A Clear Look on the Story
Download the full story about Stokerij VdS and discover the history up to the year 1876. (Dutch only)
Liqueur distillery VdS is founded
Jozef Van der Schueren was born in 1904 in Voorde. As the son of a farming family, he became fascinated by the product that comes from the grains on the land, genever. A typical Belgian liquor that is being made for centuries, especially in the Northern part of the country called Flanders. He starts making genever himself with quality raw materials.
In 1928 he decided to start a company and started his distillery in the city of Aalst in the Gentsestraat (street).
A few years after its establishment, the company grows larger and Jozef's two older brothers also join the company.
Between 1928 and 1936, two additional locations opened in Aalst. During that period, the first portfolio is carefully put together.
Until 1946, the three Van der Schueren brothers acted simultaneously under one denominator. Founder Jozef settles in the Korte Zoutstraat, Paul stays in the Gentsestraat while Frans starts in the Binnenstraat.
An iconic location for seventy years.
After World War II, Jozef decided to continue his business in the thriving district on the other side of the city in the Binnenstraat (street). He takes over the business from Frans, who has been trading there since 1936. At the back of the terraced house there was enough space to produce and to store everything. For nearly seven decades, the distillery would settle here and become a fixture in the city.
Paul and Jozef are continuing the business at two locations.
The first takeover is a fact.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Jozef took over the smaller Sint-Anna distillery - until 1939 distillery Sint-Martinus - from Louis Bruylant.
The striking products such as Elixir Dirk Martens, St. Martin and Oude Klare appeal to the imagination and are a fixed value on the shelf for many.
From then on, these products joined the VdS range and are still made today as they were then.
The next generation.
Joseph's son Walter Van der Schueren takes over the distillery in 1969.
He focuses on qualitative regional products and broadens the import range. He proudly continues his father's classics but also adds new product lines. He successfully launched Faluintjes jenever and coffee (1975), Louis-Paul Boon jenever (1991) and Oude Graanjenever VdS (1992, O'de Flander).
In 1977, everything came under one address, the Binnenstraat (street), after the original location in the Gentsestraat (street) closed.
VdS strengthens its position through further acquisitions.
To achieve a larger market, VdS takes over the smaller Stokerij De Ster. The genevers and rums of Stella, popularly speaking, already had a name and fame in the region around Aalst. Walter was happy to add these products to his range. Stokerij De Ster was originally located in Aalst but soon moved to nearby Haaltert to return afterwards.
Walter was mainly concerned with the rums such as Stella Rhum and recipes of some of the genevers such as Grane Klare, which at that time already enjoyed some familiarity with a captive audience.
Products from the Faluintjes region, a success story.
The Faluintjes region in Aalst traditionally celebrates the harvest festival De Pikkeling every year. With the introduction of its own 35 ° genever, the cultural heritage gets a stronger edge. A few years later, the Faluintjes coffee based on the genever is also added. The result are two firmly anchored products with cult status.
takes over the distillery.
A new wind through the corridors of the distillery brings with it a new dynamism. Luc is strongly committed to premium spirits of particularly high quality and focuses more on private labels. He specializes in manufacturing for third parties while maintaining its own range of tasty drinks. With the right attitude, an immense passion for the craft and a natural entrepreneurial spirit, he plunges into the world of spirits.
Cockney's Distillery in Ghent will be 100% owned by Stokerij VdS.
An ancient Belgian distillery with a very rich heritage quits its activity after 165 years. An Englishman started distilling gin in 1838 and would continue to do so for many generations to come. In the 1990s, Cockney's was known for its fruit gins and wood-aged distillates. The Hoste family was the last family to run the distillery. The well-known range is added to that of VdS. Until today, the last generation of Hoste remains involved in the production.
Cockney's Gin gets a second life.
The oldest gin in the country is once again being born. Although he had never disappeared from the scene, he had fallen into the background for decades. A total of 18 botanicals are used that more than absorb an interaction with the grain alcohol of 44.2 °. The distillery thus works on the place it earns back. The iconic green bottle helps with this.
The distillery moves to a new location after almost 70 years.
The Binnenstraat will be exchanged for a more spacious location in Aalst. The industrial zone seems the best option. The large distillery Le Lion d'Or was established here in earlier times. The Lion d'Orweg (street) was therefore once the center of the distilling industry in Aalst. With Stokerij VdS, another distillery returns to this side of the city. Here, we can not only continue distilling, but groups can also be shown around. In addition to the shop for private individuals, there is also an easy collection point at the building. An added bonus for the public are the countless tastings that are held throughout the year with expert explanations from the master distiller himself.
Only the best comes first!
The work results in some notable awards for the distillery's products. For example, three silver, three gold and one double gold medal are won at various renowned international competitions.
Newcomers make their entrance.
The range under Cockney's Gin expands in 2018 with a second gin. The Cockney's Inspired by JRE is made in collaboration with the chefs of star restaurants who work under the JRE label (Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe).
The 100th anniversary of the legendary Negroni cocktail is also celebrated with its own prebottled variant. Three equal parts of red vermouth, bitter and gin, in this case Cockney's Gin, find each other in the delicious Cockney's Negroni.
Later in the same year, the distillery markets the oldest genever in its range until then. VdS turns 90 and that is why Vd Schueren Aged Genever 7YO sees the light of day. A genever matured for seven years with a finish on the best Oloroso barrels.
Both JRE and the Aged Genever both took away a silver medal at the Concours Mondiale in the same year.