De Lambikstoempers Beer Weekend is August 26-27, 2023 at De Lambiek Visitor’s Center

De Lambikstoempers, the premier Zythos-affiliated beer appreciation and promotion club in Belgium’s lambic country, organizes several events throughout the year. The club is based in Halle, a historic old market town ten miles south of Brussels.

Image courtesy De Lambikstoempers.

One of the club’s premier events is their Bier Weekend, a beer festival that is usually held during the last full weekend of August each year. The De Lambikstoempers event will feature over 100 different brews, including many of the readily available lambic beers brewed and blended in Belgium’s lambic country, which includes the city of Brussels as well as the area to the south and west of the city. The Zenne Valley is the heart of this lambic country. There will be a big outside patio for warm weather lambic enjoyment, and food will be on offer as well.

Here, Frank Van Der Voorde, left, with Lambic Tour guide extraordinaire, Patrick Van der Spiegel, center, and Mina Manand, right, during the 2022 Bier Weekend. Frank and Mina own and run Cafe ‘t Parlement in Halle, one of Belgium’s great beer and Whisky bars.

From the club website: “We have tried to get together as many different types of beer as possible, to be tasted in 15cl tasting glasses, at very democratic prices. (That way you can taste a number of beers.) ???? Obviously, we will serve a wide range of lambic beers (from the basic brew lambic to Oude Gueuze, Oude Kriek and other fruit beers). These beers are supplied (for the most part) by the “Streekproducten Centrum Halle” and “Het Huis van de Geuze”. A few exclusive ones here too, so come and discover them at our Beer Weekend!”

Oude Geuze Villa Servais, from Brouwerij Boon, served in De Lambikstoempers classic 15 cl tasting glass.

De Lambikstoempers Social Media Manager, Kristof Verhasselt, remarked: “As in previous years, our visitors can choose from more than 100 different beers, including some 80 lambic beers, and a nice selection of 20 new and/or special Belgian beers that are less or not (yet) known to the general public. The past year has been one of many novelties. After all, the beer landscape is constantly changing.”

The bar at the De Lambikstoempers Bier Weekend in August 2022.

The 2023 beer list is here. Food will be available as well: “On our Beer Weekend, you can also buy some tasty snacks: a freshly prepared croque monsieur, a tasty meatball, and/or a portion of cheese/salami/mix,” says Kristof Verhasselt.

Some of the beers at De Lambikstoempers Bier Weekend at De Lambiek Lambic Beer Vistor’s Center 2022.

Some of the brews that are new or exclusive to the event include:

Belle-Vue Lambiek
Bobbi authentic 18 month old straight lambic (bottle refermented)
Cuvée Lambikstoemper 2014

Karel Goddeau of De Oude Geuzestekerij De Cam at the BXLBeerFest in Brussels, August 2022.

De Oude Geuzestekerij De Cam: Kwee-peer-appel-Quince; Mirabel-Lambiek; and Zjiem Bezen Framboise
Lambèreke, a Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen/De Lambikstoempers vzw collaboration; a lambic macerated with raspberries
Brouwerij Kestemont Oude Geuze
L’Improviste Geuze
Cuvée Lambikstoemper 2019
Oud Beersel Wild Dry Cider Furmint & Hárslevelü Grapes and Wild Dry Cider Schaarbeekse Cherries
4 Pajot Peregeus, a lambic with pear

De Bascule owner Jef Koolen pouring a Wild Adam, a blend of cider and lambiek from Distillery De Cort and Brouwerij VAN ‘T Payottenland, also both in Pepingen.

De Bascule Oude Geuze from Cafe De Bascule and Brouwerij Sako

Pierre Tilquin, owner and master blender of Gueuzerie Tilquin, with a glass of lambic pulled directly from the 400-liter barrel to his right.
Some of the beers on offer at the 2022 De Lambikstoempers Bier Weekend.

Gueuzerie Tilquin Cuvée Jean-Paul; Cuvée Marie-Catherine; Cuvée Paul; Oude Airelle Sauvage; and Oude Pêche Jaune.

Brouwerij Timmermans Griotteke Oude Schaarbeekse Kriek.

Brouwerij Timmermans Griotteke

Johan “Wanne” Madalijns, President of De Lambikstoempers, pouring glasses of straight lambic from a pitcher at the 2022 Bier Weekend.

The venue for the event is De Lambiek (“The Lambic”) the lambic beer visitor’s center that opened on May 14, 2011 in the village of Alsemberg, near the town of Beersel. This 1.7 million euro project was created by the initiative of several organizations. The Municipality of Beersel, with the cooperation of Tourism Flanders and the Tourist Office of The Province of Flemish Brabant, as well as HORAL (The High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers) collaborated on the venture.

Lambic legend Frank Boon of Brouwerij Boon, right, with Ulrich “Uli” Kremer, blender of the h. ertie beers, many of which are lambics. Uli is a superb lambic blender, as is, of course, Frank Boon.

De Lambiek is located at Gemeenveldstraat 1, Alsemberg. Postal code 1652. Telephone is 02 359 16 36. For information about how to get to De Lambiek and the beer festival, see here.

Flemish Brabant is, of course, the locale of the Payottenland: the home of lambic, geuze, and kriek beers. De Lambiek’s location makes perfect sense, as the Municipality of Beersel consists of the towns of Alsemberg, Beersel, Dworp, Huizingen, and Lot. Brussels is just 12km/7.5 miles away.

A glass of geuze in special De Lamibikstoempers glassware. A perfect size for tasting!

De Lambiek showcases the beloved, spontaneously fermented beers produced by Belgium’s lambic makers, and it is the lambic beer equivalent of the Maison du Vin in Bordeaux.

A glass of oude kriek at the 2018 De Lambikstoempers Bier Weekend.

HORAL (The High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers) was founded in 1997, and is a non-profit organization comprised of most of the lambic producers in the Payottenland and the Zenne River Valley. Gert Christiaens, president of HORAL, had this to say: “The main objective of the association is the promotion of traditional lambic beers, in particular Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek. The association also takes initiatives to protect these beers. Every two years HORAL organizes the Toer de Geuze, the open brewery day of the Pajottenland and the Senne valley. The next edition will be held on May 4 and 5, 2024.”

Image courtesy HORAL.

The lambic producing members of HORAL are: Brouwerij Boon of Lembeek; De Oude Geuzestekerij De Cam in Gooik; Brouwerij Eylenbosch in Zellik, Hanssens Artisanal of Dworp; Den Herberg</ of Buizingen; Lambiek Fabriek of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw; Brouwerij Lindemans of Vlezenbeek; Brouwerij Mort Subite of Kobbegem; Oud Beersel of Beersel; Gueuzerie Tilquin of Rebecq-Bierghes; Brouwerij Timmermans of Itterbeek; and Brouwerij De Troch of Wambeek.

HORAL Chairman Gert Christiaens with a glass of Oud Beersel lambic inside Bierhuis Oud Beersel in February 2023.

Note that lambic beer fans can now become supporting members of HORAL. From the HORAL website here: “In the past, we have been asked several times by gueuze fans how they can support these goals and whether they could also become a member of our non-profit organisation. Until recently, this was not statutory possible. After all, membership was exclusively reserved for brewers and distillers”, explains HORAL Chairman Gert Christiaens. “Last year (2022) however, the General Assembly of HORAL decided that from now on, enthusiasts of Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek and lambic – so no companies or other legal entities – can become supporting members of the association.”

For a supporting member, the annual membership fee is EUR 37.50. Anyone who joins in 2022 is also a member until 31 December of next year.

In exchange, you get a HORAL T-shirt. Supporting members will also be invited to the ceremony of the Lambic Award, an award presented in December to individuals who have made a valuable contribution to Lambic, Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek. During this event, you can meet other supporting members and numerous brewers and blenders. Supporting members also receive a 10 per cent discount on the registration fee of the Lambic Academy.”

To become a supporting member, see this site here.

There is inside and outside drinking space at De Lambiek Lambic Beer Visitor’s Center in Alsemberg. Here, during the Lambikstoempers Bier Weekend in 2022.
An interactive foeder (a very large barrel) at De Lambiek.

At De Lambiek, Each HORAL lambic blendery and brewery has its own dedicated display case to showcase its products. Other highlights include a pair of hollowed out foeders: large wooden barrels, where you can listen to the sounds of the lambic brewing process and match which part of the process you think is represented in the audio. Another interactive display stimulates the olfactory senses: do you want to smell cherries, hops, wheat, and barley? You can, here.

Hollowed out foeders (huge wooden barrels) provide for an interactive experience at De Lambiek.
The Oud Beersel display at De Lambiek.
The Lambiek Fabriek display at De Lambiek.
Rows of displays from lambic breweries and blenderies at De Lambiek.
Inside the cafe area at De Lambiek. There are images from the lambic beer world throughout.
Images from around lambic beer country adorn the walls at De Lambiek.
The inside of De Lambiek is full of lambic beer memorabilia.
More lambic beer memorabilia at De Lambiek.

De Lambiek also sells lambic beer, glassware, chocolates, and other products from the Province of Flemish Brabant, and at very reasonable prices.

Lambic beer and clothing for sale in the retail shop at De Lambiek.
A variety of products from the Province of Flemish Brabant for sale at De Lambiek.
Behind the bar at De Lambiek in April 2022.
Beers behind the bar at De Lambiek on April 28, 2022. You could buy a three pack with bottles of the 2019, 2021, and 2022 HORAL Oude Geuze Mega Blends.

A visit to De Lambiek and the Lambikstoempers Bier Weekend should be on the bucket list of all lambic beer fans!

Patrick Van der Spiegel (right) of “The Land of Geuze” and “Lambic Tours” at Cafe Den Obelix in Halle.

If you are looking for an experienced lambic tour guide, Patrick Van der Spiegel of Halle organizes tours to lambic breweries, geuze blenderies, and traditional Belgian pubs in and near the Pajottenland and the Zenne Valley. Patrick guides these tours himself, and can do so in English, Dutch, and French. In addition, there is the possibility to pair these tours with guided tours at breweries or blenderies, with professional tour guides, or lambic brewers/blenders. These tours typically include tasting samples of multiple beers, and an optional lunch or dinner for the whole group. For more information about Patrick and his tours, see this article here.

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