Grand Place – This may have been the most beautiful architectural work I’ve ever looked upon. We all stood there in awe for a few moments before walking around to take it all in. Yes, later in the day came Cantillon, but this place was well worth mentioning and including a few photos of. It is an absolute must see if you have have the chance. On to Cantillon!
We walked there from our apartment and luckily the rain held off until we got there. It did not however on the way home. Upon arriving, I went in to permagrin mode for the next hour or two…or three. It could have been two minutes or two days. I’m not sure. It was amazing!
Since we had less than six people, the four of us took the standard self guided tour. Before starting the tour, we got a great education from one the employees who greeted us. What a different place compared to any brewery I’ve been to in America. Started in 1900 by Paul Cantillon, this place has a great presence of several decades of historical brewing, equipment and most importantly…tradition. Some of the things look amazing on their own, but when you read about the specifics of some of the pieces of equipment and the history behind them, they take on even more personality. My favorite was the coolingship. It’s an extremely huge flat piece of cooper where the wort is allowed to cool. Large enough for 7,500 liters or 1,981 gallons. As said in the guidebook “Every part of it is riveted and there is not a single weld to be found, and this truly makes it a coppersmith’s masterpiece.” A very fitting description by the brewery, which I consider to be a masterpiece itself.
After completing the walk through we finished up with some samples in a small seating area heated by a single wood stove in the middle of the room. Gueuze…such great funky, earthy goodness with a touch of citrus sourness. At the same time we were enjoying our share of samples, it appeared that it was lunch time for some of the employees at the brewery. They looked like the perfect group to pass on a bottle of Founders KBS to. It was very well received. I loved the way they described it in such a broken down way: IBU’s, ABV., and ingredients. More calculated tasting notes then I usually hear. Overall, they were very impressed and surprised by how well they all balanced out. In addition to the KBS, it looked as though they were drinking something not from Cantillon. Wondering what brewery employees of Cantillon would be drinking at lunch, I had to ask. It was Lee Noir from De Gaurde out of Oregon. Much to my surprise (I thought the bottle was empty) they gave me the rest to try. That worked out great since it a beer I had hope to try someday anyway.
All the employees were interacted with were great. They were extremely friendly and answered the uncountable number of questions I had. That’s two days in a row where the people were making this Belgian beer experience great, not the beer itself. Granted, the beer has been nothing short of amazing thus far.
As always, please enjoy the photos. Be sure to click on them or hover your mouse over them for any additional details I was able to provide or remember.