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Brewery de la Senne
The Senne brewery was born from the meeting between Bernard, who had made a beer for the second edition of the Zinneke parade, and Yvan, lover and historian of the brewing world.
The beer in question was Zinnebir (which needs no introduction).
Over time, they did everything to make their dream of creating their own brewery come true. This is how in 2003 they created the 'Sint-Pieters Brouwerij' in the former premises of the Moriau brewery in Sint-Pieters Leeuw on the outskirts of Brussels.
Their goal was to make craft beer as accessible as possible. This is still the case today because the majority of their beers are sold at more than reasonable prices.
But, proud of their city, they decided to build a brewery in Brussels. This is how, in 2010, they created the Senne brewery in Molenbeek.
They want to be Brusseleers first and foremost, and that is why their first market is in Brussels, then Belgium and then export, mainly to Italy and the United States.
The other side of their philosophy is that they make beers that are bitter, balanced, and generally low in alcohol. They sometimes brew strong beers, but the main beers of the brewery remain the Taras Boulba and the Zinnebir, which are respectively at 4.5% and 5.2%.
The Senne brewery pays particular attention to the ingredients that shape its beers. The brewery uses its own yeast while the German hops are selected each year by Yvan, who makes the trip there personally.
The Senne brewery goes organic
Yvan and Bernard announced in 2021 that all beers from the Senne brewery are certified organic. The duo experimented for a year to ensure that the taste and quality of their beers were maintained despite the use of different ingredients. The organic malts come from the Antwerp malting Dingemans, which is the brewery's historic partner. The transition to organic is part of the brewery's environmental responsibility approach, whose new facilities are exemplary in this area. The grains are going for the cows of Rudy, a farmer in the Ternat region.
Brasserie de la Senne Tour & Taxis
The Senne brewery has been located at Tour & Taxis since June 10, 2021. Its initial location located on Chaussée de Gand in Molenbeek had become too narrow following the growing success of its beers.
The new 6,000 square meter building is being built on land from the Port of Brussels granted for 30 years. This is where the last editions of the Couleur Café music festival took place. The new installation required an investment of 6 million euros, half for the building and half for the brewing facilities. Particular attention has been paid to the ecological impact with the installation of solar panels, insulation and the recovery of rainwater. Its maximum capacity is 25,000 hectoliters per year and will allow us to anticipate the future with a production of 14,000 hectoliters in 2019.
The old building of 2000 square meters is still in operation and is dedicated to barrel beers.
Brasserie de la Senne visit
The Senne brewery organizes visits by reservation for groups of 15 people minimum. The tour of the facilities lasts an hour and is followed by a tasting of 4 beers from the brewery in the bar or the adjacent Terrace.
Brasserie de la Senne shop
The Brasserie de la Senne store is located on the Tour et Taxis site and is open Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is possible to buy Senne beers individually or by a box, but also the wide range of merchandising available such as coasters, posters, glasses, trays, t-shirts, etc.
Brasserie de la Senne bar
The Brasserie de la Senne is equipped with a bar that adjoins the production facilities and is decorated with a magnificent terrace designed from recycled materials. At the bar, you can find all the beers from the Senne available directly from the barrel.
Brasserie de la Senne Delivery
The Senne brewery is one of the most important breweries in Brussels and it sells most of its deliveries there. During the Covid crisis, the Senne brewery delivered directly to Brussels residents who have purchased via their e-shop. Purchases are made by whole box and delivery costs 5€.
The "false brewers" of the Senne brewery
The Senne brewery made a lot of noise in 2014 when it co-signed a letter written by 14 breweries against fake brewers. Namely, entrepreneurs who launch commercial beers without brewing them themselves.
However, this is not always the case, as very few breweries can afford the luxury of investing several million euros in brewing facilities directly. It is a common practice for new brewers to rent the facilities of other craft breweries to brew their own beers. This is how the Senne brewery brewed several times at De Ranke before 2010.
This situation has nevertheless evolved with the creation of two breweries dedicated solely to custom beers with de Proef (1996) and Anders (2012). We thus find brewers who create only the recipes and subcontract all the production to them.
But the reality is more complex than that because some breweries produce partly themselves and partly order, while other breweries subcontract temporarily or for an indefinite period.
But as Yvan de Baets, the co-founder of the Senne brewery, likes to remind us, the recipe is only 10% of a beer. For example, the choice of brewing technologies has a very important influence on the finished product.
Brasserie de la Senne Black Piet
Zwarte Piet is the old name of Brusseleir beer, a black IPA. It makes a caricatural reference to the controversial Tintin comics in the Congo. The brewery decided to change its name following the controversies linked to Père Fouettard and embezzlement by Théo Francken, a controversial former minister for immigration and asylum.