AB InBev, the American-Belgian multinational drink and brewing holdings company based in Leuven, has launched a new beer, with a marketing story that attacks Duvel beer head-on.
The new beer, called "Victoria" is a blond beer with 8.5% alcohol that referments in the bottle. The label shows an angel holding the devil to the ground, and the marketing story behind the new beer has several references to the devil, such as a story of the victory of Archangel Saint Michael over the devil.
Additionally, AB InBev promotes Victoria as "100% natural" and also refers to "the evil, false and artificial," which is "characteristic of the ways of the devil."
"This is just an open attack," beer sommelier Jeroen Peeters of the Antwerp pub Dr. Beer told Het Nieuwsblad. "They also choose the former name of Duvel. Anyone who knows anything about beer history knows that it was once called 'Victory Ale'," he added.
Duvel, the iconic blond specialty beer of the Moortgat brewery, has always been very successful, and it is not the first time other breweries try to beat it.
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"We have established that the segment of strong, blond beers is growing," AB InBev spokesperson Karolien Cloots told Het Nieuwsblad. "We follow this consumer trend, and therefore complete our range with this new type of beer," she added.
When Brewery Van Honsebrouck brought the 'Filou' beer on the market, the Moortgat brewery even started a lawsuit, as Filou copied the taste and appearance of Duvel too much, according to them. The beer was also in a brown bottle, and had a white label with red letters. However, the judge did not rule in favour of Moortgat, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
Other beers, such as 'Hapkin' by the Alken-Maes brewery, 'Sloeber' from brewery Roman, and 'Satan gold' from De Block brewery all target the segment in which Duvel is market leader.
The Brussels Times