Gaasbeek is a village in the Belgian municipality of Lennik in Flemish Brabant. It is most known for Gaasbeek Castle, now a national museum. In 2007 it was chosen as one of the 15 most beautiful villages in Flanders
A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells beer. The place at which beer is commercially made is either called a brewery or a beerhouse, where distinct sets of brewing equipment are called plant; the commercial brewing of beer has taken place since at least 2500 BC. Brewing was a cottage industry, with production taking place at home; the diversity of size in breweries is matched by the diversity of processes, degrees of automation, kinds of beer produced in breweries. A brewery is divided into distinct sections, with each section reserved for one part of the brewing process. Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe and was brewed on a domestic scale. In some form, it can be traced back 5000 years to Mesopotamian writings describing daily rations of beer and bread to workers. Before the rise of production breweries, the production of beer took place at home and was the domain of women, as baking and brewing were seen as "women's work". Breweries, as production facilities reserved for making beer, did not emerge until monasteries and other Christian institutions started producing beer not only for their own consumption but to use as payment.
This industrialization of brewing shifted the responsibility of making beer to men. The oldest, still functional, brewery in the world is believed to be the German state-owned Weihenstephan brewery in the city of Freising, Bavaria, it can trace its history back to 1040 AD. The nearby Weltenburg Abbey brewery, can trace back its beer-brewing tradition to at least 1050 AD; the Žatec brewery in the Czech Republic claims it can prove that it paid a beer tax in 1004 AD. Early breweries were always built on multiple stories, with equipment on higher floors used earlier in the production process, so that gravity could assist with the transfer of product from one stage to the next; this layout is preserved in breweries today, but mechanical pumps allow more flexibility in brewery design. Early breweries used large copper vats in the brewhouse, fermentation and packaging took place in lined wooden containers; such breweries were common until the Industrial Revolution, when better materials became available, scientific advances led to a better understanding of the brewing process.
Today all brewery equipment is made of stainless steel. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture, domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century. A handful of major breakthroughs have led to the modern brewery and its ability to produce the same beer consistently; the steam engine, vastly improved in 1775 by James Watt, brought automatic stirring mechanisms and pumps into the brewery. It gave brewers the ability to mix liquids more reliably while heating the mash, to prevent scorching, a quick way to transfer liquid from one container to another. All breweries now use electric-powered stirring mechanisms and pumps; the steam engine allowed the brewer to make greater quantities of beer, as human power was no longer a limiting factor in moving and stirring. Carl von Linde, along with others, is credited with developing the refrigeration machine in 1871. Refrigeration allowed beer to be produced year-round, always at the same temperature.
Yeast is sensitive to temperature, and, if a beer were produced during summer, the yeast would impart unpleasant flavours onto the beer. Most brewers would produce enough beer during winter to last through the summer, store it in underground cellars, or caves, to protect it from summer's heat; the discovery of microbes by Louis Pasteur was instrumental in the control of fermentation. The idea that yeast was a microorganism that worked on wort to produce beer led to the isolation of a single yeast cell by Emil Christian Hansen. Pure yeast cultures allow brewers to pick out yeasts for their fermentation characteristics, including flavor profiles and fermentation ability; some breweries in Belgium, still rely on "spontaneous" fermentation for their beers. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, greater knowledge of the results. Breweries today are made predominantly of stainless steel, although vessels have a decorative copper cladding for a nostalgic look.
Stainless steel has many favourable characteristics that make it a well-suited material for brewing equipment. It imparts no flavour in beer, it reacts with few chemicals, which means any cleaning solution can be used on it and it is sturdy. Sturdiness is important, as most tanks in the brewery have positive pressure applied to them as a matter of course, it is not unusual that a vacuum will be formed incidentally during cleaning. Heating in the brewhouse is achieved through pressurized steam, although direct-fire systems are not unusual in small breweries. Cooling in other areas of the brewery is done by cooling jackets on tanks, which allow the brewer to control the temperature on each tank individually, although whole-room cooling is common. Today, modern brewing plants perform myriad analyses on their beers for quality control purposes. Shipments of ingredients are analyzed to correct for variations. Samples are pulled at every step and tested for content, unwanted microbial infections
3 Fonteinen is a Belgian brewery, specialized in geuze and kriek. The brewery is situated in Beersel, near Brussels and produces classic versions of both kriek and geuze. 3 Fonteinen was founded in 1887 as a café and geuzestekerij, a place where geuze is produced by blending old and new lambics, acquired from other breweries. The enterprise was bought by Gaston De Belder in 1953, who expanded it with a restaurant and left it to his sons Armand and Guido in 1982. In 1998, a brewery installation was bought. Apart from using its own lambic, 3 Fonteinen uses lambic made by Boon and Lindemans for its geuze. 3 Fonteinen is one of the few remaining geuzestekerijen. The Mijol Club, a literary club, founded by Herman Teirlinck, used to convene in the café. In May 2009, a faulty thermostat caused 3000 bottles to explode; the remaining overheated geuze was made into an eau de vie called "Armand's Spirit", the sales of which enough allowed the brewery to continue operations. In March 2013, after four years of interruption, Brewery 3 Fonteinen inaugurated its new brewing installation and is brewing its own lambic again.
During the four year without its own installation 3 Fonteinen managed to keep its head above water by blending lambic that they bought from nearby lambic breweries like Boon and Girardin. Official website
The blackcurrant or black currant is a woody shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia where it prefers damp fertile soils and is cultivated both commercially and domestically, it is winterhardy, but cold weather at flowering time during the spring reduces the size of the crop. Bunches of small, glossy black fruit develop along the stems in the summer and can be harvested by hand or by machine; the raw fruit is rich in vitamin C and polyphenol phytochemicals. Blackcurrants can be eaten raw but are cooked in a variety of sweet or savoury dishes, they are used to make jams and syrups and are grown commercially for the juice market. The fruit is used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages and both fruit and foliage have uses in traditional medicine and the preparation of dyes; as a crop, the blackcurrant suffers from several pests and diseases. The most serious disease is reversion, caused by a virus transmitted by the blackcurrant gall mite.
Another is white pine blister rust which alternates between two unrelated hosts, one in the genus Ribes and the other a white pine. This fungus caused damage to forests when the fruit was first introduced into North America, where the native white pines have no genetic resistance to the disease; as a result, the blackcurrant has for most of the 20th century been subject to restrictions in parts of the United States as a disease vector. The effectiveness of these restrictions is questionable, since other Ribes species host the disease and are native to North America. Breeding is being undertaken in Scotland, Lithuania and New Zealand to produce fruit with better eating qualities and bushes with greater hardiness and disease resistance. Ribes nigrum, the blackcurrant, is a medium-sized shrub, growing to 1.5 by 1.5 metres. The leaves are alternate, simple, 3 to 5 cm broad and long with five palmate lobes and a serrated margin. All parts of the plant are aromatic; the flowers are produced in racemes known as "strigs" up to 8 cm long containing ten to twenty flowers, each about 8 mm in diameter.
Each flower has a hairy calyx with yellow glands, the five lobes of which are longer than the inconspicuous petals. There are five stamens surrounding the stigma and style and two fused carpels; the flowers open in succession from the base of the strig and are insect pollinated, but some pollen is distributed by the wind. A pollen grain landing on a stigma will germinate and send a slender pollen tube down the style to the ovule. In warm weather this takes about 48 hours but in cold weather it may take a week, by that time, the ovule may have passed the stage where it is receptive. If fewer than about 35 ovules are fertilised, the fruit may not be able to develop and will fall prematurely. Frost can damage both unopened and open flowers when the temperature falls below −1.9 °C. The flowers at the base of the strig are more protected by the foliage and are less to be damaged. In midsummer the strigs of green fruit ripen to edible berries dark purple in colour black, with glossy skins and persistent calyxes at the apex, each containing many seeds.
An established bush can produce about 4.5 kilograms of fruit each year. Plants from Northern Asia are sometimes distinguished as a separate variety, Ribes nigrum var. sibiricum, of which Ribes cyathiforme is considered a synonym. Blackcurrants can grow well on sandy or heavy loams, or forest soils, as long as their nutrient requirements are met, they prefer damp, fertile but not waterlogged ground and are intolerant of drought. Although the bushes are winter hardy, frosts during the flowering period may adversely affect the yield and cold winds may restrict the number of flying insects visiting and pollinating the flowers. A pH of about 6 is ideal for blackcurrants and the ground can be limed if the soil is too acidic. Planting is done in the autumn or winter to allow the plants to become established before growth starts in the spring, but container-grown stock can be planted at any time of year. Two-year-old bushes are planted but strong one-year-old stock can be used. Planting certified stock avoids the risk of introducing viruses.
On a garden scale the plants can be set at intervals of 1.5 to 1.8 metres or they can be set in rows with planting intervals of 1.2 metres and row separations of 2.5 metres or more. In the UK, young bushes are planted deeper than their initial growing level to encourage new stems to grow from the base; the blackcurrant requires a number of essential nutrients to be present to enable it to thrive. An annual spring mulch of well rotted manure is ideal and poultry manure can be used but needs prior composting with straw or other waste vegetable material. Spent mushroom compost can be used but care should be taken as it contains lime and blackcurrants prefer acidic soils; the blackcurrant is a gross feeder and benefits from additional nitrogen, phosphatic and potash fertilisers should be applied annually. A balanced artificial fertilizer can be used and a 10-10-10 granular product can be spread around the bushes at the rate of 100 to 240 g per pla
Oud Beersel is a Belgian lambic brewery. Oud Beersel is an artisanal lambic brewery, based in Beersel and founded in 1882 by Henri Vandervelden, his son Louis, his grandson Henri, subsequently took over. In 1991, it was taken over by Henri's nephew Danny Draps. In 2002, the brewing activities were stopped, due to financial problems. In 2005, driven by an interest in reviving the artisanal Oud Beersel kriek and geuze, two young men, Gert Christiaens and Roland De Bus, restarted the brewery. In order to finance the relaunch, the brewery is selling two beers called Bersalis Tripel and Bersalis Kadet, which are not lambic-based beers and are made by another brewery. Bersalis is the Latin name of the city Beersel. Bersalis or Bersalis Tripel gold yellow coloured.
Boon Brewery is a Belgian brewery situated in Lembeek, near Brussels, that produces geuze and kriek beer of a traditional lambic variety, but using distinctly modern brewing techniques and equipment. Other products of the brewery including Faro beer and Duivelsbier, the traditional beer of Halle; the head of the brewery is Frank Boon and the Boon family own 50%. The other 50% was sold to Palm but on 30 June 2014 this stake was transferred to Palm's parent company Diepensteyn NV and Boon was not involved in Palm's sale to Bavaria in 2016; the distribution deal between Palm and Boon came to an end on 1 January 2016. 3 Fonteinen Official website New Frank Boon Brewing Hall Officially Opened