The Cantillon Brewery is the last of what were once plentiful Gueuze Breweries in Belgium. The family brewery makes Gueuze, a unique beer that depends entirely on windborn yeast to complete the beermaking process, introducing an element of luck that most brewmasters wouldn't dream of accepting. To use the wild yeast the brewery has a number of unique features that cannot be found in any other brewery.
The location is also ideal. Just a fifteen minute walk from Brussels' Grand Place, there is no problem with imbibing as much of this wonderful beer as you would like and then wondering how to get home. The metro public transport system makes this a wonderfully tasty and safe experience.
Belgium Beer Tour is a tour operator specializing in tours of Belgium breweries. It offers a great way for beer lovers to visit their favorite breweries and discover new ones. The tours cover a wide range of beers and appeals to connoisseurs and amateurs alike.
The last remaining Lambic brewery in Brussels, Cantillon produces some of the most distinctive examples of this beer style. The brewery is open to visitors every day except Sunday. There are no fixed times for tours, you just turn up and they give you a leaflet describing what you'll see then leave you to it. The EUR 3.50 price includes a couple of beers at the end. No matter how many breweries you've visited, you'll never have seen anything like Cantillon. The beer is produced using malted barley, a large amount of malted wheat and prodigious quantities of hops which have been stored for several years so they have lost nearly all of their bitterness. After boiling up the ingredients in water, the wort is pumped into a large flat vessel (known as a koelschip) directly under the roof of the brewery. The roof has many gaps in it to allow micro-organisms (wild yeasts, bacteria, etc.) to land in the wort. It is these micro-organisms which actually ferment the beer, in the way that beer was brewed for thousands of years before Louis Pasteur, working in Lille, discovered yeast. The mix of micro-organisms is unique to the valley of the River Zenne, which is why Lambic is only brewed in and around Brussels. After the wort has been innoculated, it's pumped into huge oak barrels, where it initially ferments vigorously. Then, when the fermentation has slowed down, the barrels are sealed. The beer is left in the barrels for anything up to five years to mature, then it's expertly blended with some younger brews and either sent to a few select bars to sell on draught (as Lambic) or bottled (as Gueuze.) The beer is intensely sour and can come as a shock to first time tasters, but once you get the taste, like I have, you just want more.
56 rue Gheude, Brussels (10 minutes from the Eurostar terminal) Tel: 02 521.49.28 Web: www.cantillon.be/
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com