Open Beer days at 3 Fonteinen Brewery

It’s been almost 10 years since we first visited the 3 Fonteinen brewery, back in the days the general Open Brewery days (late April) were still being organised amongst different Belgian breweries. Small tours were given in the rather small location in Beersel, whilst enjoying some young Lambic.
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Armand Debelder, master brewer and padre familias, may have aged a bit (like his famous Lambic beers), though he did not lose his passion for his creations. 2016 marks a new phase in the era of 3 Fonteinen. With the official opening of the Lambik-O-Droom during this year’s Open Beer Days, Armand sees a lifelong dream finally come through.
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Our visit of the Open Beer days meet up our expectations. The new location in Lot, easily reachable by public transport, is only 5km apart from the original brewery in Beersel. The Lambik-O-Droom will initially operate as the new barrel-aging, blending, and bottling facility of the brewery, and will also have a tasting cafe and a shop. Within a few years, the plan is to also brew at the new location.
Armand personally greeted every visitor by sharing some young 9 month 3 Fonteinen Lambic. His philosophy of the new place is simple and clear cut: “ The Lambik-O-Droom is a place where people can come to visit the heritage of 3 Fonteinen, a place where the old meets the new. Our tasting room has a full view on both the barrel storage room and the labelling facilities. People can come here to taste one of our finest bottles, talk about beer, share our beers. By the time we are fully operational, we will exhibit around 30,000 vintage bottles, which will only be offered for sale to drink.” We took Armand’s advice for granted, more on this later.
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We were surprised by the very slick, modern design of the tasting room, where head pieces of barrels are used as tables, and old Lambic bottles as lights, with wooden accents reflecting the character of the foeders. It was possible to join a small tour throughout the area, bypassing the first barrel room with currently 30 barrels in place, a second barrel room (empty, but 30-40 barrels to arrive). Both barrel rooms will be temperature controlled so that it will always be between 18 and 20 degrees celsius. The entire area will be surrounded by a wooden framework on the walls.

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Afterwards, a third place contains a storage room with loads of different 3 Fonteinen beers being stacked. Small fun fact for the fans: a second batch of the highly rated Zenne y Frontera has been prepared, with the bottles still ageing for some months.

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Afterwards, we came to the point of letting our craving thirst for some 3 Fonteinen taken care of. We selected the Oude Kriek with Schaerbeekse Kriek (beautiful tastes of almond, full red color), the 2015 Oude Geuze Cuvee Armand and Gaston (light body, fruity punch) and a 2012 Oude Geuze Vintage. We took Armand’s advice for granted and did some sharing with American visitors.
The tastings could be easily paired with some delicious food: slices of bread with Oude Geuze Cheese, Oude Geuze “PotteKeis” or Oude Geuze paté.
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Finally, we dropped by the shop, because this is the place all the fans of around the world will search for some special . We happily went home with a bottle of Hommage Frambozenlambiek, a Oude Geuze Golden Blend and an Oude Geuze Vintage 2012. We can’t wait to make it back to the Lambik-O-Droom for a full visit of the premises, and a tasting and sharing of some vintage bottles.

 

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