Beer and Belgium are a classic combo, dating back centuries to before the First Crusade. Belgium’s history with brewing started sometime in the Dark Ages, when fresh beer was an acceptable alternative to the often dangerous and unsanitary local water supply, at a time when even kings could die of dysentery. The French and Flemish both brewed beer for consumption and sale alike, and the production of Belgium’s most famous brews can be traced to 1836 when Trappist monks began brewing and selling beers from the Westmalle Abbey (Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle).
Since then, the traditions that uphold the quality and fame of Trappist beers (and Belgian beers in general) have been closely followed and remain sacred. To this day, only ten monasteries in Europe meet the qualifications to produce Trappist beer (six of them are in Belgium), and many other monasteries produce high quality “Abbey” (non-Trappist) beers throughout the country.
But today we’ll steer away from tradition and take a look at what Belgium’s newer generations are up to, especially with regards to the growing microbrewery business throughout Europe and America. One business has made it its mission to bring the finer art of high-quality artisanal brewing to total beginners and beer gourmets alike via a collaborative brewing experience. Welcome to Beerstorming, a unique microbrewery in the southern half of Brussels.
What is Beerstorming?
Beerstorming is a concept shop and microbrewery located in Brussels, Belgium, with the unique mission of providing brewing experiences to customers to introduce them to the fundamentals as well as the finer details of brewing a quality beer.
With no limits as to what ingredients can or should be used, Beerstorming encourages visitors to learn about the process and inject their vibe into their brews, providing access over a variety of quality grains and an endless list of spices and options. The final product is always something completely different and perfectly unique. To mention just a few recent brews, Brainstorming has recently featured:
Inspired by the image of a carefree and boisterous blonde Norseman, this beer blends best with exotic fruits and citrus.
GOD SAVE THE BEER
Bergamot and citrus are a great combination, and they do well in beer as well, especially in combination with an intense hop taste and a subtle malt. This beer even hides a unique surprise (hint: it’s a tea!)
A bitter brown ale with soft coffee notes, and a subtle hint of nutmeg.
They also feature a new beer every few days, and many of their beers and recipes have won prestigious awards in Europe. Best of all, they’ll teach you how to make a completely new brew of your very own creation.
Making a Reservation
Beerstorming is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 14h (2 PM) to 19h (7 PM). They offer an open brewing experience to groups of 7-14 people, as well as a more expensive, completely private brewing session.
The brewing sessions take around 4-5 hours, and during the process, every member of the group is encouraged to indulge their taste buds and try a variety of ingredients and blends, as well as numerous beers. Included in the price of admission are dinner and free tapas.
The final product takes one-and-a-half to two months to mature and bottle, at which point customers are invited to come over and pick up their brew in growlers. Beers brewed at Beerstorming are not delivered or sent out.
Given the fact that you not only learn how to brew amazing beer with the help and personal instruction of a master brewer but also get to walk away with your brew, it makes the price of the whole thing completely worth it. The normal brewing experience is currently €85 ($93) per person.
A Selection of Amazing Craft Beers in the Heart of Europe
If you’re not there to pick up some brewing skills or just go through the experience of designing (and eventually drinking) your very own craft beer, then note that Beerstorming also features a tasting experience, and sells a variety of its craft beers for customers to enjoy at the brewery or home. Beerstorming’s beers are also sold in dozens of stores throughout Belgium, and their beers are featured in online shops.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe (after COVID-19), then don’t miss this spot. Located at Chaussée d’Alsembergsesteenweg 75 in Brussels, Beerstorming is perfect for small groups of beer enthusiasts and amateur as well as professional brewers looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon or an evening, get some creative juices flowing, try out a wide variety of ingredients from the traditional to the eccentric, and come up with anything from a wildly aromatic Saison beer to a sturdy stout. Be sure to visit their website or give them a call via 0032 (0) 472 89 74 01 for reservations.