Brand’s brewery is (largely) based in Wijlre and many people who value traditions are angry about this. But are many of those ‘age-old’ traditions correct? It is often a cleverly invented marketing story.
The label ‘the oldest brewery in the Netherlands’ bears the brand Brand with verve. Unfortunately, it’s a fairy tale that they came up with themselves. The year 1340 in their logo, and the history text: ‘In 1340 Neerlansch’s oldest beer brewery opens its doors, in beautiful Wijlre, Limburg’ on their website is pure nonsense.
There was once a so-called banpan house in Wijlre where black beer was brewed, but that was only in 1484. And that dark beer and that farm have nothing to do with Brand. Brand beer is only brewed in Wijlre 380 years later in 1871. Complete nonsense from the marketing department of Brand, and a spokesperson for Brand admits that. Nevertheless, newspapers such as De Limburger continue to use the term ‘oldest brewery in the Netherlands’.
Effective but nonsensical
This is a so-called ‘opinion chic’, as Karel van het Reve called it. This is a ready-made story that is told over and over until people eventually take it for granted. Not only Brand, but many more (beer) brands are guilty of this. This is also an effective way of turning something into fact in politics.
Incidentally, there is only one beer brand that can bear the title of ‘oldest brewing location in the Netherlands with an uninterrupted history’, and that is Dommelsch. This Limburg beer has been brewed in Valkenswaard since 1757.