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Belgian Breweries

Bières de Chimay


When Brother Théodore entered the order, at the tender age of 19 in the year 1932, he was somewhat unprepared for a career in brewing. "Little did he know.." as they say "..and he knew rather little". The young theologue therefore sought advice and assistance...
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Brasserie d’Achouffe


The story of L'Achouffe is really the story of the two men, at the helm from the start. They formed the perfect tandem for making a success of this ambitious brewing project: Chris, with his irrepressible enthusiasm, creativity and business savvy and Pierre, contributing his...
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Brasserie de Brunehaut


Brasserie de Brunehaut want you to taste a real beer. Main brewer Damien Delnest: “Niche beers like our gluten-free, organic Brunehaut Blonde and Ambrée compel us to work in an artisan way. It is quite a challenge to achieve consistent quality, working with relatively...
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Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu


In 1997 brewing engineer Benoît Humblet and milk trader Alain Pelsser set up the current family brewery on the abbey site. For many years, both milk and beer were sent off to clients. Since then, Benoît has left the company to set up the...
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Brasserie de Rochefort


Thierry Fourneau, plus Luc and Patrick Streignard, are now managing the brewery, with the assistance of Quality Manager Santos Gumer. Rochefort’s annual production is some thirty-five thousand hectolitres, which earns the brewery a place in the Trappist peloton – but not at the head. ...
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Brasserie des Carrières


Founders and childhood friends, Julien Slabbinck and François Amorison, have been obsessed by brewing and beer for as long as they can remember. To celebrate the end of their secondary education the pair decided to embark on a ‘small’ tour of Belgian breweries of...
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Brasserie de Silly


Nowadays it's Bertrand Van der Haegen who's watching over the quality of the Silly beers. Not that his father, Jean-Paul, can't help but take a glimpse over Bertrand's shoulder now and again. After all, the brewery is ‘his baby’ and he continues to keep...
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Brasserie d'Orval


Orval has seen something a generation – and gender – shift at the top of its brewing team recently. The brewery had been managed by respected brew-master Jean-Marie Rock since 1985. But in 2013, he handed over the mashing stick to his right-hand woman, Anne-Françoise...
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Brasserie Dubuisson


The brewery's owner, Hugues Dubuisson, is a man who knows his stuff. As well as years of experience, and many generations of passed-down brewing wisdom, he has a brewing degree under his belt. Every single recipe is personally developed by him, paying all due...
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Brasserie St-Feuillien


The current brewer, Alexis Briol, has developed the recipes for all of the beers in the range, with the exception of the Saint-Feuillien Blonde. That owes its existence to the work of Benoît Friart (from the 3rd generation of this brewing family). The...
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Brouwerij Affligem


Affligem is in the rich tradition of Belgian abbey beers. They are exceptionally pure beers, brewed on the basis of an authentic, protected abbey recipe. Quality takes time. In the brewery the beer is given all the space it needs to complete its fermentation....
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Brouwerij & Alcoholstokerij Wilderen


What the Wilderen brewery has achieved in the space of just a few years is vey impressive indeed. In 2012 they were runners-up in the Vlaamse monumentenprijs competition (Flemish Monuments Awards), which was the crowning glory on many years’ hard work. Wilderen products...
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Brouwerij Anders!


Anders master brewer is Bart Durlet, a man who has now 'worked the wort' on both sides of the Belgian beer universe. As he told us in our recent interview, he would like to see 'beer' written with a capital B. “I used to...
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Brouwerij Bosteels


Ivo Bosteels, father of Antoine, doesn’t beat around the bush. Brewers have to be modest. “Our beer is our living. The beer determines what happens here. We depend on what nature has to offer and have to question ourselves every single day. Every...
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Brouwerij De Halve Maan


All of the De Halve Maan’s beers are created in Bruges’ historic city centre. This is another conscious decision. Brewery staff and visitors are literally wandering amongst the brewing kettles. The brewer is treading in the footsteps of his predecessors in a location that...
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Brouwerij De Koninck


The late ‘meneer Modeste’ (that's guv'nor Modeste to you) was proud of the fact that he had never given in to a passing fad. He headed up the brewery for fifty years, with his sons Bernard and Dominique following in his footsteps....
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Brouwerij der Sint-Benedictusabdij de Achelse Kluis


The somewhat convoluted history of Achel's brewing does beg the question – who actually developed the Achel recipe? The answer is that Achel's beers are something of a collaborative Trappist effort. First of all, there was the late Brother Thomas, from Westmalle, who...
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Brouwerij Huyghe


Alain De Laet has been in charge of the brewery since 2005. His father Jean De Laet now oversees the expansion of the international network of Delirium Cafés. These focus on speciality beers and provide a superb, world-wide testing facility for the brewery’s...
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Brouwerij Liefmans


The brewery was owned by the Liefmans family for two long slow centuries. But the 20th-century saw things became more fast-paced. In 1902 the brewery changed hands for the first time, when it passed into the hands of the Van Geluwe family. 1990 saw...
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Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste


You could say that Omer Vander Ghinste has been at the helm of the brewery for over 120 years. Obviously, though, that's not one and the same man – five generations of fathers have passed on the brewery (as well as their first...
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Brouwerij Roman


How can we agree on a signature for the rather diverse range of Roman brews? What is their common denominator, and how would we say that they stand out? Talking to the current owners, Carlo and Lode Roman, we'd have to agree that the...
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Brouwerij St. Bernardus


Hans Depypere, the owner of the brewery, actually used to work in security management, in the USA and elsewhere. The quality of the Sint Bernardus beers and their excellent reputation convinced him that taking over the brewery was a viable proposition. In doing so,...
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Brouwerij Timmermans


Brewer Willem Van Herreweghen is recognised as an expert in the field of lambiek beers. One of his previous jobs was as a ‘geuzesteker’ (blender) with De Cam. At Timmermans’, Willem is assisted by brewer Thomas Vandelanotte from Bruges. Perhaps the most interesting...
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Brouwerij Van Steenberge


Since 2013 Jef Versele, son of Paul’s sister Greta, and his wife Theresa Deroose are in charge of the brewery. Both adhere to the traditional rules of brewing that the seven generations of their family have sworn by. The ancient motto, ‘born a...
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Brouwerij Westmalle


The rule of St. Benedict allowed for the monks to enjoy a beverage from the local region: hence the reason that French Trappists took to the brewing of Flanders ales. However, it's sad to note that there are no longer any monks working directly...
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Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck


The story of the Van Honsebrouck beer dynasty starts in 1811 with the birth of Amandus Van Honsebrouck. He was a farmer who expanded his farm with a dairy, distillery and brewery. He even became mayor of Werken in West Flanders, then just a...
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Duvel Moortgat


After Jan-Leonard Moortgat and his wife laid the foundations, the second Moortgat generation took over in 1900. Business was booming and Albert and Victor, both sons of Jan-Leonard, decided to join the business. As in each family, everyone was allocated a task. ...
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Detailed information about Maredsous Belgian beer; includes the history, the brewing and the beers of the Maredsous Abbey, found in the Namur region of Belgium.
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Palm Belgian Craft Brewers


In 1928, Arthur Van Roy’s son Alfred, at the tender age of 15, started his own impressive career in the world of Belgian brewing. He attended brewery college in Brussels, where he discovered the 'Spéciale Aerts' amongst other beers. In 1929 the De Hoorn...
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Sint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren


The monks of Sint-Sixtus started to brew beer for one main reason. The same reason any monastery has done historically, to generate extra revenue. They needed the funds to survive and sustain themselves and their order. Beer was also for a long time the...
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At the latest count there are around 160 breweries in our country. They range from nano, pico and micro brewers to medium and all the way to mega.

Microbreweries are those that produce fewer than 400,000 litres each year. A number of them have taken a conscious decision to work on this small scale, allowing them to avoid the investment spiral that the ambitious brewer has to face sooner or later. In many cases, brewing is something they do on the side. Plenty of niche beers are produced by microbreweries. This makes sense: why would you try to market the umpteenth copy of one of our classic beers? Others do follow tradition – just about – but with a twist that acknowledges their city or region. We have noticed in recent years that many smaller players have started to emphasise the terroir element of their products, using local ingredients wherever possible. In the same spirit, the larger breweries will draw attention to their use of Belgian hops, occasionally a variety they have grown themselves.

The beauty of the Belgian beer scene is that it is so richly varied. Each brewery comes with its own story. The oldest brewery in the country goes back to the 16th century, 15 generations of the same family, and has always occupied the same site. The roots of many established breweries are agricultural. Brewing used to be a winter activity. Farmers would stockpile a supply of beer to be drunk in spring and summer, by themselves or by their seasonal workers. Perhaps some would be sold. In time the brewery in the barn might become more important, to the detriment of farming, and the fields were no longer worked.

One hundred years ago there were far more breweries than today, around 3,500. Every self-respecting town and village had several. They only served their own part of the locality; the area claimed by a competitor would be just a few streets further on. To survive, these hyper-local brewers would need to own several cafés or have a contract to supply them. In those days beer was served primarily on tap, bottles were to make an appearance later. Inevitably this situation caused conflict. Ambitious breweries had their greedy eyes on the cafés owned by their competitors. Following a takeover, it was usual to claim the strongest brands, close down the brewery that had been taken over and build up your own café portfolio. This was a way for the winning brewery to carve out its own space in the café trade of a village, town or region where it had not had a presence before.

Read the brewery stories on these pages and embark on a journey through Belgian beer history. Discover why the monks started brewing beer in their abbeys, how today’s big brands have grown and how breweries that started off in one town or region have now conquered the world.

We started gathering these stories in 2013. It is our ambition to introduce you to as many Belgian breweries – and beers – as we can. Visit and you will discover new stories on a regular basis. In the meantime, here you will find a good sample of the Belgian brewing landscape, the familiar as well as the niche players. Every story is different.

We hope that you will enjoy your beer even more now you know the motivation behind the brewers, past or present. Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a fascinating ride through the world of Belgian beer.



BeerChefs 2015: And the winner is...

FLEURUS/CHARLEROI - Beer can finally claim its rightful place - on your plate as well as next to it. Only two days after celebrity chef Sergio Herman and his team from Michelin-starred restaurant The Jane ... [ more ]

Bush beer pairing at Le Château du Mylord

ELLEZELLES - As many as 34 years ago Jean-Baptiste Thomaes, at the ripe young age of 22, set up the prestigious establishment of Le Château du Mylord in Ellezelles, a village close to Ronse and Oudenaarde. ... [ more ]


Belgian Beer

This gueuze is a completely different beer compared to the St. Louis Premium Gueuze. This beer was created as the result of a challenge. During a brewery visit by Professor Gil... [ more ]

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