Filliers Distillery Welcomes Benoit Filliers as the 6th Generation
In late September, Benoit Filliers took over the role of distillery director from Filip Waelkens, who retired after 23 years. Benoit’s appointment is a significant moment for the Filliers family, not only because he is the 6th generation but also because he is the son of the late Jan Filliers.
Jan, along with his cousin Bernard, led the distillery when he unexpectedly passed away in a tragic traffic accident abroad in the fall of 2008. Bernard took over his responsibilities immediately after Jan’s death until his own retirement in early 2018. Since then, there hasn’t been a Filliers actively involved in the company. A family covenant imposes strict requirements on family members aspiring to work in the distillery. They must possess a relevant degree and initial work experience outside the family business.
Armed with a bio-engineering degree from UGent, complemented by additional General Management studies at Vlerick and work experience at a major Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, Benoit (27) meets the criteria and can now officially join Filliers Distillery.
“I am very proud to work in the family business and represent the 6th generation. I grew up next to the company and have been observing my father Jan and my uncle Bernard from a young age. Over the past year and a half, I discreetly learned the trade from Filip Waelkens, and I am truly grateful for the time he invested in me. I also realize that, in a family business with a 143-year history, my responsibility is to guide the company into the future while respecting our rich past. I uphold the claim ‘honour tradition, embrace change.’ For distilling and aging our spirits, we will always use the highest quality raw materials and take the time needed to achieve the best results.” – Benoit
About Filliers Distillery
The history of Filliers Distillery dates back to 1880 when Karel Lodewijk obtained a license to distill alcohol alongside the family’s agricultural activities. In the early decades, they established a strong reputation as a distillery known for its jenevers. While Filliers Distillery is still renowned for its jenevers, in recent years, the focus has shifted to expanding their range of premium (grain) spirits. This includes the introduction of Filliers Dry Gin in 2012 and, in 2018, a series of six premium barrel-aged grain jenevers ranging from very young (0 years) to 8, 12, 17, 21, and an impressive 30 years old. A year later, they launched a 10-year-old Belgian Single Malt Whisky, followed by a 5 and 8-year-old Single Rye Whisky more recently.