Above the brewpub, which was serving what look liked delectable food during my spring visit, there is a tasting room where courses/lectures about beer will be given. I suspect that some of the brewers reading this article will be sitting in that room taking a course in the not too distant future…and that you will be loving every minute of it!!
Peter Delvaux is a lawyer that ran an event management company for 15 years, and he now manages the brewpub, marketing for it, and events associated with it.
Barrel-aging, you ask? Yes, indeed. Ask and ye shall receive: “It’s another very interesting thing that we want to do here, and we will have barrels in the cellar, aging various things. But we won’t tell you all our secrets about that yet,” Filip commented, grinning.
Hmmm, with a renovated coolship in the old brewery, and barrels in the cellar…it makes one think of what goes on in places on the south and west sides of Brussels. Places like Beersel, Itterbeek, Kobbegem, Lembeek, St-Ulriks-Kapelle, and Vlezenbeek. But I won’t mention the “L” word here.
Neerijse is in the Province of Flemish Brabant, as is the Payottenland and Zenne Valley. Will spontaneous fermentation be a part of Brouwerij de Kroon? Only time will tell, but my fingers are crossed for the answer to be….yes!
The lab that Drs. Freddy and Filip Delvaux ran at the University in Leuven, called the Centre of Malting and Brewing Science (CMBS) was moved to the new site in November 2012, and it is now officially named Biercentrum Delvaux. “Beer starts and ends here. So, we got the lab up and running first,” Freddy remarked.
This is definitely a high-tech laboratory, as shown by the equipment I saw inside. Two women were conducting labwork during my December visit, late on a Friday afternoon. I had the feeling that sipping a Belgian beer wasn’t too far off in their future that evening.
“This is what we call a beer center. Science, tasting, history, and brewing,” Freddy said, beaming. Filip added: “To summarize, Biercentrum Delvaux is the brewing lab which serves the Belgian brewing industry with technical consulting, an analytical lab, product development and research. Brouwerij de Kroon will encompass the old museum brewery, the new, small-scale brewery, and brewpub with tasting room. Here, you can learn about ancient and modern brewing, and taste house-brewed beers, and a selection of Belgian specialty beers. In short, it will be the place to be for Belgian beer lovers!”
“We started work here on 28 April 2012,” Freddy told me, as we sipped a brew. “It was our goal to be open within a year, by the time of the ZBF (Zythos Beer Fest) weekend in 2013. And we accomplished that, I am happy to say.”
I have even more good news for those taking public transport in Belgium: there is a bus that runs from Leuven and stops at the brewery, which runs till 11 pm weeknights, and till 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights. It takes about 15 minutes.
Cheers to Brouwerij de Kroon and Biercentrum Delvaux!!