I had a great first visit to the “Musée de la Bière Belge” in Lustin, Namur Province, Belgium, on September 3. This shrine to Belgian beer was opened over 30 years ago, and is now curated/run by Christian Lejeune, with help from his girlfriend and a society of friends of the museum, which numbers over 400 people.
There are over 21,000 bottles of Belgian beer, many of them unopened, and 20,000 beer glasses inside the museum, which sits high on a hill overlooking the Meuse river. The museum was opened in the early 1980′s. Society members and brewing friends still bring in bottles of new beers to add to the collection.
The building itself used to be a a sort of cafe/inn for workers towing boats along the Meuse, where they might have some adult beverages and relax for while, and take on fresh horses.
The museum is only opened at present twice a year, during two Sundays when a sort of flea market called a brocante is held. You can buy, sell and trade beer and glasses during the event. The dates for 2015 appear to be May 17 and October 4, but check the Museum website next year if you plan to go.
Note that many of the bottles are protected behind old plexiglass, which is a bit dirty in many cases. So, apologies in advance for the quality of many of the photos. Christian and the friends of the museum are working on replacing the old plexiglass in the future, and to revamp the museum, as time permits.
There are a lot of very rare beers in the museum, and below are photos of some of the lambic brews in the collection. Many are from Brasserie Cantillon.
If you are lucky, Christian might even open some old beers to taste, as he did during my September 3 visit. Most were from the 1980′s and early 1990′s. See below…