Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Public brewing at Cantillon

Posted by rachelinbxl on December 19, 2012

Brussels is home to 2 breweries that I know of – Brasserie de la Senne and Cantillon. There are also a few bars that make their own beer and serve it only in their establishment – one on Grand Place, L’Imprimerie in Uccle and the SchievenArchitect on the Vossenplein. There may be more!
Cantillon is also known as a museum of gueze. Here they make this traditional Brussels beer in the old way – meaning that the wort is left open to the air overnight in a giant copper vat – collecting yeast naturally present in the air of Brussels (near the river Geuse, hence the name apparently) that starts the fermentation. These beers are kept for years in oak barrels before being blended, or having fruit added to make various different gueze blends or krieks etc. Cantillon works with natural sugars and yeasts, so these are very sour beers – not everyone likes them.
I went along to one of their public brewings -which start at 6am and allow you to witness almost the entire preparation process (you can’t stay overnight to see if you can spot yeast spores falling into the liquid!).

The actual brassing

Brassage of the wort (hot water added to the cereals and stirred)

There are frequent tours offered in many different languages and you get a stamp on your hand when you pay, allowing you to come back several times during the day and check on the progress. This is a busy day – so I would also recommend visiting the museum at another time. They show the cleaning of the barrels, the bottling and sell their beers way cheaper than you will find them anywhere else.

testing
You can drink the wort – it tastes a bit like Horlicks

Keg overflow

It’s a bit different, but I recommend a visit to Cantillon for any beer lover!

Cantillon Brewery and Museum of Geuze
Rue Gheude,
Brussels

Food: None available
Atmosphere: The attic is cold – bring a jacket, but the warmth of the welcome compensates
Service: Excellent
Price: 5 euro includes a beer at normal times
Languages: French, Dutch, English and more!

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