Serve & Protect

Jean-Louis views the beer world in an open-minded and unprejudiced way. He praises the diversity and sophistication of Belgian beer culture. “We aim to strengthen the Belgian beer category and Jean-Louis Van de Perre A happy President...
increase market share through joint initiatives,” he promises.

For example, the Belgian Brewers have launched the nationwide ‘Fier op ons bier’ campaign that wants to fill Belgians with ‘pride in our beer’. The initial results are very promising and the campaign is set to continue on television and social media.

So, what are the big challenges that the Federation has to face? “To protect and develop the ‘Belgian Beer’ brand,” Jean-Louis responds. “Apart from ‘Fier op ons bier’, we are the organisers of the annual Belgian Beer Weekend in early September.

And we have joined hands with the city and the district of Brussels to set up the new beer experience centre in the former Stock Exchange building.

The Federation is also supporting the brewers’ initiatives to lay down strict criteria for the protection of traditional Belgian beer styles – lambiek, oude gueuze, oude kriek, spéciale belge, roodbruin, saison… – to prevent copycats from undercutting the market with inferior products.

“We want to create a healthy base for the export of Belgian beer,” Jean-Louis says. “We are not doing this on our own. We have round table meetings with all organisations that have a stake.”

A Builder of bridges, a catalyst… There is no lack of challenges facing the new President. We wish him every success in the world!

Brussels Blog Posts

The Brewers Of Europe Forum 2018
BRUSSELS - To be authentic is not a competition and neither is it a fashionable attitude. You either are an authentic brewer or you are not. You are driven, you make great beers that have a soul, you ... [ read more ]
Brussels Beer Challenge 2016: Belgium holds its own in the beer world
BRUSSELS - For the fifth running of the Brussels Beer Challenge the organisers selected a location steeped in history and prestige. After touring from Brussels to Liège, Leuven and Antwerp, ... [ read more ]
A weekend of Belgian beer in Brussels
BRUSSELS - The first weekend in September is highlighted in the diaries of many beer lovers, who head to the Grand Place in Brussels to find that great public space converted into one giant bar. ... [ read more ]
The High Mass of beer: Belgian Beer Weekend 2014
BRUSSELS - Thousands of tourists throng together at Brussels’ Grote Markt/Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The flamboyant city hall that dwarfs the surrounding buildings is ... [ read more ]
Sven Gatz, Managing Director of the Belgian Brewers
BRUSSELS - Open Sesame. I disappear through the archway of the imposing 'Brouwershuis', one of the architectural pearls of the Grand Marché in Brussels. This prestigious location – the Brewers’ House ... [ read more ]


You must be logged in to leave a comment



Brussels Beer Challenge 2019, and the winners are...

BRUSSELS/MONS - We’ve made our way down to the historic city of Mons (Bergen) for the eighth edition of the international Brussels Beer Challenge. A 90-strong jury is busy tasting; there are four morning sessions in a ro... [ more ]

Brugge Tripel contributes to renovation of Burgundian chapel of worship

BRUGES - This city draws you back in time to the heydays of the Burgundian era. After years of renovation works the Gruuthusemuseum has re-opened its doors. This former city palace is the showca... [ more ]

Brewers of Europe Forum 2019: Craftsmanship on the old continent

ANTWERP - Brewers from 59 different countries flocked to attend the Brewers of Europe Forum 2019 in the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall, right next to the renowned Antwerp Central Station building. ... [ more ]

Craftsmanship and balance at brewery Van Steenberge

ERTVELDE - To track down a brewer within his own domain is a high-ranking form of sports, or that’s the impression I get. After a bit of practice I spot Jef Versele, CEO of the Van Steenberge brewery, well hidden amongst... [ more ]

Brussels Beer Challenge 2018 - The results!

MECHELEN - The historic city of Mechelen, halfway between Brussels and Antwerp, is truly a hidden gem. The presence of the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled here in the late middle ages, still permeates the ancient city centr... [ more ]


More Beer

Bacchus Kriekenbier is a fruit beer based on Bacchus Oud Vlaams Bruin (Old Flemish Brown) with the addition of krieks (Morello cherries). The production process is similar to that ... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.