Brasserie de Waterloo: Brewery, Visitor’s Center, Restaurant, and more….

Published on June 17, 2015.

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met his final defeat at the battle of Waterloo, a small hamlet of villages located about eleven miles south of Brussels. Now, an old farm that was set up as a field hospital by The Duke of Wellington, who led the English and their allies to victory that day, is about to become a major tourist attraction, one that beer lovers and history buffs should appreciate.

Anthony Martin and his Anthony Martin Brewery Group have been busy. Not content with a very impressive renovation and artisanal lambic project at the venerable Brouwerij Timmermans, Martin, CEO of the company named after his grandfather, John, purchased an old farm not more than a mile from the famous Lion Mound, which commemorates the battle of Waterloo. The new brewery is called Brasserie de Waterloo.

The famous Lion Mound, commemorating the victory of the English and their allies over Napoleon at Waterloo, June 18, 1815.

The famous Lion Mound, commemorating the victory of the English and their allies over Napoleon at Waterloo, June 18, 1815.

The brewhouse is etched with the brewery name in the copper. and the name of owner Anthony Martin.

The brewhouse is etched with the brewery name in the copper. and the name of owner Anthony R. Martin.

Martin purchased the locale, Le Ferme de Mont-Saint-Jean, in 2014. With the 200th anniversary of the battle coming up this Thursday, June 18, he and his dedicated team have been working at a breakneck pace to get the brewery and site up and running in time for the commemoration that will take place from Thursday and on into this weekend.

Brasserie de Waterloo is located inside one of the old buildings. You can see some shining copper to the right top side of the photo.

Brasserie de Waterloo is located inside one of the old buildings. You can see some shining copper on the right side of the photo.

I toured the new brewery and gift shop/visitor’s center as part of a press event held on Tuesday, April 28th. Brewing started last November, and a sort of saison and a Triple-Blonde have been made so far. The brewhouse is copper on the outside and stainless steel on the inside, and made by COENCO, a well-known brewery manufacturer located in Belgium. Brewhouse capacity is 10 hectoliters.

Anthony Martin's son, removing spent grains from the mash tun at Brasserie Waterloo.

Anthony Martin’s son, Edward Martin, removing spent grains from the mash tun at Brasserie Waterloo.

The history if the Mont-Saint-Jean farm dates back to at least the 13th century, and it was used as a field hospital by the English and their allies during the battle and afterwards. Many of the same buildings that were there on June 18, 1815, still exist, and plans are to restore these historic structures, while also adding a museum, an event space, a restaurant with “haute cuisine” featuring the brewery’s beers, and also a theme park for children. It will be a major tourist attraction for the region.

Part of the press conference in the brewery on April 28, 2015.

Part of the press conference was held in the brewery on April 28, 2015.

I found the Waterloo Récolte, a sort of saison-ish beer brewed with 30% wheat and with 6% abv, to be very pleasing and easily drinkable. It is only available on draft at present, so seek it out if you visit the brewery. It may also be on offer at some specialty beer bars from time to time. This spring/summer seasonal will likely give way to stronger beers as the seasons change. The brewery already has a Strong Dark with 8% abv, and the Triple Blonde with the same alcohol.

Triple Blonde and Récolte on tap inside the Visitor's Center at the Mont Saint Jean Farm.

Triple Blonde and Récolte on tap inside the Visitor’s Center/shop at the Mont Saint Jean Farm.

Waterloo Récolte, a very good saison-ish beer. This type of beer is said to have been drunk by English troops during the time of the battle.

Waterloo Récolte, a very good saison-ish beer. This type of beer is said to have been drunk by English troops during the time of the battle.

There is also Waterloo Cuvée Impériale, a new beer that is described as a dark triple. It was not available at the time of my visit. I look forward to tasting it at some point.

Waterloo Cuvée Impériale, a new brew with 9.4% abv.

Waterloo Cuvée Impériale, a new brew with 9.4% abv.

Anthony Martin’s son, Edward, is an assistant brewer at Brasserie de Waterloo, and was on hand to shovel out the spent grains from a batch of beer brewed the day of my visit. It’s nice to see that the John Martin Group will remain a family business.The brewmaster of Brasserie de Waterloo is Thomas Vandelanotte.

One of the press conference attendees digging a hole in order to place a hop plant.

One of the press conference attendees digging a hole in order to place a hop plant.

All of the journalists and photographers at the press conference were invited to dig a hole and place a hop seedling into the ground just outside the brewery, and each was then named after said journalists.

Anthony Martin (left) with son Martin, one of the brewers at Brasserie Waterloo.

Anthony Martin (right) with son Edward Martin, one of the brewers at Brasserie de Waterloo.

An informative talk about the history of the farm and plans for the future was given by Anthony Martin, as well as others involved in the project. Brasserie de Waterloo will offer horse-drawn carriage rides around the battlefield, beginning in the brewery courtyard.

Another view of La Ferme de Mont Saint Jean.

Another view of La Ferme de Mont Saint Jean.

Another original building on the farm.

Another original building on the farm.

The brewery mash tun is on the left. Steps lead to a second floor, where grains and other supplies are kept.

The brewery mash tun is on the left. Steps lead to a second floor, where grains and other supplies are kept.

Fermenters in the brewery.

Fermenters in the brewery.

Hop seedlings, ready to be planted.

Hop seedlings, ready to be planted.

Edward Martin removing spent grains from the mash tun at Brasserie de Waterloo.

Edward Martin removing spent grains from the mash tun at Brasserie de Waterloo.

Another shot of Edward Martin removing spent grains from the mash tun.

Another shot of Edward Martin removing spent grains from the mash tun.

A view of part of the Waterloo battlefield from the Lion Mound.

A view of part of the Waterloo battlefield from the Lion Mound.

A look at the Waterloo battlefield Visitor's Center and museum from the Lion Mound.

A look at the Waterloo battlefield Visitor’s Center and museum from the Lion Mound.

Another view of the battlefield.

Another view of the battlefield.

Diagram of the opposing forces at Waterloo.

Diagram of the opposing forces at Waterloo.

Inside the Visitor's Center at the Mont Saint Jean Farm, which also houses a shop with local products.

Inside the Visitor’s Center/shop at the Mont Saint Jean Farm, which houses a shop with local products.

Anthony Martin, right, giving a talk about plans for La Ferme de Mont Saint Jean inside the Visitor's Center.

Anthony Martin, right, giving a talk about plans for La Ferme de Mont Saint Jean inside the Visitor’s Center/shop.

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  1. Brasserie de Waterloo: Brewery, Visitor’s Center, Restaura | Beer Infinity

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