Brewery Tour in Brussels

Cantillon Brewery

Discover Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, a family-run spot preserving traditional lambic brewing since 1900 with unique spontaneous fermentation.

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Cantillon Brewery stands as a testament to the time-honored tradition of lambic brewing in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. Established in 1900, this family-run brewery offers a rare glimpse into the authentic process of spontaneous fermentation. Visitors can tour the facility to learn how Cantillon's unique beers, including the famed gueuze and kriek, are crafted using methods that have remained largely unchanged for over a century. The brewery tour not only educates on the brewing process but also culminates in a tasting, providing an immersive experience into Belgium's rich brewing heritage.

Brewing Process and Techniques

The journey at Cantillon Brewery begins with an in-depth exploration of the brewing process. Visitors witness first-hand the craftsmanship involved in producing lambic beers, a style defined by its spontaneous fermentation. The brewery uses open-air cooling in a "koelschip" where wild yeasts imbue the beer with its distinctive flavor profile. This process is followed by aging in oak barrels, which visitors can see lining the halls of the brewery. Such practices reveal why Cantillon's products stand out in a world of modern brewing.

The History and Architectural Features

Embedded within the brewery is its rich history, with the equipment and brewing techniques passed down through generations. The Cantillon family has maintained the brewery's original architectural essence, making it a living museum. From the vintage brewing kettles to the aged wooden barrels, the layout of the brewery itself tells the story of a persistent dedication to traditional lambic brewing. Learning about Cantillon's resilience through wars and modernization puts into perspective the cultural significance of this establishment in Brussels.

Tasting Experience and Seasonal Releases

After touring the inner workings, guests indulge in a curated tasting experience. Here, you can sample various beers such as the classic gueuze, a blend of one, two, and three-year-old lambics, or the fruity kriek made with sour cherries. The brewery also offers seasonal and limited-edition releases, which may include raspberry lambics (framboise) or other fruit variants depending on availability. This tasting allows connoisseurs and newcomers alike to appreciate the complexity and nuanced flavors of these traditional Belgian beers.

Interaction with the Brewers

One of the highlights at Cantillon is the opportunity to interact with the brewers and staff. These engagements create a personal touch to your visit, as they share their passion and knowledge, answering questions about their artisanal practices. In between tours or during the tasting, don't hesitate to strike up a conversation with them to gain a deeper understanding of their work and the dedication required to maintain such a high standard of authentic lambic production.

Onsite Shop and Community Role

After your educational tour and tasting session, the onsite shop offers a chance to take home a piece of Cantillon. Here, visitors can purchase bottles of their favorite beers or exclusive merchandise. The brewery not only serves as a tourist attraction but also plays an integral role in the local community, strongly maintaining Brussels' beer identity amidst a booming global industry. Purchasing their products directly supports the ongoing tradition and community involvement Cantillon is known for.

Directions and Accessibility

Cantillon Brewery is relatively easy to access for visitors. Located near Brussels-South railway station, it is reachable via public transportation or by a short car ride from the city center. For detailed directions, it's recommended to consult a city map or use a GPS-enabled device to navigate to Rue Gheude 56, where the historical brewery has stood for more than a century. While reservations for the tour are not always necessary, it's recommended to check ahead for group sizes and availability to ensure an optimal visiting experience.

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