Brewing returns to Grimbergen Abbey for the first time in more than 200 years, marking a new chapter for Belgian beer

Today, Grimbergen, known for its delicious and refreshing Belgian-style beers, opens the doors to the future of Belgian beer as it unveils its innovative new brewery inside the famous Grimbergen Abbey near Brussels, Belgium.

The state-of-the-art Grimbergen Abbey Brewery will bring brewing back to where it all started when the abbey was founded nearly 900 years ago. It’s also the first time in 200 years that beers have been brewed inside the walls of the abbey, with beer-making ceasing after the building was destroyed during the French Revolution.

The Abbey Brewery will serve as an innovation hub, combining brewing traditions drawn from the ancient books of the abbey’s library with new and innovative techniques to craft unique limited-edition batches of exceptional premium beers.

To celebrate, Grimbergen has released three exciting new brews – Grimbergen Magnum Opus Brut Beer, Grimbergen Ignis Quadruple and Grimbergen Astrum Pale Ale.

Speaking from the launch of the Abbey Brewery Cees ‘t Hart, CEO of Carlsberg Group, who are the global licensees of Grimbergen, said: “It is a treat to be here at the beginning of Grimbergen’s next chapter and to experience what we believe will enrich the future of Belgian beer.

“Grimbergen is at the very heart of our growing portfolio of craft and speciality beer and it is contributing to the strong double-digit growth we’re seeing in the category. The new Abbey Brewery is an important step for us in continuing to develop our speciality brews to meet growing worldwide demand. We believe this beautiful Abbey Brewery will take us, and beer drinkers around the world, on an incredible journey of flavour discovery.”       

The Abbey Brewery was built in a close partnership between the Grimbergen Abbey and Carlsberg Group. Father Karel Stautemas, Provisor at the Abbey, was instrumental in building the new facility and has joined the brewing team as Abbey Brewer. When Covid allows, he will complete his brewing qualifications, allowing him and his fellow fathers to continue the legacy of generations of Fathers before him. 

Father Karel said: “The new microbrewery is a place to reignite past traditions, just like our symbol the Pheonix we always have the strength to rise again, but to add fresh thinking too. We want to combine our experience, nearly nine centuries of it, with innovation in pursuit of the most delicious and unique new brews. I think that the microbrewery allows us to do that, to explore and experiment with styles and ingredients in a really exciting way.”

Father Karel combines his day-to-day monastic life with the running of the Abbey Brewery, supporting Master Brewer Marc-Antoine Sochon, who has also been heavily involved in bringing the new brewery to life.

Marc-Antoine, a 28-year-old brewing wunderkind from France who began brewing in his parents’ garage and has since gone on to study both wine making and brewing, added: “We are now brewing beer in the abbey for the first time again in over 200 years, a great celebration for the Fathers, for the Grimbergen community and for all those who love Grimbergen beer.

“We are setting a marker for Belgian beers worldwide. The new brewery allows us to craft batches of delicious beers inspired by new and old brewing techniques to create brand-new sensory experiences. These new brews will provide fans of Grimbergen and others with the chance to journey through amazing new tastes and flavours that could only be conceived in the unique surrounds of Grimbergen Abbey.”

Grimbergen Abbey Brewery also features an on-site bar and restaurant giving visitors the opportunity to savour the rich brews and pair them with dishes from the restaurant Fenikshof. Later this year, Grimbergen will also open a Brewery Experience Centre that will give visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves into the rich heritage of Grimbergen and the magic behind its innovation.

For more information about Grimbergen Abbey Brewery and Grimbergen beers, visit grimbergen.com.

Aspen Brewing Announces Acquisition of Capitol Creek Brewing Co.

Aspen Brewing Company has announced the acquisition of Basalt-based Capitol Creek Brewery and the formation of High Country Brewing LLC. This gives High Country 2 restaurants, 2 breweries and is starting construction on a new tasting room at its Aspen Brewing location, in addition to exploring further investments in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Since being acquired by Legacy Breweries in 2020, Aspen Brewing Company has looked to substantially increase its base in Colorado and specifically, the Aspen area. Aspen Brewing Company has also made substantial changes, adding award-winning Brewmaster, Scott Kimball in 2019 who will coordinate all brewing operations, Michael Bennett as Chief Financial Officer and recently, Ryan Williams, who will manage all Marketing and event planning. Aspen also brought in key execs in 2020, including Erin McLeod as General Manager of Aspen Tap and Robert Regan as Head Chef.

At Capitol Creek, James Hauser will stay on as General Manager for Capitol Creek and continue as a key player for the parent company. Acclaimed Brewmaster, Jerod Day will also stay on to continue his tradition of great beers at Capitol Creek with the full support of High Country behind him. Aspen Brewing Company has made a point of retaining and building its business on local talent and has added new jobs while maintaining staff in its attempt to build local business in Colorado even through the extreme difficulties of the COVID-environment.

CEO, Don Bryant stated, “This acquisition is another step toward building the platform we came to Colorado to support. Aspen and Capitol Creek both have fantastic traditions of great food, great beer and supporting the local community that makes Aspen unique.”

Bryant has a history developing businesses in the brewing industry, with almost a decade as CEO at brewing suppliers Hopunion and Yakima Chief as well as a joint venture with key industry supplier, Country Malt Group. He was also Vice President at Mark Anthony Brands, owner of White Claw and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

This purchase is a continuing move for Bryant and his investment partners to continue support for the craft industry and expansion in key areas of the US, having previously purchased Ninkasi Brewing (Ore) and Laurelwood Brewing (Ore) before these moves in Colorado.

For more information about this transaction, go to: www.Aspenbrewingcompany.com