My dear readers,
Last week, when I was back in my home town Ieper (Ypres), I was surprised to hear that St. Bernardus is planning to open a new brewery there. The brewery will not be built just anywhere, it will be built under the ancient city walls, more commonly known as the Ramparts. These city walls are many centuries old and have been the scene of many battles and invasions, during the Middle Ages and in the centuries that followed. Under the walls there is a network of tunnels and also some bigger open spaces. It will be in three of those adjacent open spaces that St. Bernardus will open its new brewery. All agreements with the city council are in place and the brewery plans to open in 2014.
The beers in Ieper will not be brewed under the name St Bernardus though, they will have their own name which refers to the last great battle that was fought in and around the town of Ieper, World War One. The brewery will be run by the children of the current owner of St Bernardus, Hans Depypere. The plan is to brew two beers, a blond one and a dark one. Both the names as well as the ingredients of these new beers will refer to World War One. Next to the brewery, there will be a space where visitors will be able to taste the beers and learn about the brewing process.
Brewery St Bernardus is located in Watou, some 20 km away from Ypres. They already produce 8 different beers (St Bernardus Abt, St Bernardus Prior, St Bernardus Pater, St Bernardus Tripel, St Bernardus Wit, St Bernardus Christmas Ale, Grottenbier and Watou Tripel), and they don’t intend to make this a very large scale project. The space under the ramparts is quite small. They aim for an annual production of around 2,000 hectoliters.
I’ll keep you posted if I have more news.