Belgium: AB InBev attacks Duvel with Victoria beer

AB InBev has launched a new blond beer in Belgium with 8.5% alcohol by volume that referments in the bottle. The concept of Victoria is targeted towards consumers of Duvel Moortgat beer, a brand which made this beer type popular.

The new beer is smoothly drinkable, with a spicy bitterness and a spicy hop aroma with fruity notes from three hop varieties, including the noble hops Saaz and Fuggle, the brewer reports. The new beer has a light color, a high carbonation content and a strong head. AB InBev emphasizes that Victoria contains only 100% natural ingredients: hops, barley malt, rice, water and yeast.

The name Victoria was taken from the goup’s rich brand portfolio. Grupo Modelo, that is also the brewer of Corona beer, has already a brand of the same name in its portfolio. However, despite the name, there are no similarities between the two beers.

It seems, the brand name was chosen because AB InBev could create a story around the beer which draws some parallels to Duvel Moortgat. According to AB InBev, Victoria refers to the story of the victory of archangel Saint Michael (the patron saint of Brussels) against evil. The company explains on a separate marketing flyer that "Archangel Saint Michael is the adversary of the devil. He is the symbol of the victory of good over evil, the just, the true and the authentic, in contrary to evil, false and artificial, which characterizes the ways of the devil ... "

The story of Duvel Moortgat, which seemingly serves as a role model for Victoria goes as follows: To commemorate the end of World War I, the Moortgats named their main beer Victory Ale. In the 1920s, an avid drinker described the beer as "nen echten duvel" (a real devil in Brabantian Dutch) - perhaps in reference to its formidable alcohol content (8.5% ABV) - and the name of the beer was changed to Duvel. In the meantime, Duvel has become the brewery's flagship beer and because of its success was often copied by others.

“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.

The beer is distributed throughout Belgium and also available on AB InBev’s new webshop for selling beer directly to final consumers (, 5.6.2020).

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