Known for the castle that emblazons Oud Beersel’s labels, the town of Beersel is just a quick jaunt outside of Brussels. We stopped by on a week day and were lucky enough to catch the brewer’s father Jos Christiaens, who graciously offered to show us the brewery. We saw quite a bfew of these family operations througout Belgium.
Like Cantillon, Oud Beersel is a museum of sorts. Since the cost to repair the brewery exceeds the cost of a new system, the beer is no longer brewed on site; they source lambic and age it in their own barrels. The old brewing system has been preserved for tours, however. The kettle was not crafted from copper or stainless (aluminum as I recall), so it can never again be used. Like at De Dolle, the kettle is housed in brick masonry.
The most intriguing thing we saw on this tour might have been the “method” of barrel sanitization. As you can see in the photos, they placed a belt around the barrel and spun it with chains inside. This sounds more like a mid-evil torture method…
All in all, a very educational tour with lots of charm. The family was very welcoming and we picked up quite a bit of beer. An Oud Gueze and yes, you are reading correctly, a one-liter box of lambic. If only Franzia tasted this divine…
Visit: Tours on the first Saturday of the month from 11am to 1pm or by appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org