New centre for artisanal beer in Beersel

A new centre that will give visitors the chance to get to know the lambic-based beers of Flemish Brabant is to open in the picturesque village of Beersel. Lambic is a very distinctive type of beer that is only brewed in the Pajottenland area to the west of Brussels and at one brewery in the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht.

Unlike conventional beers that are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer's yeasts, lambic is produced by spontaneous fermentation.

It is exposed to the wild yeast and bacteria that are said to be native only to the valley of the River Zenne.

Lambic forms the basis for gueuze and kriek beers as well as for faro and numerous types of fruit beer.

In addition to Cantillon in Anderlecht (Greater Brussels), the Pajottenland region has ten breweries where lambic is brewed in the traditional fashion.

Two of these (Drie Fonteinen and Oud-Beersel) are in the village of Beersel where the new visitors’ centre is to open.

The centre will house an exhibition on local beers as well as a tasting room and an area set aside for audio-visual presentations.

Naturally, visitors will also have the chance to enjoy a gueze, kriek or faro in the centre’s café.

The Flemish Tourism Minister Geert Bourgeois (Flemish nationalist) has pledged 306,000 Euros to help set up the new centre.

The rest of the bill will be met by the municipal authorities in Beersel.