A Beer With… Benny Van Heule, HVB-IMTC

Great news – Simpsons Malt has a brand new supplier to Belgium and The Netherlands. We’ve started working with HVB-IMTC, a passionate and knowledgeable brewing supplies distributor. 

We caught up with MD Benny Van Heule, who told us about his passion for brewing, his interest in craft breweries, and his love of Monk-made beers… 

When did HVB-IMTC start working with Simpsons Malt? 

Our relationship with Simpsons Malt started towards the end of 2018, and we are now exclusive distributors of Simpsons Malt to Belgium and The Netherlands. 

Why did you choose to work with Simpsons Malt? 

We have some good local malts around in Belgium, but in terms of speciality malts we are missing something. Simpsons Malt is a great partner to bring  diversity into the local market. 

Additionally, heritage malts such as Maris Otter and Golden Promise are well appreciated by Belgian and Dutch breweries. 

What kind of customers do you have?  

Our focus is on the professional craft breweries in Belgium and The Netherlands. 

What is your professional background?  

studied my masters in Brewing Science at the University of Gent (Belgium). At the starting point of my career I worked in a brewery. After this I went into sales, where my main customers were predominantly breweries. 

How will Belgian and Dutch customers benefit from buying through HVB-IMTC? 

Our goal is to be a partner for craft breweries. Our knowledge of the ingredients and the production processes can help to support these breweries. Rather than just being a distributor, we aim to be a supplier that offers quality service and insight. 

What is the Belgian brewing market like? What are its current strengths and challenges? 

Since the year 2000 the number of breweries in Belgium has trebled (from 100 to 300), and that’s mainly down to craft breweries. Step by step, the domination of the big players is being undermined by these craft breweries, as customers are increasingly buying local. 

What do you think the future holds for the Belgian brewing market?  

In 2018 the number of breweries still increased 16% on the previous year – showing that the market is still growing. But within a couple of years I believe this will stop as the market is getting saturated. The breweries who are making good quality beers and have a good approach to marketing and sales will succeed. 

What’s a great Belgian beer we should know about? 

It’s difficult to pick just one – of course we have six Trappist beers (beers that have been produced by Trappist monks) – OrvalWestmalleChimayRochefortWestvleteren and Achel.   

Next to this there are different beer styles unique to Belgium like the Lambic beers, which are sour beers produced in the area of Brussels in breweries like Brewery Boon and Brewery Lindemans. 

What beer style could you not live without?  

The Belgian Trappist beers – they are raising the bar for quality beers. 

If you didn’t work in the brewing industry, what would you be doing now? 

think I would have been a farmer like many members of my family. 

What’s your favourite Simpsons Malt malt? And why?  

Golden Naked Oats for sure – with this malt I’m able to inspire my customers to improve their beers and to get a unique taste. 

 Cheers, Benny!  

 Want to know more about our distributors? Head over here, or get in touch with our team!