Once we arrived in Brussels, we stashed the luggage in an automated locker at the station and headed out to find Brasserie Cantillon.
Cantillon is a very traditional lambic brewery in operation since 1900 and is classified by the Belgian government as historic landmark. it operates under the more official name of "Musee Bruxellois de la Gueuze"
The brewery was quite a bit off the beaten path but after a couple wrong turns we eventually found it. The tour was 6 Euro each which included a couple of glasses of lambic at the end. We paid and were off.
No brewing was going on yet (too early in the fall for good wild yeast in the air) so we got a close up look at the empty mash tuns, the old copper kettles and the open air cooling tuns. Most impressive were the alcoves stacked with bottles upon bottles of lambic laid down for conditioning. If you've ever visited any of the large wine cellars in France, you know what it looked like. There were also scores of wooden barrels containing fermenting lambic, kriek, framboise and more of various ages.
After the tour, we hit the tasting area and were permitted one glass of gueuze and one glass of kriek. Wonderful as always. They also offered a plate of local cheese and sausages (gratis) which were delicious, especially since we had not had a decent meal yet and it was approaching lunchtime.
The gift shop had various gift boxes of various Cantillon offerings at very good prices...unfortunately our luggage was already set to burst. Next time maybe...
It was amazing. A must see for the beer lover. The slideshow to follow tomorrow speaks for itself.
***photo of Cantillon exterior - photo credit to Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog, I was in such a hurry to get inside that I forgot to take an exterior shot!