Brussels Breweries join to turn wasted beer into ‘eau de bière’

Brussels Breweries join to turn wasted beer into ‘eau de bière’

A new launch from four well known Brussels breweries is hoping to show how zero waste the brewing process can be, with the creations of a new Brussels Spirit made from kegs of beer that would have gone to waster during the coronavirus crisis.

The spirit - named “Smells like Brussels Spirit” - was created from over 1000 litres of beer that had been brewed for the taps of Brussels cafes, which otherwise would have been unsold due to Belgium's coronavirus lockdown.

Bars were first closed down for a month on 13 March 2020, when Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès deemed it necessary to fight the then-budding coronavirus. It wouldn't be until Monday 8 June that they reopened, with strict social measures which remain in place even now as we pass into phase 4.

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As a result, Breweries across the country adapted to the new normal - with many moving their operations online in an attempt to create more business - and working towards collaboration to keep each other afloat during the crisis. For Brussels Beer Project, En Stoemelings, La Source and No Science, this collaboration turned into “Smells like Brussels Spirit”.

"Each brewery looked at its stock and brought kegs that would have been otherwise destroyed, kegs have generally a much shorter shelf life than bottles," Sebastien Morvan, co-founder of Brussels Beer Project told The Brussels Times. The aim of the process was to create something from equal portions of each brewery in one collective drink.

In terms of product, the drink is said to be somewhere between gin and peket - a Belgian eau de vie aromatised with juniper berries. In addition, the ‘eau de bière’ is flavoured with long pepper, and iris flower - a nod to the Brussels city symbols of an iris.

The drink will be sold at the respective breweries, as well as in certain bars in the ‘îlot sacré’, who have been challenged to come up with a cocktail that best showcases the limited-edition drink.

"We're quite proud of how it turned out," Morvan added.

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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