The beer, which is currently the only abbey beer in the company’s portfolio, takes its name from the monastery of Sint Stefanus, to which the Van Steenberge brewery is linked. It uses three different strains of yeast, which re-ferment in the bottle, allowing people to choose how they want their beer to taste by shortening or prolonging maturation.
Alan Clark, managing director of SABMiller Europe, said: “We have been searching for something special for beer enthusiasts in a category that already has some exceptional beers.
“In St Stefanus we have found what we are looking for — a genuine Abbey beer that has remained true to its heritage and offers a high-quality product to a niche, yet discerning, market.”
Variants of the brand will range from the lower alcohol Blonde, which is cellar-matured for three months, through to Grand Cru, which is cellar matured for a minimum of nine months.
St Stefanos will be available to select on-trade outlets that “favour craft and speciality beers” and will target consumers “who are passionate about craft beers and will seek out niche products for a different experience”.