Archive for January, 2012

Duits & Lauret, A Touch of Class

Having the right name for your product  helps in getting name recognizition. Heineken rose to the top with the help of their German sounding name and names like Duvel or Delirium Tremens will always be remembered, even among the non-drinkers. Another part of a recognizable product is good artwork. Whether it’s La Chouffe’s gnome, De Molen’s simple black and white labels or ‘t IJ’s diamond shaped labels, they all immediately let you know which brewery you are dealing with.

A brewery from Utrecht called Duits & Lauret has found a way to combine a great sounding name and some classy artwork with the most important ingredients: good tasting beer.

Beginnings

The beginnings of Duits & Lauret are like every other microbrewery. In this case it was one passionate 17-year old Marco who started brewing his own beer, partly because he thought that at that time, about 25 years ago, the Netherlands did not have many beers that were good. Partner Danielle later tried her hand at brewing. Once she had mastered the process the obvious questions arose: What now? What do we do with all this beautiful beer we made? They decided to “go commercial” and get their beer known to a wider audience.

They are based in Vleuten, almost part of the city of Utrecht, the capital of a province with the same name that has spawned some interesting, and mostly good, breweries and brewers like Eem, De Leckere and Vat No. 13. Why this is Marco does not know, but there is something in the air it seems. The first Utrechts Beerfestival was a big success and it says something that a small province boasts enough breweries to stage a festival.

The Name & The Label

The name was the easy part since owners Marco Lauret and Danielle Duits just had to combine their last names. For the label and other artwork they turned to Belgian graphic designer Petra Gryson. The label shows class, like it has been a family owned business since the 1800’s. This sense of class is something that is very much on the minds of Duits & Lauret. D&L also aspires to get on beer menus in good restaurants, where now they only wine menus.

The Duits & Lauret website mentions a lot of recipes. Almond and date brownies or a mackerel with cream cheese and a mango dressing to name just two. Recipes made with one of the Duits & Lauret beers. This gastronomical use of beer plays an important part for them and is in fact the basis of why they brew. Marco names their stout as a good example. It goes great with oysters you will have as a starter, but also tastes great with that dark chocolate desert you’re having at the end.

When I asked Marco who D&L is targeting I got an answer that is often heard spoken by brewers:

I hope to get people who say they don’t drink beer, or that beer equals pilsners, acquainted with the variety in craft beer. This is a huge potential audience. The real beer lovers have found us early on.”

Marco seems driven by these two aspects and he hopes that in the future more people will drink more and different craft beers and that good restaurants will have a beer menu next to their wine menu.

The Beers

The D&L range of beers so far is not the usual one for a starting brewer: A blond, a stout and a smoked dubbelbock for example. All of them very flavorful, well balanced beers that have great palate. Not beers that go for extremes in bitterness or alcohol percentage. Their stout was ABT beer of the month, a huge deal for any brewer, especially a smaller one like Duits & Lauret. It is a great way to reach many beer lovers at once. And the five beers they have now will not be the last. 25 years ago there might not have been good beers in this country, but Marco has seen progress. He especially mentions Christoffel, Emelisse and Jopen as good examples. We happily add Duits & Lauret to this list.

Links

Duits & Lauret – their website is one of the few that has both a Dutch and an English version.