The Brewery Oud Beersel, which started in 1882, is located in Beersel at 10 km from the Brussels city centre, in the southwest of the capital. It is one of the last remaining authentic lambic breweries of Belgium and well known for its lambic beer brewed along traditional brewing methods. 

Lambic matures up to three years in wooden barrels, whereupon it is blended to make Oude Geuze. Sour cherries undergo fermentation in lambic beer and after a second fermentation in the bottle Oude Kriek is born. This unique brewing process with spontaneous fermentation is possible in Belgium in the Pajottenland region, the Zenne Valley and in Brussels, because of the presence of a specific microflora. 

Due to the absence of succession in the family business at the end of 2002, the traditional lambic beers of Oud Beersel were threatened to disappear. Shocked by the loss of this cultural and historical patrimony, the brewery was taken over in 2005 and business was restarted pursuing the principal aim to protect the time-honoured lambic beers, as well as the cultural and historical heritage of Oud Beersel for the coming generations. 

Together with his family, Gert is nowadays managing this traditional brewery of lambic beers in a modern way with respect for tradition and the métier. The traditional part of the production process of the lambic beers, in particular the spontaneous fermentation, the maturation of lambic in wooden barrels and the mixture of various lambic casks and vintages constitutes the core business of the company. The production process is completed in close collaboration with excellent partners who manage the industrial equipment. By the synergy between the métier and the industry, Oud Beersel offers authentic products of the highest quality. 

Thanks to the success of the special Bersalis beers, i.e. the high fermentation beers of Oud Beersel, investments are continuously made to optimize the production process, to achieve the most demanding quality standards and to extend the infrastructure for the time-honoured lambic beers of Oud Beersel in order to meet the always growing demand. 

Nowadays at Oud Beersel, innovation and tradition go hand in hand. Besides the multiple research projects to unravel all secrets from spontaneous fermentation, Oud Beersel is the exclusive supplier of lambic beers on a patented pressure resistant bag-in-box solution and a customised dispenser unit for bars. In combination with the infusion of authentic lambicsOud Beersel is able to reach a new generation of customers all over the world with a modern version of traditionally made lambics. 

Our Timeline History

2020
2020

WEBSHOP

COVID-19 hit hard on the world economy and also on Oud Beersel. As part of the survival plan, a webshop was created to generate direct sales to consumers as bars and restaurants were closed.

The bottling installation was put into action to fill some special lambic beers to be released in 2021.

2019
2019

MOVING FORWARD

In the second half of 2019, it was time for new investments for the ground floor of the brewery. Ten new pressure tanks of 10 HL were purchased, mainly with the goal to serve as tanks for infusion lambics and for filling BEER BOX’s.

A semi-automatic bottling machine, rinser and cork and wire hood machine were purchased to start bottling small batches of special lambic beers.

The investements were finalised beginning of 2020, with a new epoxy floor, epoxy walls and a completely refurbished tank room with 4 new stainless steel tanks of 40 HL, replacing the old steel tanks.

2018
2018

INNOVATION WITH BEER BOX

The elder generation of Oud Beersel customers came to the brewery to purchase lambic straight from the wooden barrels. In the past, bars served the still lambic from their own wooden barrels but that tradition was disappearing. After 10 years of looking for the right solution, Oud Beersel launched the exclusive BEER BOX, a pressure resistant bag-in-box solution that allowed Oud Beersel to ship unpasteurized lambic through distributors and importers.

At the same time, Oud Beersel started innovating with Infused Lambic. Since then, many versions of lambic infused with spices, flowers and tea have been launched.

2018

MATURATION BARREL ROOM

The first whisky, porto and madeira barrels arrived at Oud Beersel and found a place in the renovated basement. Later on, more barrels were added to this room, to age lambic on barrels to extract special flavors from these barrels.

Also, 2 new fruit tanks of 24 HL each, were installed on ground floor, to produce beers like cherry lambic, schaarbeekse kriek, rhubarb lambic and Green Walnut.

2017
2017

SCHAARBEEKSE CHERRY ORCHARD

Oud Beersel was able to purchase in 2016 the agricultural field of 1,71 ha in the back of the brewery. As of 2017, Schaarbeekse cherry trees were installed on the field, in total about 240 trees. The Schaarbeekse cherries were the original cherries used for lambic beers in the past. Oud Beersel wanted to revive this tradition, by producing their own Schaarbeekse cherries.

2015
2015

ATTIC TRANSFORMATION INTO FOEDER ROOM

The roof on top of the brewery building needed renovation as it was raining and snowing inside. After stability studied and reinforcements of the building structure, a new roof and floor transformed the attic into a big foeder room. In total 15 foeders were installed, 5 of 60 HL and 10 of 120 HL. The 30 year old foeders were renovated on site, and after renovations were completed, the foeders were filled for the first time with lambic wort at the end of January 2016.

2013
2013

OPENING OF THE BREWERY SHOP

In 2013 the opportunity arose to purchase the house to the left of the brewery. Besides the building itself, also the ground in the back of the brewery was part of the lot. This gave Oud Beersel room for future projects. The house was transformed into a brewery shop on ground floor, and later on, offices and a tasting room for the brewery visits were installed on the first floor.

After reinforcing foundations, the small room where the brewery shop was held before, turned into a small foeder room with 3 foeders of 38 HL. Above this room, on the first floor, a new barrel room was created as well, to increase stock of lambic on wooden barrels.

2010
2010

FIRST FOEDERS

The first foeders, big wooden barrels of around 45 HL, were installed in the renovated foeder room on ground floor. Over the next few years, a total of 13 foeders were installed in the first foeder room, all around 40 – 45 HL.

2008
2008

INVESTMENT IN BARREL CLEANING

Till then, the wooden barrels were cleaned with iron chains scraping the barrel from within while the barrel was rotating on the machine. The new cleaning installation, a high pressure machine that produces warm water connects to a rotating stainless steel cleaning head, better cleaned the barrels and increased the quality of the lambic beers. This also opened up the door to install foeders, big wooden barrels, that could not be cleaned on the previous machine.

2007
2007

OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF OUDE GEUZE AND OUDE KRIEK

In March 2007, the Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek of Oud Beersel were officially relaunched. The year before, already a small batch was released but it was extremely limited.

Also 4 epoxy coated second hand MEURA beer tanks from the sixties were installed with each a content of 40 HL. This helped Oud Beersel to increase efficiency in blending.

Jos Christiaens, the father of Gert, joined the brewery to help his son out building with the sales and management of the brewery.

2007

DE GEUZEN VAN OUD BEERSEL

Friends founded the association “De Geuzen van Oud Beersel” in January 2007 to promote traditional lambic beers, to develop a museum in the brewery and to lead brewery visits. With the income of the brewery visits, the organization organizes events for its members.

2006
2006

OUD BEERSEL BECOMES HORAL MEMBER

Oud Beersel becomes a member of the High Council of Traditional Lambic Beers called HORAL. The mission of HORAL is to promote and protect traditional lambic beers.

2005
2005

BERSALIS, BRINGING LIFE TO THE BREW

The new company Oud Beersel was founded in July 2005, and the brewery was officially reopened at the end of November of that year with the launch of Bersalis.

Bersalis is the old medieval name of Beersel and this name was chosen for the launch of a blonde triple. The sales of Bersalis Tripel allowed further investment in the traditional lambic production.

2003
2003

START OF THE REVIVAL

After 4 generations, Henri Vandervelden saw with sorrow that the family business was being discontinued and at the beginning of 2003 made an appeal of last hope to find a buyer for Oud Beersel.

Gert Christiaens was sitting in Le Zageman, a traditional beer bar in the center of Brussels where they had a nice selection of Oude Geuze and Oude KriekSuch places were not that common at that time as the traditional lambic beers had lost their popularity decades ago. Gert went there often, accompanied by his friends, to drink his favorite beer, the Oude Geuze of Oud Beersel. That’s where he discovered Oud Beersel closed down.

As Gert could not bring himself to let this part of the Belgian beer heritage be lost, he decided to restart the brewery itself. The restart was preceded by a period of almost 3 years, necessary to gain sufficient experience to restart the brewery. Gert took a course in malting, brewery and fermentation to master the basic techniques. At the same time he brewed with Henri Vandervelden, who gradually transferred his family brewing knowledge and the art of blending lambic to Gert.

The challenge to revive Oud Beersel was quite big for a 25 years old boy, so Gert asked his best friend Roland to join him which he did till their professional ways parted in 2007.

2002
2002

CLOSURE OF OUD BEERSEL BREWERY AND BIERHUIS

At the end of 2002, Danny decided to stop the brewery and sold the café. The Mortier organ was also sold and the café turned into a flower shop. All beer from the brewery was taken over by the Boon brewery and sold by the 3 Fonteinen brewery.

1991
1991

DANNY DRAPS TOOK OVER THE REINS

When Henri reached retirement age in 1991, he left the brewery to his cousin Danny Draps, son of his sister who ran the “Bierhuis” until 1988. His own son Hubert was not interested. Danny grew up in the brewery and in the café that he ran with his wife and was assisted by Uncle Henri during his brewing.

Due to the defects of the aluminum brewhouse, Danny decided to outsource half of the lambic production according to the Oud Beersel lambic recipe.

1988
1988

EXTERNAL BOTTLING

Until 1988, the Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek from Oud Beersel were bottled manually. Investing in a new filling installation was not possible for a small company like Oud Beersel. That is why bottling was outsourced from then on.

1973
1973

OUD BEERSEL BECOMES FIRST LIVING LAMBIC MUSEUM

Henri was the first to transform his brewery, in 1973, into a “living museum” due to the declining demand for lambic beers: the brewery housed several antique machines, some of which were still in use. After all, he has continued to work in a traditional manner. However, thanks to his studies, he had more insight into the brewing problem, which, he said, made his beers better.

1959
1959

ACQUISITION OF OPEL BLITZ TRUCK

Business flourished, because in 1959 Henri bought himself an Opel Blitz truck to export beer in the region: this old timer has covered 29,000 kilometers and is now used as a publicity car, loaded with empty wooden barrels.

1954
1954

BREWERY NAME CHANGED INTO OUD BEERSEL

Henri expanded the brewing capacity to 50 hl per brew and, inspired by the traditional, he gave the brewery the name “Oud Beersel”, to oppose what he called “New Brussels”.