The Viven Brewery was officially launched in 1999 by Willy De Lobel, a homebrewer who turned his recipes into reality. Renting time on the brewing equipment of the renowned De Proef Brouwerij, he brewed a Blond (the ‘Chapel of Viven’) and a Bruin (the ‘Monastery of Viven).
In 2003, the brewery was sold to Tony Traen, son of the local drinks distributor. Tony tweaked the recipes of the old beers and in 2010 introduced a few new creations, with the beer still being brewed at De Proef Brouwerij.
The really exciting news came at the start of 2015, when Tony established his own small brewery in the beautiful little village of Damme. Just a quick 10 minute bicycle ride along a scenic canal, small farms and even a windmill - if you ever find yourself in Bruges, a small diversion to Damme is well worth the effort.
The beer is a tasty Belgian dubbel style, pouring a ruby-brown colour with a sweetish aroma. The flavour is prunes, figs and raisins, with burned sugar and a slight hint of chocolate and even licorice. But not as sweet as the aroma suggest, with the beer quite dry and a hint of acidity.