This month, as it is the month to visit the Christmas Markets in Europe, we thought we would highlight an excellent family run brewery in Brugge. We have visited this brewery many times, one of the great treats being that you can purchase a glass (or two) of their Brugse Zot in their on site Brasserie in its unfiltered state, direct from the brewery, yum yum!!
The brewery is located in the centre of Brugge so if you are in the city to admire the Christmas Markets then you are not too far away to visit. Depending on how you have travelled there it could be deemed to be ‘on the way back’ to the railway station and also the pick up point if you have travelled with P&O Ferries into Zeebrugge. Might I also add here, there is an excellent chocolate shop within sight of the brewery called Dumon, one of the true authentic chocolate shops of Brugge. Mention us to Chantelle and you may get a free taster!
So there has been a brewery on the site since at least 1564 when it was mentioned in the town register although the Maes family, whose descendants still run it today, didn’t appear on the scene until 1856. Incredibly it has survived both World Wars. More recently the brewery has been headed by Veronique Maes, with much renovation and expansion, and her son, Xavier Vanneste began brewing in 2005 – his first brew being the award winning and ever popular Brugse Zot.
In recent years the brewery has seen so much expansion that they have had to open a bottling plant on the outskirts of Brugge. However, the transportation of the beer from the centre of Brugge to the new plant was proving to be a worry as the many wagons required were potentially damaging to the historic Brugge roads and buildings. So what solution can they find? Well, only the Belgians with their innovative thinking can build the first beer pipeline in the world! All 3276 metres from the family brewery in the centre of Brugge to the bottling plant – if only we could tap into it somewhere along the way!!
So brewing continues at the town centre site and now there is an addition of a smart and cosy Brasserie, with log fires in the winter, where you can purchase their full range of beers as well as some delicious menu items for lunch or dinner. There is also a brewery trip, many different groups in a day depending on the language you speak. It takes you all around the brewery to see their brewing processes, and through some areas of historical interest that are more museum-like, to ultimately arrive on the roof of the building to admire the incredible panorama of Brugge. Finally you are taken down to the Brasserie to enjoy a free glass of the unfiltered Brugse Zot.
In this month’s subscription boxes we have both the Brugse Zot Blond and Bruin in our Taster/Bumper boxes and for our Connoisseurs, in addition to the Brugse Zot Blond, we have added the ultimate Straffe Hendrick Brugs Tripel, a blond weighing in at ABV 9%. Just what you need on Christmas Day to help you through the mayhem of new toys that continuously blast out the same crazy tune 18 times per hour!!!
Might we also add there is a Straffe Hendrick Quadruple which was first brewed in 2010. Not for the faint-hearted, at a whopping ABV of 11%, it is a very dark beer and unsurprisingly classed as a strong Belgian ale.
We hope you enjoy our selection and we would like to wish all our customers and followers all the best of the Season’s Greetings – see you in Brugge!