Affligem's commercial "Make beer, not struggle" tells the truest story of its basis – 1000 years in the past

In the past 50 years, the U.S. has added more than 8,000 breweries, according to the Brewer's Association.

While the proliferation of artisanal microbreweries is changing the beer game in the US, no American brewer can rival Belgium – or Europe as a whole – when it comes to the legacy these breweries have as part of their brand identity.

Affligem, one of the oldest breweries in the world, highlights its long and storied history in a new advert in the Netherlands. It is the Belgian brand's first foray in Heineken in national advertising for its northern neighbor. As part of the introduction of this marketing effort, the brand has returned to its roots.

According to Affligem, it was founded in 1074 by six knight-monks. In context, this is shortly after the Tower of London was built. It has also been a few decades since the Byzantine Empress Zoe poisoned her husband Romanus III. It should be noted that the brewery was founded around 20 years before the Crusades began.

However, the new spot, which was created by Alfred International and staged by Bart Timmer, takes up Affligems origin again. That moment seems to have been rare for this century: it all began when one of these six knights decided to choose peace over violence. (Well, either that or he's really sick of his job.)

After cutting a rather annoying sword into another of his shirt sleeve, the knight sits down with a beer and his buds to discuss options. While sipping this brew in the middle of a battlefield in Affligem, Belgium, the group makes a decision. Making beer would be much better than any of that.

"The Affligem story felt like an adventure book filled with fantastic ingredients for the film," said Marc Scholten, Marketing Manager at Heineken Netherlands, in a statement. "The medieval setting, Affligem from Affligem, the Flemish accent, knights making a career to become monks … And a powerful message:" Make beer, not war. "

The advertising spurt comes after two years of impressive growth for Affligem in the Netherlands as the brand's total volume doubled within the country during that period. Last year, the brewery launched its first non-alcoholic beer in the Netherlands: Affligem Blonde 0.0, which is also the beer that the actors in the advertisement drank while filming.

The new spot runs on Dutch television as well as on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

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