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Ask the Expert

A brief history of De Kuyper [title]
Where it all began … the marriage of Petrus de Kuyper and Anna Custers in 1695 is considered to be the beginning of the De Kuyper company. At that time Petrus de Kuyper was associated with the industry as a producer of wooden casks used for transporting Dutch gin and beer. The current Managing Director – Bob de Kuyper – is a direct descendant of Petrus de Kuyper.
Jan de Kuyper (third son of Petrus and Anna) set out for Rotterdam and registered as an inhabitant there. By 1752 he took over the distillery at Schiedam which was then the leading centre for the production of Dutch gin or genever. In 1769 his sons Johannes and Pieter bought a distillery in Rotterdam.
Until now De Kuyper sold only relatively small quantities of spirits over the counter whilst trying to develop their export business. By 1827 the London firm of Matthew Clark & Sons was an important client for De Kuyper. Clark bought not just for Britain but also for the colonies – the Canadians in particular enjoyed the taste of Dutch gin.
The De Kuyper company decided to build a new distillery in Schiedam on the site purchased in 1893. The building was finished a year later.
Production of liqueurs began and De Kuyper tried to break into the Dutch domestic market by taking part in fairs, employing sales representatives and through advertising.
In the 1930’s De Kuyper produced almost 20 varieties of liqueurs including Apricot Brandy, Cherry Brandy, Triple Sec and Crème de Menthe.
Worldwide distribution developed further with the opening of a De Kuyper distillery in associated with Meager Bros & Co in Montreal, Canada which was managed by Henry de Kuyper.
Just before the Repeal of Prohibition, De Kuyper entered into an agreement with National Distillers Products Corp of New York, re the sale of De Kuyper products in the USA and the establishment of a joint production facility in New Jersey.
De Kuyper Cherry Brandy was first introduced to the Great Britain.
Slowly and surely, De Kuyper liqueurs took over the traditional position of Dutch gins. The first ever cocktail contests were organised and huge amounts were invested in promoting liqueurs.
Jim Beam Brands Co acquired the right to manufacture and market De Kuyper products in the USA under a perpetual agreement.
First Drinks appointed exclusive distributor of De Kuyper liqueur range in the UK.
On the occasion of its 300th anniversary, the company received the title “Royal” from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. This lead to the company changing its name from Johannes de Kuyper & Zoon to De Kuyper Royal Distillers. In the same year, Erven Warnink - the leading producer of advocaat and cream liqueurs – was taken over by De Kuyper Royal Distillers.
By now, De Kuyper is the world’s number one producer of range liqueurs available in more than 100 countries.
After more than 300 years, De Kuyper Royal Distillers remains a private family business and the De Kuyper range of liqueurs continues to grow steadily throughout the world.
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