Brussels- Cantillon Brewery
Our last morning in Brussels we woke up early so we could fit in one more brewery...a quick but fascinating visit to Cantillon.
Cantillon is a family brewery, much like Drie Fonteinen, that has been producing Kriek, Lambic, Faro and Gueuze since 1900. (Edit: You'll notice Cantillon spells it Gueuze and Drie Fonteinen Gueze- they mean the same thing just different variations on the spelling) While Drie Fonteinen has brought in new equipment over the years, Cantillon has remained the same. In fact most of the copper kettles and barrels are over 100 years old.
When we walked in the front door at 9:00 AM (opening time) I was immediately struck by that strong barnyard aroma I get every time we open a Cantillon gueuze. The walls, floor, tables...everything exuded that classic Cantillon smell I've come to know so well. We got a brief overview of the brewery from a staff member and then we were off to do a self-guided tour.
The Barrel Store was amazing. I loved how they had one end open so we could see the flora; a film created when yeasts agglomerate to separate the beer from the air in the barrel.
The only thing more stunning was the incredible amount of bottles they had everywhere. This is one huge wall filled with bottles of 50 Degrees North -4 Degrees East. Yes that's one of the crazy rare beers we had the day before. Not so rare here obviously.
After the tour they offer you a glass of their one year old lambic and an additional drink from the bar. You can then relax at one of the wooden tables or shop around the little store up front.
They have everything from glassware to T-shirts and of course bottles to go. We bought a little bit of everything being that it was our last stop in Brussels.
Well technically not the last stop...we grabbed a quick waffle on our walk back through the Grand Palace that was the perfect little treat to end the trip. Such an amazing beer city...next stop Copenhagen.