a get together
Xavier, François, Bertrand, Alexandre and Laurent. The order does not matter. Five Namur denizens, from five different backgrounds, but above all, five personalities who laid the groundwork for an ambitious project from the outset – a project which nonetheless got off to a cautious start.
The people of Namur are known for their caution. They do not venture easily outside their comfort zone nor do they parade their aspirations. They are proverbially slow, for that matter, but by the same token, once they take the plunge, they are in it for the long haul.
Brief flashback: the brewery’s five founders got together by sheer chance back in 2012.
They shared an attachment to their city, to design and distinctive traditional products, so they decided to create a beer in Namur with a strong identity and a taste they had not yet encountered in a speciality beer. The project was off and running.
One meeting followed another, evening after evening, and never the same. No minutes were taken, apart from occasional jottings on beer cartons… And yet this home brew gradually started to raise a storm.
As they discussed ideas in a casual manner, they spelled out what they wanted in no uncertain terms: a beer with character, with the right touch of bitterness and a nose veering towards citrus fruit, in a natural way, if at all possible. On top of that, their dream beer had to be refreshing and thirst slaking.
Alex, the brewing engineer, got down to work to concoct and present a beer to the other four in line with what they had discussed. A few brews and tastings later, he had managed to produce a beer that was unanimously hailed and would go on to become the “Houppe.” That was in May 2013.
The watchword was conviviality, so it was vital to be able to share the beer among friends. But sharing 33 cl is no easy matter, especially when you are dying of thirst and there are a lot of friends. Whence the idea for a 75 cl bottle and the slogan: “Slight detours, great moments.” And even though the brewery now produces 33 cl bottles and kegs, the 75 cl format is still the one in favour in Namur, attesting to the need to share moments relaxing with friends, always true to our values.
The Houppe’s success gave things a boost, and a genuine Brewery project gradually emerged, reconnecting Namur to its proud brewing tradition. The Brasserie de Namur has now set up shop at the foot of the Citadel, a stone’s through away from the city centre.
A SYMBOLIC VENUE: a brewery in the very heart of the city
The Brasserie de Namur established its headquarters in May 2015 in the former Balon-Perrin brewery (dating back to 1812) on the left bank of the Meuse, less than a kilometre from the city centre. Setting up shop in a place steeped in history by the banks of the Meuse was an opportunity not to be missed for the brewery’s founders. The calm flow of the water, the proximity to the city centre, and the historical heritage of the premises were sterling reasons for investing.
Today the Brasserie de Namur has installed a 10Hl brewing hall as well as five fermenters with a capacity of 40 Hl each on the premises. A flexible production facility is indispensable for rational growth. After several months of testing the Houppe beer rolled off the new installations in the spring of 2016. In parallel, the Brasserie de Namur continues its partnership with the Brasserie Anders to absorb part of the production and capitalize on the flexibility that a small brewery needs to manage its growth responsibly.
The brewery’s team moreover puts the available space to good use to host many company events, concerts, visits, tastings, and other happenings. This determination to be present in the city, is in line with a time-honoured brewing tradition in Namur. Today, the building is still owned by the Balon-Perrin family who have given the project their full support, making it possible to reconnect with its proud past.
A SLOW TOWN AND THE ART OF SLOW LIVING
Perched at the confluence of the Rivers Meuse and Sambre, and boasting one of the finest citadels in Europe, Namur is a small city in southern Belgium renowned for its quality of life. Its inhabitants and visitors appreciate the calm, genteel lifestyle and a natural tendency to take things easy.
Namur is moreover the capital of Wallonia. For the founders of the Brasserie, however, the city is a cradle of culture and folklore that is a source of inspiration at the bedrock of their products.
The people of Namur want to make their city the world capital of slow living – to take the time to live, in other words.
The beers and other products of the Brasserie de Namur are nothing else than the means for turning slow living into reality. Taking the time to share one of our beers among friends is to pause from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life.
To find out more about our city, do not hesitate to go to www.visitnamur.eu