There is always a brewery nearby.
It may be an age-old craft, but in Flemish Brabant beer brewing is still very much alive in dozens of small and large breweries. There is always a brewery nearby. Why not go exploring for yourself? Marc Andries brews his beers a stone's throw from the Abbey of Vlierbeek and the provincial domain of Kessel-Lo.
He graduated from the Free University of Brussels as an engineer in the chemical and agricultural industries. With that baggage of knowledge, he would later build a very varied career.
He first started working for the Meura company, the largest producer – certainly in Belgium – of equipment for the brewing industry. In the mid-nineties Marc started working for Achouffe, where he follows up the production at Brasserie d'Achouffe. At the same time, he was also active in the Brasserie Piron in Aubel, which was relaunched in 1993, where the Achouffe brewery had acquired a majority stake in 1996. There he experimented further with the continuous fermentation system.
in 1999 he didn't really want to move to the distant Achouffe. Marc therefore left Achouffe and went to work at the Haacht brewery in Boortmeerbeek, where at that time they were looking for someone to lead the bottling plant and to set up a project to install and start up a new bottling plant.
The experiences in Achouffe and Haacht had given Marc a taste for starting up production lines, and when the project to install a new bottling plant in Haacht was completed, Marc left the brewery to start a production line in a company in Tienen. for the manufacture of solar cells. He worked there for four years, before continuing his activities in the Netherlands in another company that also manufactured solar cells.
In 2008, a long-dormant project suddenly gained momentum: starting up our own brewery. On March 10 of that year, the BVBA Brouwerij De Vlier was christened.
The location was found in an empty building in the center of the Leuven sub-municipality of Kessel-Lo, where the café Bieduif'ke used to be located. The choice of a name for the new brewery resulted from the regional name Vlierbeek and it became Brouwerij De Vlier.
In April, the decision was taken to purchase a completely new brewing installation. At Pierre Rajotte, a Canadian supplier of good quality small brewery equipment at affordable prices (and also author of the book “Belgian Ales”). The brewing kettles and tanks were delivered at the beginning of June and installed immediately, so that trial brewing could be started that same month. In July of that year, the first beer was already brewed on a large scale. The beer has been commercialized since September 2008 and is already available in various cafes, liquor stores and local shops.
Marc quickly came to the conclusion that the location in Kessel-lo was the wrong choice from a logistical point of view. First, part of a warehouse was rented out in Winksele, but eventually a better location was found in Holsbeek, near Kessel-lo on the Leuvensebaan. The detached house with a spacious cellar was converted into a brewery with a tasting room. In the garden, a double garage was built that serves as storage space.
In Holsbeek, the range expanded to 7 beers, 3 of which were seasonal beers. To be able to handle this production, 2 fermentation tanks of 1000 liters were purchased.
Source: Interview met Casimir Elsen (Zythos)
For more info visit: www.brouwerijdevlier.be