27 April 2023

Straffe Hendrik challenges top culinary photographer Pieter D'Hoop to photograph the story of their beer.

Straffe Hendrik has been associated with the artistic world since the brand was launched. In 1981, a straf (strong) and well-hopped triple was brewed by Brouwerij De Halve Maan for the inauguration of the Sint-Arnoldus statue (patron saint of brewing) in Bruges. The brew was so popular, it soon had a permanent place in the brewery. It was aptly named Straffe Hendrik, referring to the numerous Hendriks within the Maes family. The first five successive generations of brewing family De Halve Maan all share the same first name: Hendrik.

Since its introduction, the brand has had close ties with the art world and on occasion organised the 'Straffe Artiesten’ (strong artists) competition. During this competition, artistic talents freely interpreted their experiences with or feelings regarding the beer brand and translated this into art. To further endorse the artistry, Straffe Hendrik launched a new slogan earlier this year: 'The art of brewing'. On the one hand, it refers to the brewery's centuries-old craftsmanship and, on the other, it is a nod to its many creative projects.

An extensive campaign was developed for the launch of this new slogan, which will be rolled out both in Belgium and abroad. Neighbouring countries like France and the Netherlands, as well as distant exporting countries like the United States, will be shown the campaign. References such as Straffe Hendrik Tripel and Quadrupel are famous around the world for their powerful and full-bodied flavour. Demand soared due to the many international beer awards it has currently won.

In the campaign, the beer brand challenges a top international culinary photographer to capture the story of the beer. The photographer in question, Pieter D'Hoop, with his roots in Bruges, was the perfect candidate. He has a passion for everything pure and real. For example, he always aims to meticulously work out the arrangement of his photographs so they need almost no editing. This gives him a very distinct and unique style. For this assignment, he went to De Halve Maan's House Brewery in search of the perfect image. The end result? An impressive photograph!

During his search, he browsed the entire brewery. He discovered the centuries-old brewing facilities, as well as the state-of-the-art section. During his visit, Pieter D'Hoop came up with a crazy idea. He wanted to combine the generational craftsmanship of the brewery with the contemporary and state-of-the-art facilities. The work has not been edited and therefore required a lot of preparation. How he did it, he will never tell.

The brewery will print this photo on canvases in a very limited edition. Each canvas will be signed and numbered by the artist. A true collectors item! The canvas measures 60X60 cm. They can be won by Straffe Hendrik fans via http://www.straffehendrik.be/contest. What do you need to do? Guess the number of photos that were taken leading up to the end result (see left). The photographer walked around the brewery for one full day.

Find out how Pieter D’Hoop’s search for the perfect photo went at Straffe Hendrik's social media channels. The campaign video shows how, after his in-depth research, he was able to translate all the brand values into one powerful photo.

Brouwerij De Halve Maan's brewing tradition is one that dates back to 1856. Brewing with the highest quality raw materials: this is what has been at the heart of the brewery since being launched. A subtle blend of special malts and hops, perfected time and again. Craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation. Meanwhile, Brouwerij De Halve Maan’s sixth generation, Xavier Vanneste, is at the helm. Originally there was only the Straffe Hendrik Tripel, but Xavier further expanded the range in 2010 with a Quadruple, thus reinforcing the tribute to previous generations.

The brewery's ambition is to continue brewing following the rules of the craft, taking into account the changing spirit of the times. Brouwerij De Halve Maan continues to innovate with Straffe Hendrik, always looking for new flavours and aromas. This includes the launch of the 'Heritage' variant (wood-aged Quadruple beer) in 2012, the launch of the 'Wild' variant (with wild Brett yeast) in 2014, and just last year the Straffe Hendrik Xmas Blend was launched on the Belgian market. The latter will be available in limited edition during the end of the year.