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Grimbergen Abbey is looking for the best hobby brewer (Grimbergen)

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© Maarten De Bouw

Grimbergen Abbey is organizing a competition for hobby brewers. The winning brew will hit store shelves in the fall.

A jury including Karel Stautemas, subprior and provisor of Grimbergen Abbey and active in the abbey brewery, will crown the winner of the national competition. Adult amateur brewers living in Belgium can register before March 15.

The assignment is a “(dark) blond beer with top fermentation, a medium bitterness and an alcohol percentage of 6 to 8.5 percent,” according to Alken-Maes, the brewer that has the Grimbergen beers in its portfolio.

“We want to revive an old tradition of almost 900 years,” said Stautemas. In 2021, a microbrewery opened in the abbey on the outskirts of Brussels, almost two centuries after brewing stopped there during the French Revolution. The brewery, with a capacity of approximately 10,000 hectoliters per year, makes all kinds of specific beers. The Grimbergen varieties known to the general public have long been produced on a large scale in Alken near Alken-Maes (for the Benelux).

Anyone who registers will receive a participation package including bottles and crown caps. The beer can be delivered until the end of March, but the brew must have been brewed by the end of February. The three finalists will be announced in mid-April. They are allowed to brew their own beer in the microbrewery that month.

During a ‘brew party’ on June 4, the jury will announce the winner of ‘Grimbergen Cuvée 2024’. The limited edition will be on the shelves of some retailers at the end of August and will be available in 150 catering establishments.

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