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

1953
1953

HENRI VANDERVELDEN TOOK OVER THE REINS

Son Henri studied at the I.N.I.F. (Institut National des Industries de Fermentation) and became a brewing engineer. He did an internship in the breweries “La Chasse Royale”, “Impériale” and “La Marine”, all of which are defunct now, and graduated in 1948. Because the parental company was too small for two men, he went to work in a laboratory. However, when his father died early in 1953, Henri gave up lab work and took over the brewery – blendery.

1940
1940

INSTALLATION OF SMALL BREW HOUSE

Shortly before Wold War II, Egidius started brewing lambic himself, in a small and primitive installation, which he had assembled himself from second-hand parts. Because it was forbidden during the war to use wheat, an indispensable raw material for lambic, grinded and kilned sugar beets were used as a substitute. Together with, as usual, hops and secretly a little wheat, this gave a lower alcoholic beer that, according to son Henri, was still quite drinkable.

1934
1934

OPENING OF THE BIERHUIS

Egidius had two daughters and one son, Henri (° 1926). Because daughters offered good prospects for the café, renovations were carried out in 1934: the farm and cart house made way for the Bierhuis and a Mortier organ was placed in it, a phenomenal investment of 40,000 belgian francs at the time, about the value of the house. The Bierhuis was run by one of the daughters, Marie-Thérèse Vandervelden, until 1988 and afterwards by her son, Danny Draps, till the end of 2002.

1930
1930

FIRST BREWERY TO PRODUCE KRIEK WITH CROWN CAPS

Egidius Vandervelden was the first to use small bottles with crown caps, so-called capsulekes. In the period 1930 – 1940, he already filled kriek on capsule bottles, which he sweetened with sugar (saccharin was prohibited at the time) and pasteurized with the heat of the steam boiler.

1926
1926

BIRTH OF HENRI VANDERVELDEN II

In 1926, Henri Vandervelden II is born, named after his grandfather. Henri will later be the third generation brewmaster of Oud Beersel.

1922
1922

EGIDIUS SET UP HIS OWN BREWERY

The founder had five sons; the eldest, Egidius, married the daughter of Jeromius Hofman, a small farmer and cheese farmer, who also ran a village shop and estaminet. Egidius renovated the farm in 1922 and set up his brewery where he first worked as a brewer.

1882
1882

HOW IT STARTED

The story of Oud Beersel begins around 1880. At that time Henri Vandervelden was employed as a seasonal worker in the “De Kroon” brewery in Uccle. After all, the brewing of Lambic takes place, depending on the weather conditions, from October to April. This brewing was interspersed with summer and autumn labor in the form of buying and picking fruit from rented orchards and preparing that fruit for sale. This gave him the idea to combine his two professions and to process beer himself.

He bought a piece of land on the Kasteelstraat in Beersel that was particularly suitable for baking carel and had brickmakers from Flanders bake the bricks that would be used to build his brewery. The house, the brewery and the cart house were completed around 1882, so that this can be regarded as the foundation year of the Vandervelden brewery, later renamed into Oud Beersel.