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Historic Beer Birthday: Petrus Van Roy

Today is the birthday of Petrus Van Roy (November 1, 1830-December 27, 1908). He was born in Denderbelle, a small village in the province of East Flanders, Belgium, and in 1866 he founded the Brouwerij Van Roy on his farm. It was later known as the Brouwerij Het Anker Wieze.

Petrus Van Roy and his family.

After Petrus dies, the brewery “was continued from 1907 by his son Raymond, who later became mayor in Wieze and died in 1951. Raymond had further expanded the brewery, but during World War I all the necessary copper was stolen.

During the Second World War, the beer was contract brewed and in 1952, Petrus’ grandsons Jan and Willy Van Roy launched the Wieze Pils.

From 1956 to 1986, the Van Roy Brewery organized the Wieze Oktoberfeesten, a sixteen-day party based on the German model.

The Van Roy Brewery, which once employed 370 employees, went bankrupt for the first time in 1994. A new company was founded and the brewery continued under the name Wieze Het Anker and employed 50 employees. Nevertheless, production fell from 120,000 hectoliters to 30,000 hectoliters. This was partly due to the loss of a number of contracts with supermarkets. In 1997, the brewery was declared bankrupt again.

In 1999, the developer Matexi Group bought the buildings and land. In 2001 the buildings were demolished. In 2008 it was decided to divide the vacant land into 58 building lots, after the site had been converted into a residential zone.

Now there is a new Brouwerij Wieze located in Wieze which has taken over the old logo as well as the registered trademarks for the Benelux, which appears to have been started by members of the Van Roy family.

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