The Abbey of Koningshoeven established Abdij Maria Toevlucht (Abbey of Our Lady of Refuge) in 1900 as a place of refuge for French monks in the quiet countryside outside the village of Zundert, near the Belgian border. By 1938 the priory of Zundert was elevated to the status of an abbey.
For many years the monks maintained a dairy farm to support their life of prayer and charity, but by 2007, with a dwindling community (vocations had peaked in 1950 with 80 monks), they began looking for an activity that would provide a good ratio between the required effort and financial yield, as well as an appropriate size.
In 2009, careful consideration led to the decision to start a small brewery. A small brewery, because as it's been said: 'monks brew to live and do not live to brew'.
The brewery, built in one of the abbey's historical farm buildings, began selling beer in 2013. The lapwing ("kievit") weathervane on the roof inspired the name of the brewery, and remains in place. Brouwerij De Kievit - "The Lapwing Brewery" - also uses the beautiful crested northern lapwing in its logo.