I visited Oud Beersel again a few weeks ago, and I’m happy to report that all is well. Actually, that would be an understatement, as the venerable Beersel lambic producer is doing very well.
During my visit on August 30th, blender/co-owner Gert Christiaens told me that demand is such for his beers that he needs even more barrels so he can make more lambic and lambic-based brews. That means more Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek, and other brews for beer lovers around the world, which is always a good thing.
Five 45 hectoliter foeders were added in 2010, in a ground-level floor in the old brewery building. Another eight have been added in the same room since 2011, and three more were placed in a room adjacent to the new shop. So, there are 16 foeders in current use at Oud Beersel.
Oud Beersel has been in a fairly constant state of expansion and renovation for several years now. Gert and his father Jos purchased the building next door, to the left of the old brewery building, a few years ago, and have opened a shop and tasting room. The shop is open every Saturday from 9 am until 2 pm, except on bank holidays.
There is also a private tasting room which is used after tours of the site, which are offered on the first Saturday of each month, at 11 am and 12:30 pm. Groups will want to contact De Geuzen van Oud Beersel, a non-profit group of beer enthusiasts who help protect, promote and preserve the Oud Beersel site. Groups can also contact this organization about appointments for visits on other days of the month. The contact page is here
The most recent expansion has started, and it is in the top floor/attic of the old brewery building. “As we are running out of space here, this was the next logical place to renovate and add barrels to age more lambic,” Gert told me as we checked out the attic, which contained old tools, a few old barrels, crates, roof tiles, and many other items. This space should be full of barrels aging lambic by next spring.
Hopefully one day we will see a new brewery at this venerable, hallowed site. Since Oud Beersel reopened in late 2005, all of the wort has come from Brouwerij Boon, though the recipe for the wort is from Oud Beersel. The wort is taken by tanker truck the morning after it sits overnight in Boon’s coolship, and pumped into the Oud Beersel barrels, some of which are over 100 years old.
Cheers to Gert Christiaens for making the continued expansion and success of Oud Beersel his life’s work!
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