The modern Grimbergen Abbey Brewery will bring the brewing tradition back to where the history of Grimbergen began almost 900 years ago. Also, with the opening of the microbrewery, craft brewing returns after more than 200 years to the walls of the monastery that was destroyed during the French Revolution.
The Abbey Brewery will be a place for innovation and experimentation. It will combine centuries of brewing tradition with new techniques and processes to brew unique and special premium beers.
Three exciting brews will be featured at the opening: Grimbergen Magnum Opus Brut, Grimbergen Ignis Quadruple and Grimbergen Astrum Pale Ale.
The microbrewery was built in close consultation between Grimbergen Monastery and the Carlsberg Group. Father Karel Stautemas was also involved in the construction of the new brewery and is also part of the brewing team on site.
Father Karel Stautemas: "The new microbrewery is a place to revive past traditions, just like our heraldic animal the Phoenix, which rises from the ashes with new strength. We want to combine our experience of the last 900 years with innovation to create new delicious and unique brews. I believe that microbrewing is the right place to experiment with ingredients and production methods, discovering new things."
Father Karel combines his daily duties in monastic life with the exciting new responsibilities at Abbey Brewery. He assists brewmaster Marc-Antoine Sochon, who has also been deeply involved in the creation of the new brewery.
At the age of 28, Marc-Antoine Sochon is considered a true wunderkind on the brewing scene. The Frenchman began his first attempts at brewing beer in his parents' garage and studied both viticulture and the art of brewing: "We are now brewing beer in this monastery for the first time in over 200 years, a really nice reason to celebrate - both for the monks and for the Grimbergen community and everyone who appreciates our Grimbergen beer so much.
We want to lay a new foundation for Belgian beer around the world here. The new microbrewery gives us the possibilities to brew delicious beers in small quantities according to old traditions and with new technology."
At Grimbergen Abbey Brewery, there is a bar as well as a restaurant to give visitors and guests the opportunity to taste the new brews in combination with matching food from the Fenikshof restaurant. The Brewery Experience Centre will also open in the fall of 2021, providing visitors with insights into the history of Grimbergen Abbey.
Christoph Boneberg, Brand Manager of the Craft & Specialties portfolio at Carlsberg Germany, is delighted about the opening of Grimbergen Abbey Brewery: "It is a new, exciting chapter in the history of this traditional brand. Grimbergen, along with Duckstein and Brooklyn, is an important part of our Craft & Specialties portfolio and successfully contributes to the growth potential of this category. In Germany, with Grimbergen Double Ambrée, Blonde & Blanche, three brews can be enjoyed in retail and gastronomy - but in the future, fans will now also have a place to go in Belgium, where there are many more special Grimbergen beers to discover."