New brewery to open in Grimbergen abbey for first time in 200 years

New brewery to open in Grimbergen abbey for first time in 200 years

A new microbrewery will be opening in the old Grimbergen abbey, with a small production of 10,000 hectolitres yearly.  The brewery just received its permit, and the works on the Norbertijnen abbey, where Grimbergen beer used to be brewed, should start in August. In the second half of 2020, the first beers should be available.

The abbey has been working on this project for four years, according to the initiator, Father Karel. "In the place where the old brewery once stood, we are now going to house the new one," he said to Het Laatste Nieuws. The Grimbergen abbey was closed up in the 18th century during the French revolution.

Five to ten people will work in the microbrewery. Of the Norbertijnen, only Father Karel will help.

The microbrewery is a joint initiative of the Carlsberg and Alken-Maes (Heineken) breweries. Alken-Maes is now brewing the various Grimbergen beers in Alken, and has the rights to the sale in Belgium. Carlsberg brews the beer in France and sells it abroad.

The brewery will brew small quantities of 'limited editions' of different Grimbergen beers. "We will brew around 10,000 hectoliters yearly. That is very little, and a lot less than Westmalle and other abbey or trappist beers," said Marc-Antoine Sochon, the Grimbergen brewmaster at Carlsberg, in Het Laatste Nieuws.

Partly, the beers will be sold locally, but the majority will be distributed across Belgium and neighbouring countries.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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