No.1 travel guide for Belgium; dedicated to Belgian beer and food culture.

Erik's Highlights: Brewing in Bokrijk & Herkenrode


Email  •  Print

Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2013-08-22 08:29:07 +0200 / Last Updated: over 1 year ago

brewing in bokrijk, brewing in belgium, brewing, belgian beer © BeerTourism.com


BOKRIJK/HERKENRODE - On Sunday, 15th September Bokrijk Open Air Museum will host a special event at which you can discover everything edible and drinkable in the wild world of flora and fauna.

You’ll witness demonstrations of boiling syrup or brewing beer, the latter in the historic brewing installation at the open air museum. There is also a large market selling regional products with over 60 stalls.


'Paenhuys'

The Paenhuys is an authentic 17th century village brewery in Diepenbeek near Hasselt. Until 1700 the villagers brewed their own beer there. Nowadays the brewery is located in Bokrijk brewing in Bokrijk, brewing in Belgium © BeerTourism.com
Open Air Museum.

How did people brew in those days? First, water was pumped into the walled-in, heated brewing kettle.

Secondly, the heated water was transferred to the mixing basin (sometimes called the sediment basin) using buckets.

In this tub the bashed malt was turned over using large stirring forks, or 'roervorken'. Hot water was added at regular intervals to maintain the right temperature. The next stage was filtering the wort.

Initially spoons were used but in later years the villagers were to adopt the ‘stuikmand’, a type of basket that filtered out the ‘draf’ – the rough parts of the wort without any further use.

The liquid was boiled up once again, now with the addition of hops. This wort and hops mixture was then transferred to the large wooden cooling basin – 'het koelschip' – to cool down and clarify. brewing in Bokrijk, brewing in Belgium © BeerTourism.com
Subsequently the beer spent time fermenting in the yeast basin; it matured and then underwent a second fermentation.

Yeast cells and other floating particles were filtered out through a linen bag and the beer was then poured into barrels.

Tomsin brewery from Hoegaarden was responsible for kitting out the Paenhuys. Tomsin is where Hoegaarden-born brewer Pierre Celis learnt his trade before founding De Kluis in 1966.

A hop field was established near the Abele farm in the grounds of the open air museum. You will also find a traditional ‘hopast’ – a drying oven for hops – which was originally used in Proven near Poperinge.

There is more to see and do at Bokrijk Open Air Museum than the old brewery visit. Bokrijk will blast you back to the past, the huge estate is filled with examples of old and authentic buildings from across Belgium. The peaceful green surroundings are also perfect for walking and cycling.


brewing in bokrijk, brewing in belgium, beer in Belgium © BeerTourism.com


Herkenrode

Herkenrode is another place that transports you back through the ages in no time at all. From the Hasselt-West turnoff on the E313 you cannot fail to spot the imposing silhouette of the former Herkenrode Abbey. Herkenrode Tripel Herkenrode Tripel
© BeerTourism.com
The current buildings go back to the 17th century but traces of occupation have been found dating from 1182.

Jef Cornelissen of Brewery Cornelissen in Opitter harboured plans to launch an abbey beer. The operation was managed by Robert Putman, former engineer-brewmaster at Cristal-Alken.

His brief was to ‘brew a beer with the robustness of the Counts of Loon, the elegance of the abbesses of Herkenrode and the aromas from the herb garden’. From 2009 onwards, Herkenrode has been producing its own ‘recognised’ abbey beers, the Herkenrode Tripel and Bruin. To be recognized a beer must show a demonstrable link with the past and indeed, the abbey used to have its own brewery.

Herkenrode is situated 5 km from Hasselt in a gorgeous, natural 100 hectare reserve that is ideal for walking and cycling.


More Information

Bokrijk Open Air Museum
Bokrijklaan 1
3600
Genk

Telephone: +32 (0) 11 265 300
Fax: +32 (0) 11 265 370

Email: bokrijksales@limburg.be
Website: www.bokrijk.be


Recent Blog Posts

Omer Vander Ghinste celebrates 125 years of brewing craftsmanship
KORTRIJK/BELLEGEM - It was in 1892 that Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste opened for business in Bellegem, a village near Kortrijk in West Flanders, close to the French border. Since then, ... [ read more ]
Brasserie de Brunehaut - In tune with the seasons
RONGY - In Rongy and all around it, spring is in the air. The fruit trees are in bloom and nature has put on its most beautiful face. I’m on my way to Brasserie de Brunehaut, a brewery surrounded by o ... [ read more ]
Westmalle Dubbel or Westmalle Tripel?
WESTMALLE - If you order a Westmalle you’re likely to be served with a Tripel. This is no coincidence as this strong blonde Trappist beer now accounts for 75% of the beer output of this abbey brewery. ... [ read more ]
Amburon Belgian Craftbrewery - A new brewery in Belgium’s oldest city
TONGEREN - After a fifty-year wait the moment has finally arrived. Once again, the city of Tongeren can boast its own brewery and city beers. The story commences with the 2009 ... [ read more ]
Luc De Laet, the brewer's butcher...
ANTWERP - Why would a butcher open a store at a brewery? The question doesn’t throw Luc De Laet, the man who has done just that at the De Koninck brewery. “We share our respect for traditional crafts, ... [ read more ]

Comments


You must be logged in to leave a comment


SHARE:
 



BLOG

POSTS
Erik's Highlights - Belgian beer stories

A good story sells and your local pub is the ideal place to swap stories. The more the beer is flowing, the more the stories grow in the telling. That is how the Guinness Book Of Records was founded: ... [ more ]

Erik's Highlights: The stars of the brewing kettle

Take an unbranded glass and taste a blond, an amber, a bruin or a rood. I’d like to know if you can guess the beer and the brewery every single time. This gets even harder if the test comprises some lesser known or hard ... [ more ]

Erik's Highlights: There is a beer for everyone

‘What do you think is the best beer?’ You know this type of awkward question. In fact, it’s not really answerable as there is no such thing as the ‘best beer’. The wonderful thing about <a href... [ more ]

Erik's Highlights: Unmissable Belgian beer must do’s

SCHOTEN - All these endless lists… you know where I’m coming from. All those things you want to do, or stop doing, before you blow out any more candles on your birthday cake. All those beers you want to try; all those br... [ more ]

Erik's Highlights: Délices & Caprices, Brussels

BRUSSELS - With its fragrant name, Délices & Caprices is a destination not to be missed by any beer lover travelling to Brussels. What’s the secret? Everyone feels at home with Ann and Pierre Zuber who are happy to b... [ more ]

Herkenrode_bruin_-_brouwerij_sint-jozef_225

More Beer

All that remains of the former abbey of Herkenrode near Hasselt is the magnificent 17th century abbey farm. The oldest traces, including the remains of a brewery, go all the way ba... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.

Name:
Email:
TWITTER
    FACEBOOK