The Belgian brewery Liefmans is known for its love for a very special ingredient: At Liefmans everything revolves around the cherry.
The red summer fruit played a major role as early as the early 20th century: local farmers brought the fruit to the brewery if they had a surplus and received fresh beer in return. This ensured that the Liefmans always had enough cherries in the house for their wonderful beer creations and the farmers didn't have to let any cherries go to waste. The brewers used the aromatic fruit to create fine beers such as Kriek, which is characterized by its fruity acidity and the sweetness of sun-ripened cherries. Fruit beers are a Belgian specialty and taste particularly good in summer. The playful lightness, the fresh fruit and the tartness of the beer harmonize in a unique way and result in a very special beer enjoyment.
When talking about the Liefmans brewery, one name cannot go unmentioned: Rosa Merckx. She was a pioneer in the Belgian beer scene and the first woman in the country to be both master brewer and head brewer in a brewery. She is a shining example for many young female brewers and paved the way for her kind on the Belgian brewing scene. Rosa was a revolutionary from a young age. She was the first woman in her hometown to drive a car, is fluent in three languages and played basketball in her spare time. However, her career at the Liefmans Brewery did not begin in the brewhouse, but at the typewriter. The young woman began working as a secretary for the head of the brewery in 1946. But he soon discovered that Rosa had a good palate for beer tasting and occasionally consulted her when making decisions. Her curiosity was aroused and she was entrusted with small jobs in the brewery. A short time later, together with her boss, she brewed the first beers and it was found that Rosa had a knack for brewing and the beer market. Rosa adapted the brewery's range to the modern tastes of Belgians and thus led Liefmans to great success. Ideas such as beer bottles wrapped in tissue paper gave the beers a feminine, elegant and noble flair and increased the target group enormously. When her boss died, she was appointed by his family to succeed him. Today, the grand dame of Belgian beer no longer works, but she still lives near the brewery.
Rosa Merckx's signature can still be found on the labels of all the brewery's bottles — a small tribute to a heroine of Belgian beer.