Ask anyone from Antwerp to describe the city in a few words and you can guarantee the answer: ‘the Schelde, the Zoo, the Cathedral of Our Lady, and a Bolleke of De Koninck’. Few Antwerp companies have such an intimate connection with the city, or so rich a tradition as the Brouwerij De Koninck.
The history of the Brouwerij De Koninck began in 1827 when Joseph Henricus De Koninck bought ‘De Plaisante Hof’, a coach house which stood on the boundary between Antwerp and Berchem. On this site there stood a stone boundary post with a sculptured hand. This boundary post can still be seen today opposite the Brouwerij De Koninck, on the corner of the Prins Albertpark and the Albertlei.
Joseph Henricus De Koninck died very young, and his widow, Elisabeth Cop remarried in 1833. Her second husband was warehouse foreman Johannes Vervliet, who decided to convert the coach house into a brewery under the name “Brouwerij De Hand”, after the sculpture on the border post. The hand has been immortalised since then in the brewery logo.
In 1845 Carolus De Koninck, the eldest son from Elisabeth’s first marriage, took over the business. Around 1900 there were still about 25 working breweries in Antwerp. However, the popularity of bottom-fermented (pils-type) beers, the stricter permit regulations and two world wars were to have a devastating influence on the brewing industry.
In 1912 the “Brouwerij De Hand” was renamed the ‘Brasserie Charles De Koninck”, run by Florent van Bauwel. After WWI he reopened the brewery with help from Joseph Van den Bogaert.
Joseph Van den Bogaert came from a well-known brewing family in Willebroek and as a graduate of the agriculture and brewing college in Leuven he had all the technical knowledge necessary for the new brewery.
The Van Bauwel - Van den Bogaert duo launched the spectacular growth of the business.
In 1949 Modeste, the son of Joseph Van den Bogaert, entered the brewery. He was to lead the company for more than 50 years.
Today the Brouwerij De Koninck is run by Modeste’s two sons, Bernard and Dominique Van den Bogaert, as technical and commercial director respectively. They guarantee the independent, family and artisanal character of the brewery.