AB InBev ‘attacks’ Duvel with ‘angel beer’ Victoria

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by JoeYoMama, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. JoeYoMama

    JoeYoMama Initiate (26) Jun 7, 2020 Massachusetts

    Audacity! Or fair game? You decide.
  2. mambossa

    mambossa Aspirant (230) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    It’s fair game, but ballsy to go after such an OG and still-beloved brand. I’d be surprised if that beer “converts” anyone away from Duvel.
    Peach63, OakvilleKGB, Shanex and 12 others like this.
  3. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,179) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    It actually feels like it's almost a tradition for other breweries to try to release beers aimed at Duvel. I wouldn't have guessed that there was enough market share for such beers these days that AB InBev would think that they could get a piece of the action now. They claim it's a consumer trend. You can lose count of the number of beers named Victoria, but the tacky "100% natural ingredients" bit and the implication (whether true or false) that Duvel can't claim this is interesting. Certainly feels reminiscent of the whole famous/infamous Bud corn syrup campaign. The article made me poke around a tiny bit and I learned that Duvel released a "hazy IPA" (pic on the very bottom). Is that audacity or fair game? :wink: Also funny to learn that Moortgat lost a lawsuit against this:

  4. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (439) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    "Devil" beers have been around since right after the introduction of the original, and still the best.

    There is Lucifer. Piraat. Diablo. Gulden Draak. etc.

    This ABI beer is certainly not blonder either, so what's the point of making a Duvel clone if it ain't blonde? I mean, Duvel is noted for being a high ABV blonde beer. I guess we can assume that the rocky head is missing too.

    Peach63, Shanex, VoxRationis and 2 others like this.
  5. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,179) Feb 15, 2010 New York


    Urk1127 and AlcahueteJ like this.
  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,757) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I vote "both" as well.
  7. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (504) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    If you're going to create a “strong blond Belgian beer” to go after Duvel at least give it a “Belgian” sounding name. Victoria sounds like the beer is from, I don't know, England, Australia(?). It certainly doesn't bring Belgium to mind.
    frazbri, Shanex, Ranbot and 5 others like this.
  8. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (318) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    As per this marketing spiel posted on a Dutch beer website it's exactly like the corn campaign. This new beer is made with rice, which is the part that makes it natural as opposed to the glucose syrup used for Duvel.

    "The brewers selected for Victora with the greatest care 100% natural ingredients: hops, barley malt, rice, water and yeast."

    I looked on the Belgian version of Tap into your beer and saw that they already have an 8.5% Belgian blonde called Hoegaarden Julius, that one uses glucose syrup. I guess this shows how large brewers know how to take a concept trialed in one of their markets and apply it to one of their numerous other markets.
  9. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (189) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    On the abinbev website, they already have a Mexican lager named Victoria. I wonder how they will get around that?
  10. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,829) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    What is “false and artificial” (quoting the OP linked article) about glucose?
    dcotom likes this.
  11. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (318) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I'm sorry if I was unclear but I'm not making that case, I'm agreeing with zid in principle in that ABInbev are making a distinction between rice and glucose syrup (that is my interpretation at least based on the marketing spiel and what separates the two brands).
    AlcahueteJ, officerbill and TongoRad like this.
  12. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,170) Oct 11, 2010 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
    Society Trader

    Probably by not exporting the beer to Latin America. Since the Brussels Times is the source, it may not even be leaving Belgium.
    #12 sharpski, Jun 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,537) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Victoria Lager is sold in the US.

    officerbill, Bitterbill and sharpski like this.
  14. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,170) Oct 11, 2010 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
    Society Trader

    You're right, let's try this again:

    Probably by not exporting the beer to Latin America. Since the Brussels Times is the source, it may not even be leaving Belgium.
  15. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,633) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    To me, this smells like another big "fail" for ABI. Hard for me to see any current Duvel drinkers/consumers suddenly deciding to pick this over Duvel.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the projected price point is for this beer?
  16. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,829) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    AB-Inbev is a Belgian company.

    They have several reasonably well-regarded brands that are brewed in Europe.

    I wonder if we are looking at this too much through the lens of how AB-Inbev (and Duvel, for that matter) is perceived in the USA?
  17. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,449) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

  18. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (439) Sep 1, 2004 New York


    Ok, so I looked at the avatar of the OP.

    As my son would say, My B.
  19. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,533) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Huh, never knew this...

    “This is just an open attack,” beer sommelier Jeroen Peeters of the Antwerp pub Dr. Beer told Het Nieuwsblad. “They also choose the former name of Duvel. Anyone who knows anything about beer history knows that it was once called ‘Victory Ale’,” he added.

    Duvel was one of the first beers that got me into craft beer. I still have one of (if not the) first bottles I ever bought. A cork and caged 750 with a BLACK label. Kept it as a souvenir since I’ve never seen the black label since.
    vurt, officerbill, cavedave and 5 others like this.
  20. traction

    traction Zealot (561) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Has the taste changed over the years or remained relatively stable?
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  21. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (119) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

  22. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,366) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    No that's the good victoria :wink:
    That's a really interesting point. I actually know exactly zero about InBev, well I guess I either know .5 or -.5 depending on whether or not they are really a Belgian based company that is majority owned by a Brazilian.
    What are their biggest brands? What are their best regarded brands?
  23. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,379) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    I’ll try it. Hell I’ll do a side by side. Not the first not the last. Duvel isn’t going anywhere regardless.
  24. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Zealot (548) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Best beer to drink while walking along a Mexican beach, hands down
    Redrover and EmperorBatman like this.
  25. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,059) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    It will hands down be the first choice amongst beer drinking Evangelicals.
  26. einhorn

    einhorn Disciple (301) Nov 3, 2005 California

    Just a hunch, but I'm guessing it's an export brand...beating Duvel on their home turf seems like a fool's errand.
    Shanex, Ranbot, AlcahueteJ and 2 others like this.
  27. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,829) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I'm not European, so IDK how their "heritage" is viewed, but do you suppose Europeans view Pilsner Urquell as Japanese? Probably not.

    Biggest brand in Europe for AB-InBev? That is probably Stella Artois. (Whichi is, BTW, rated at 3.61 on this site, considerably above AB-InBev's popular USA brands.)

    Best regarded? I'm not European, so IDK how the company is viewed in Europe, but a quick look at ratings on this site has:

    Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu at 3.86 overall, and their Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse at 4.07 and Spaten Optimator at 3.92.

    Brouwerij van Hoegaarden at 3.79 overall, and their Hoegaarden Grand Cru at 4.03 and Hoegaarden Original White Ale at 3.81.

    Compare that with Anheuser-Busch, 2.26 overall.

    Caveat: the ratings on this site are USA-biased, so the above does not necessarily reflect how Europeans would view the breweries / beers.
    #27 MNAle, Jun 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  28. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,454) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Nah, they worship monies bruh. Not God.
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,537) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Do you think they will export this beer to the America's? If so, what about the confusion factor with Victoria Lager?

  30. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,533) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yeesh, that first bottle was from 2004, and I haven't had one in quite some time.

    That being said, I've had it multiple times over the years, it's a truly lovely beer. Great beer to have when you get sick of Heineken and Amstel when you're in Amsterdam.

    I can't remember it ever not being good, so there's that. One could argue the glass is more iconic than the beer itself though.
    Cubatobaco and traction like this.
  31. desint

    desint Poo-Bah (1,859) May 10, 2010 Belgium
    Society Trader

    It's actually cheaper than Duvel at 1,22€ for Victoria as opposed to 1,39€ for Duvel.


    I think this is just aggresive marketing and probably won't hurt the real thing. We have a load of wannabe Duvel's here: Satan, Filou, Angel, Judas, Lucifer,... Only Omer has gained some following.

    The marketing campaign however already shows it's worth, as the release has it's own thread here on BA and recieved quite some attention in newspapers, while Victoria will be released in Belgium only, probably to compete with Duvel in ABI owned bars.

    They are doing the vintage ABI trick (Stella, Karmeliet,...) claiming a year in history which has really nothing to do with the beer. The label says '1695'. Do they think people go beer shopping, see the mention of 1695 and think mmmm... this beer is so old, it must be great right?! It's a bit sad really.

    But hey like we say in Belgium 'Een duvelszak is nooit gevuld' meaning something like: a devil's pocket (purse) will never be full...
    Reef, AlcahueteJ, deanzaZZR and 6 others like this.
  32. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,179) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    It would take one Hell of a persuasive arguer to succeed there. (pun intended) :slight_smile:
  33. threeviews

    threeviews Zealot (581) Apr 18, 2011 Florida

    Here in NJ, Duvel is expensive; ~$14/4-Pack (Tripel Hop Citra is $1-2 more) and ~$11/75cl bottle. Surprisingly, Duvel is much cheaper in the Florida market (~$12/4-Pack for either the Red/Original or the Tripel Hop).

    If it showed up here in the States, it would be impossible for me to not (at the very least) try it. If it was appreciably less costly than Duvel and it was close in aroma/flavor profile, my wallet will win the argument.
  34. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,829) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Are you playing devil's advocate?
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  35. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,059) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Do you remember your first Duvel? Mine was in a train compartment traveling between France and Germany, having just met a nice young author from San Francisco who would soon be famous. That was a good beer. I've loved the beer since and buy it often for nostalgia and that perfect little buzz. Was that a dream?
  36. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (334) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    This thread reminds me that I havent had Duvel in a bit. I'll have to get some.
    rgordon, beerwego, Shanex and 4 others like this.
  37. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,179) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    I was there, so I can unequivocally tell you that it was a dream.
  38. einhorn

    einhorn Disciple (301) Nov 3, 2005 California

    As already stated, probably not due to confusion and maybe (in house) trademark issues, but who knows. AB certainly has enough markets to choose from where this brand fits.
  39. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,120) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Well, they got people talking about it, so from a marketing standpoint that’s probably considered a success.

    But who cares about marketing, the bottom line is this beer is probably amazing.

    Just kidding.

    Even respectable American Craft Breweries typically fall very short of their aim when trying to emulate Belgian Styles.
  40. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,829) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Why is it the assumption that AB-InBev does not know HOW to brew a Belgian beer? (Or any other style, for that matter...)

    I suggest that everything we dislike about AB-InBev beers is an intentional character of their beer. IOW, they choose to make it like that. It was not because they didn't know HOW to make it different.

    American craft brewers? They may also be intentional; i.e. an "American" style Belgian blonde. OTOH, it may very well be they really don't know how beyond the basic recipe (especially the small guys, however well respected they are).

    The AB-InBev product may fall short, but it won't be because they were lacking in knowledge or skill. Other factors may be more important to them (e.g. cost,; e.g. wider appeal - as they perceive it, etc.)