On 4th October 2019, Distributor Dionysus Asia Sdn Bhd launched six beers by Belgian brewery Brouwerij Martens Bocholt in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. The family owned business is today run by brothers Jan and Fons Martens of the brewery’s 8th generation.
The 260-year-old brewery’s history started with an inn, “De Star”, opened by Adriaan Geerkens and his wife Isabella Geebele in 1758, where beers served were brewed by Adriaan. The business then progressed to a commercial brewery when local farmers brought the brewer ingredients to make beers from.
The brewery began selling its beers outside of Bocholt after 4th generation Pieter-Frans Marten took over the business. With the increase in production, Pieter-Frans moved the brewery to the other side of the street with bigger space and facilities. Sezoensbier (now called Sezoens Blond), which is amongst the six beers imported into Malaysia was one of Pieter-Frans’ creations.
Due to the strategic location of the brewery by the canal and train track, the brewery remained active during World War I as the Germans made it the central brewery of the area.
Frans Marten, the 6th generation owner, initiated a bottling line in 1929, which now has developed into one of the brewery’s core business as a contract bottler for other beer brands. On the other hand, the Belgian brewery sustains its operations through exporting 85% of its beers.
The range of craft beers available now in Malaysia are the Kristoffel range (Kristoffel White, Kristoffel Blond, Kristoffel Dark), Sezoens Blond, Boot Tread and 1758 IPA. They are now available in all BIG supermarkets, selected Village Grocer, Jaya Grocer and bars.
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