Heineken N.V., the leading international brewer, today announced that it acquired a 50 percent stake in Affligem Brouwerij BDS N.V. (formerly Brouwerij De Smedt N.V.), established in Opwijk, Belgium. The brewery mainly produces the abbey beer, Affligem. The Affligem Abbey, owner of the brand, has been brewing this beer since the eleventh century. Since 1980, Heineken has taken care of the marketing and distribution of this beer in the Netherlands and France. Heineken also has a license agreement with the abbey for the rest of the world. The license for Belgium and Luxembourg remains with the Affligem Brewery. For Heineken, this reinforces its portfolio of speciality beers, while the agreement offers better sales opportunities for the partners. The Affligem Brouwerij has a capacity of 70,000 hectolitres and has 30 employees.