Established in 1575 and therefore the oldest Dutch distillery still active, a fact we are very proud of! Centuries of history briefly described:
In 1575, the Bols family arrived in Amsterdam to open 'het Lootsje' where they would distill liqueurs. The starting point of what would become the world's oldest distillery.
The Bols Distillery grew quickly and the original 'Lootsje', a wooden shed, was replaced by stone buildings. The name ' Lootsje' remained. In 1652 Lucas Bols was born. Living in the Golden Age, he managed to turn Bols into an international brand and greatly expanded the range of liqueurs. The herbs and spices of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) played an important role in this development and Lucas was a major shareholder in the VOC.
In 1664 Lucas Bols started producing the first genever, at that time a very common drink.
After years of prosperity the last male member of the Bols family died. The company was offered for conditional sale stating that the name Lucas Bols should always be retained. The new owner received a wonderful legacy: 250 original, handwritten Bols recipes!
Lucas Bols conquers the world! Many countries become familiar with Bols genevers and liqueurs. The company is sold to the Moltzer family who put a lot of effort into large scale export of bols products.. In 1954 the last of the Moltzers leaves the Board of Directors and Bols Distilleries becomes a stock exchange listed company. Because further expansion in Amsterdam was impossible, Lucas Bols moved to Nieuw Vennep in 1969.
After a short marriage with the Koninklijke Wessanen, Lucas Bols moved to Zoetermeer. The range meanwhile included many well-known brands: from Bols, Bokma, Hartevelt and Coebergh to Pisang Ambon, Goldstrike, Hoppe and Henkes. In 2000 Lucas Bols was taken over by Rémy Cointreau.
Lucas Bols returned into Dutch hands and to Amsterdam in April 2006. The company became independent in 2006 by means of a buy out by the management and AAC Capital Partners. Huub van Doorne, former member of the Board of Directors of Rémy Cointreau and now CEO of Lucas Bols, has brought the oldest distillery back to its roots: Amsterdam. In more than 110 countries Bols is known for its liqueurs, gin, genever and vodka. Lucas Bols has the largest cocktail database in the world with 18,000 online recipes. From the 60 classic cocktails in existence, most of them are made with Bols. Lucas Bols is co-founder of The International Bartender Association and founder of The Bols Bartending Academy.
In short, 't Lootsje from 1575 has undergone an incredible metamorphosis, without lowering the traditional high quality standard. Based on more than 400 years of experience and using the most advanced techniques of distilling, the Master Distiller ensures the continuous quality of recipes and products -and the development of new flavours.
Lucas Bols: It's All About Quality and Innovation!