3 Fonteinen: New brewery, same great beers

Published on October 1, 2013.

The only other bad news I have is that the maker of the 3 Fonteinen liquor pralines has stopped making them, and that the producer of the jam made with 3 Fonteinen Geuze also stopped production. Whether either might be produced again in the future is unknown.

Photo of 3 Fonteinen Armand 4 Oude Geuze

The new brewery was made possible by sales of the Armand 4 Oude Geuze, which is a blend of the last 2007, 2008, and 2009 lambics that were brewed in the first brewery at 3 Fonteinen, which they did not own. Its owner took that brewing equipment back in 2009.

17,000 bottles of Armand 4 were produced, and have been selling for 24 euro a bottle at the brewery-and for much more elsewhere-since early 2011. Only a few thousand remain. “We made four blends: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Now, we are only selling the Summer and Fall version, as most of the stock of Winter and Spring has sold out. However, we did save some for aging,” Armand’s wife, Lydie Hulpiau, told me. Lydie is 3 Fonteinen’s Marketing and Sales Director.

For a lambic producer that nearly closed in 2009 due to a failed thermostat in a storage facility (which destroyed nearly a year’s worth of beer production) things are really looking up at The Three Fountains!!

In fact, the new brewery was officially opened on March 23, and christened in a ceremony by Jef Wouters. Sven Gatz of the Belgian Brewer’s Association gave a speech, and there was a reception held afterwards to celebrate the momentous event. Brewing has returned to the Three Fountains!

Photograph of new emblem Brouwerij Brewery 3 Fonteinen lambic geuze gueuze

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen was open for Tour de Geuze on April 21st, and a large crowd-over 3,000 people-visited that day. A new beer called Intense Red debuted then, as well. “It’s a beer with about 35% more cherries than our normal Oude Kriek. A special experiment that Armand and Michael made,” Lydie remarked, as I sampled the wonderful brew. It did have a very intense cherry flavor and aroma, and I loved it. Get some if you can.

3 Fonteinen held “Open Beer Days” from Thursday, September 5, through Monday, September 9th this year. During that weekend, from 10 am to 5 pm every day, free tours were given in Dutch, English, and French. As an extra incentive (as if anyone needed one to visit!) the brewery was selling special old bottles not normally seen in the shop that weekend.

3 Fonteinen, lambic, beer, geuze, beersel
(Photo: the 3 Fonteinen crew during the “Open Beer Days” in early September. Photo courtesy 3 Fonteinen.)

In fact, the brewery announced on September 5th: “A large banner on the facade of the lambic brewery shows Pa Gaston and son Armand opening a barrel of Lambic. The same facade shows a timeline from 1953 to 2013 with the key moments of the beer blendery. A montage of old photographs can be seen in the shop, and in the brewery there are numerous newspaper clippings. Thus, we celebrate at Bierstekerij 3 Fonteinen  60 years of craft from father to son.”

3 Fonteinen Lambic Armand Debelder Gaston Lambic Geuze

Cheers to Armand, Lydie and Michael…and to the lambic, geuze, and kriek lovers of the world, who will enjoy the fruits of their labors!

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