Belgium: AB InBev Brings Back Piedboeuf Extra Pils After 50-Year Hiatus

Brewing giant AB InBev is reintroducing the iconic Liège beer Piedboeuf Extra Pils to its home market in Belgium, after it was taken off the shelves about 50 years ago. This revived Pils and its packaging pay homage to the origins of the historic Liège brewery Piedboeuf and are crafted at its original location in Jupille, a sub-municipality of the city of Liège.

Piedboeuf is the name of a Belgian entrepreneurial family, which initially worked as a craft smithy and amassed their wealth during the industrial revolution through the production of steam boilers. As the steam boilers were also used in breweries, the family started brewing beer in 1853.However the first venture failed and it was not before 1873 that btrhe brewery, as it is known today was founded.

In 1987, the Brasserie Piedbœuf merged with the Stella Artois brewery from Leuven and eventually became part of the international brewery conglomerate InBev, which itself became AB InBev through the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch from 2008 onwards. The Piedbœuf family remains one of the major individual shareholders of this brewery group to this day.

It wasn't until after the Second World War that Piedbœuf Extra Pils made its debut on the market, preceding Jupiler, today the best selling beer in Belgium, by about 20 years. Jupiler's subsequent success eventually eclipsed its older sibling, leading to the discontinuation of Piedboeuf Extra Pils production in the 1970s.

Explaining the decision to revive the product, a spokesperson from AB InBev noted that "Piedboeuf remains a formidable brand, particularly in the Liège region." However, the reintroduction will not extend to the Horeca sector.

Positioned at 4.5% ABV, Extra Pils occupies a middle ground between lighter pilsners like Jupiler Blue (4%) and the classic heavyweights of the Belgian market, which typically boast 5.2% ABV. "With Extra Pils, we're targeting a different audience," the spokesperson added.

This offering may resonate particularly well with consumers who were not convinced by Jupiler Pure Blonde, a light pilsner (ABV 3.1%) launched in spring 2018 but since discontinued.

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