From August 30 through September 3, 2012, the 3 Fonteinen Brewery near Brussels held their annual open beer days. This is a rare opportunity to visit one of the premier brewers of the local specialty lambic beers. The event includes free tours of the brewery in Dutch, French and English, a chance to taste some of their products, and most importantly, a chance to buy some of their special, old bottles not usually available for purchase in the shop. You may also get a chance to meet Armand and Lydie Debelder, the owners and brewer of the 3 Fonteinen beers.
Available for tasting at lat year’s event were the 3 Fonteinen Lambic, Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek, and Faro as well as the Beersel Blond, Lager and Zwet.be. I had to partake of a Faro here, as they don’t bottle this for normal sale. The Faro seems to be usually available only in the 3 Fonteinen Restaurant located next door. Faro is a lambic blended with caramel and candied sugar. It retains the normal sourness of a lambic, but with a nice sweetness that makes it quite smooth. These beers are usually short lived, only three to four weeks in the bottle, as the added sugars result in very active fermentation that could make the bottle explode!
For the bottles for purchase in the store, the following options were available:
Beers available for purchase at 3 Fonteinen Brewery
Oude Geuze 0.375 L €2.50
Oude Geuze 0.75 L €4.45
Golden Blend Oude Geuze 0.375 L €8.00
Oude Kriek 0.375 L €3.85
Schaarbeekse Kriek 0.75L €12.00
Armand D4 2010 Limited Edition Oude Geuze 0.75 L €24 each for Autumn, Summer and Winter.
Spring is only available as part of the limited edition (500) collector’s box at €110.00
Horal’s Oude Geuze Mega Blend 2011 0.75 L €7.00
Blond 0.33 L €1.25
Lager 0.33 L €1.15
Zwet.be 0.33 L €1.75
Special Offerings during 3 Fonteinen Open Beer Days (2012)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2003 0.75 L €24.00 (max 1)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2005 0.75 L €17.00 (max 1)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2008 0.75 L €10.00 (max 6)
Oude Geuze Vintage 2008 0.375 L €6.00 (max 6)
Doesjel Vintage 2006 0.75 L €7.00 (max 6)
Doesjel Vintage 2010 0.375 L €4.00 (max 6)
Oude Kriek 2006 0.375 L € 6.00 (max 1)
Schaarbeekse Kriek 2006 0.75 L € 20.00 (max 1)
Schaarbeekse Kriek 2008 0.75 L € 15.00 (max 6)
Straffe Winter 0.75 L € 34.00 (max 1)
The 2013 Open Beer Days were held from Thursday, September 5 through Monday, September 9, 2013. Much of their offerings were same as from 2012, however there was less to choose from.
The 2014 Open Beer Days will be held from Thursday, September 4 through Monday, September 8, 2014. If you’re looking to pick up a few of the rare older bottles, try to get there on Thursday or Friday, as quantities are often limited and they run out of choice vintages fast!
If you’re driving to 3 Fonteinen, they’re off Exit 19 on the R0 Ring Brussels. As you’re exiting, veer to the right to cross back under the highway and head up into Beersel (don’t go straight towards Lot). When you hit the top of the hill with the large church, you can see the Restaurant 3 Fonteinen in the square, and the brewery in just around the corner on the main road. Parking is free in the spots in front of the church and restaurant.
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Restaurant 3 Fonteinen
Herman Tierlinckplein 3
+32 (0)2 331 06 52