Het Anker Brewery

logoHetAnkerHet Anker traces its origins to 1471, when the Beguine nuns of Mechelen baked bread, brewed beer, grew vegetables and nursed the ill. Today Het Anker has been modernized many times to keep up with demands for production and consistency of quality, but the beers produced by the brewery are still steeped in tradition.



bottleCarolusbottleLuciferAvailable now: Gouden Carolus Classic (8.5%) and Lucifer (8.0%). Both are Emperor styles, top fermented and re-fermented in the bottle.
The dark Gouden Carolus Classic (named after the golden coin) is still being brewed with dark, very well-balanced malts according to the classic infusion method. This award winning beer combines the warm roundness of whine with the light freshness of beer, and offers an exciting, complex flavour that will never fail to please the conoisseur's palate. Lucifer is a blonde specialty beer, golden in colour and offering notes of caramel, cream and spices.


In 1471 Charles the Bold granted the beguine sisters of Mechelen the permission to brew beer for their private use, completely free of duties and excise taxes. Four years earlier, in 1467 no less than 900 Beguines welcomed Charles the Bold during his visit to Mechelen. For more than three centuries, until 1865, they brewed their beer traditionally. In 1872 the brewery was modernized and turned into one of the first steam-operated breweries of that time. Nowadays the brewery is internationally renowned and employs modern equipment and technology to ensure the highest quality in every bottle, but the centuries-old Belgian craft and tradition are still very much the key ingredient for every batch of beer.

Gouden Carolus Classic is Mechelen famous Emperor's brew, and the traditional beer of the fox hunting parties of Charles Quint and named after his golden coins. It is still being brewed with dark, very well-balanced malts according to the classical infusion method. The aromatic malts and high fermentation process combines the warm roundness of wine with the light freshness of beer. Because of its high density of 19" Plato, the Gouden Carolus Classic is classified under "special beers". It is also highly appropriate for culinary purposes like stew, game and even sabayon.

Carolus has won a long list of international awards, including:

  • 2012 World Beer Awards: World's Best Dark Beer
  • 2012 World Beer Awards: World's Best Belgian Style Dubbel
  • 2010 World Beer Awards: Winner, Europe's Best Abbey/Trappist Dark Ale
  • 2010 European Beer Star: Silver Award Belgian Style Dubbel
  • 2009 World Beer Awards: Winner, World's Standard Strong Dark Ale
  • 2007 European Beer Star: Gold Award Belgian Style Dubbel
  • 2007 World Beer Awards: Winner, World's Standard Strong Dark Ale
  • 2006 European Beer Star: Bronze Award, Belgian Style Dubbel
  • 2005 Australian International Beer Awards: Gold Award, Belgian and French-Style Ales

Lucifer is a golden Belgian strong ale. It has a great, pilsner like character of rich malt. The fruity yeast adds complexity and notes of citrus, and helps to identify this as a proper Belgian ale, though the yeast character is cleaner than that of some other pale Belgian ales. It pours with a large head, and is very drinkable and refreshing. At an alcohol strength of 8% by volume Lucifer is not for playing around with!