Family company since 1887

Discover four generations of passion.

Family company since 1887

1887

n 1887, Guillaume Fryns started the G. FRYNS distillery in Hasselt, in the Lombaardstraat in a building known as ‘In ’t Claverblat’. ‘Claverblat’ means ‘clover leaf’ in the local dialect. Throughout its entire existence, the FRYNS Distillery used the image of a clover in its logo. This image was officially registered in 1908.

Until the end of the 18th century, buildings were given names. This includes the first home for FRYNS, which was built in 1665 in the Mosan-Maasland style.

At the end of the 18th century, Napoleon introduced street names and house numbers. In the background, you see the current ‘Gouvernementsgebouw’ that still serves as the residence for the governor of Limburg.

Between the wars: 1920–1940

Following the passing of Guillaume Sr. in 1909, sons Guillaume Jr. and Jules continued running the distillery.

With the visionary approach taken by Guillaume Jr., the company experienced enormous growth. A malt house and an ice factory were built next to the distillery (Kanaalkom, now Quartier Bleu). The company also set up branches in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Mons. Trucks stocked them with an average of 1,000 bottles each; this was a three-day journey! Logistics ‘avant la lettre’.

The distillation of fruits and herbs forms the basis of a whole series of liqueurs that came into fashion in the ‘Roaring Twenties’. These liqueurs were given national and international attention thanks to how much effort went into the packaging and promotional material. Marketing ‘avant la lettre’.

Post-war expansion: 1945–1979

During World War II, activities at the distillery were halted. Jules refused to work with the occupiers. As such, after 1945, everything needed to be rebuilt. Under the leadership of the third generation, rebuilding, expansion and tradition came to the forefront. FRYNS continued to innovate creatively in those years. Among other achievements, the company was one of the first to bring ‘long drinks’ (pre-mix cocktails) to the market.

1979-1995

In 1979, the family company was taken over by investors and afterwards, by the Bruggeman distillery, which also acquired Smeets, another genever distillery from Hasselt.

A new, 6500 m² building appeared on the Great Ring in Hasselt. The company moved there, although the move was not to be permanent. And so, the company moved after 53 years of activity in the Martelarenlaan.

In 1995, FRYNS moved from Hasselt to Ghent. It was the end of 108 years of production in Hasselt. But it would not be permanent.

Today 2020

Today, a new chapter is being written: the FRYNS renaissance. In 2017, with the takeover of Graanstokerij Wissels, the FRYNS brand came back into the hands of the family. And now, after 25 years, FRYNS has finally returned back home to Hasselt.
Michel Fryns, fourth generation, reacquired the brand from Bruggeman and reinstalled the distillery in Hasselt.

In the distillery, everything runs following the old methods. All raw materials come directly from the nearby grain fields and orchards. All flavours and raw materials are processed by distillation and maceration to create the delicious FRYNS you find on store shelves.

FRYNS makes no use of artificial flavours or aromas. Synthetic colouring is not welcome either. The products are sweetened with honey and contain natural colouring.

Even before refined sugars were banned, the master-distiller had decided there was no place for them in FRYNS products. The natural sugars we use come exclusively from fresh fruit that we process in the products.

FRYNS is committed to sustainability, authenticity and respect for tradition. Today, it’s essential for us to bring a natural product to the market and allow people to enjoy the pure taste of craftsmanship.