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Lindemans, Vlezenbeek

Lindemans N.V.
Lenniksebaan 1479
1602 Vlezenbeek
Tel. 02/569 03 90
Fax 02/569 05 10
www.lindemans.be 
info [at] lindemans [dot] be 

Production 110.000 hl (2019)

Employment 70

Export 57 % (2019)

Sales at the brewery from Monday till Friday 7 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 3 PM

Visits at request via visits [at] lindemans [dot] be / also groups are welcome

Cask mark yes

As early as the 16th century, there was an inn along an important road connecting Brussels with East Flanders and Hainaut. The site was known as the 'Hof ter Kwadewegen'. 

The earliest traces of brewing activity found on the 'Hof ter Kwadewegen' date from 1704. In 1822, the brewer's daughter Francisca Josina Vandersmissen (1796-1868) married to Joos Frans Lindemans (1792-1865). They moved into the Vandersmissen farm-brewery. Joos Frans soon took over his father-in-law's business. During the brewing season of that year, 360 barrels of beer were brewed, about 500 hectoliters. The brewing equipment consisted of two brewing kettles, a stirring vessel and two coolships.

As time went on and more brewing took place, agricultural activities gradually declined. In 1869 the family business owned about 75 hectares of fields and pastures. Joos 'Den duc' Frans II built the still existing farm buildings and the old brewhouse. At the time, he produced lambic and faro-lambic. Theofiel (1870-1955), the youngest of 9 children, succeeded his father in 1901 as the head of the farm-brewery. He in turn passed the torch to one of his 4 children, Emiel Jozef Lindemans. The farming activities was stopped after Emiel's death in 1956. His two sons, René (°1939) and Nestor (1941-2008), took over the helm in 1963. René was a brewing engineer. Nestor was an accountant and took care of the commercial part. A brewing day lasted from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. or sometimes longer. They carried sacks of malt weighing 50 to 100 kilos up the stairs and placed 300 kilo barrels in cellars.

In the 50s wort and lambic were sold, mainly to cafes, blenders and farmers. René and Nestor soon realised that this was not going to last. Pub owners and farmers who retired, often did not have any successors. In that same period Lindemans started bottling gueuze and kriek. In order to get more financial breathing space, they decided to start a beverage shop.

Innovations
René and Nestor made the first Lindemans Oude Kriek in 1961 with Schaerbeek cherries. Exports to France started in 1970, and later on also to the United States. During the first overseas transport, the Oude Kriek started to re-ferment and the corks popped out. The brewery therefore devised an alternative production method in 1978: pasteurisation stopped the refermentation in the bottle of the 'new' Kriek, made from pure juice of freshly pressed cherries and lambic of at least one year old. The corks were sealed with a crown cap.

Lindemans was not only the pioneer in the production of kriek with freshly squeezed juice, they were also among the very first with kriek in kegs. From 1981 the Lindemans Kriek was offered in kegs of 25 liters. In the same period they launched Faro-Lambic (again in 1978), Framboise (1980), Cassis (1986), Pecheresse (1987 – with peach juice) and Apple (2005). These new fruit beers are made with pure juices from the start. In the 1980s, 70% of production went abroad. The four largest markets at the time were the United States, France, Switzerland and Germany.

The success of the fruit beers and the export led to the construction of a new brewing hall in 1992. Due to a lack of space and the strong growth of the brewery, the beverage trade was closed two years later. The brewery had 1,200 barrels in which the lambic fermented and matured. However, the barrel warehouse was not frost-free, with large losses and broken barrels as a result. René was the first to opt for the 'boisage' process from viticulture in which one lets lambic age in stainless steel tanks and oak chips added. The wild Brettanomyces yeasts like to nest on wood. Research showed that this new technique guarantees stable and good lambic quality.

Sixth generation
Cousins ​​Dirk (°1968) and Geert Lindemans (°1968), sons of Nestor and René Lindemans, have been at the helm since 2006. They have been active in the brewery since childhood. Successive generations have made the family brewery what it is today: one of the leading producers of lambic in the region and in the world. Today Lindemans is sold in approximately 62 countries. Exports, with China, the US, France and Russia as the largest export markets, represent 57 % of the volume. In 2005 and 2017, the brewery purchased a total of 20 foeders, each of 10,000 liters. The investments were necessary to be able to continue to meet demand and to meet the conditions of the 'guaranteed traditional specialty' (GTS) quality label.

Lindemans continues to innovate, for example with the 'botanicals lambics' with fresh herbs and gins and Lindemix beer cocktails based on its lambic beers. The brewery wants to brew new types of beers in the future to offer an even broader taste experience. To this end, it is investing in an innovative brewing process on a new site. This supporting satellite brewery on the Ruysbroeckveld business park in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw offers more storage space for the increasing production. It will also strongly focus on sustainability. The aim is to recover as much energy from production as possible. The new facility will be ready for trial operation by the end of 2021. And that in the run-up to its 200th anniversary in 2022. The Lindemans family continues to write beer history.