|Owner(s)||Marc-Antoine De Mees|
History (aka Patrimoine)
The brewery's history dates directly to 1096 in Tournai, and a time of severe medieval famine, locally remembered as part of "the great plague". Beer was already known as a safe alternative to impure local water supplies and the local community desperately needed help to avoid starvation. To promote public health, and compensate for minimal humanitarian support from far-away Rome, Benedictine Bishop Radbod included brewing permissions in the charter to re-establish Abbaye de Saint-Martin.
Brewing thrived at Abbaye de Saint-Martin, through multiple wars and rebellions without significant interruption until 1793 when, during the French revolution, most abbey structures, including the church sanctuary and brewery were destroyed. Only the mid-18th century Abbot palace, parts of the 14th century Gothic cloister and a Romanesque, 13th century crypt survived. Fortunately, many important abbey documents, including Saint-Martin's "secret" brewing recipes, were successfully hidden from revolutionary plunder.
In 1890, during Belgium's post-Industrial Revolution prosperity, these essential recipes permitted resumption of Abbaye de Saint-Martin brewing by Brasserie de Bruenhaut. More than forty individual Brunehaut beers were brewed during the next century and, in 1990, output capacity doubled, via new construction of a purpose-built fermentation house, two kilometers distance from the 1890 brewery site. Abbaye de Saint-Martin remains one of 18x Belgian beers to still enjoy official "Certified Belgian Abbaye Beer" status.
Note: Tournai is known in Dutch as Doornik and in Latin as Tornacum. The city sits at the crossroads of ancient Roman trading highways. Its Belgian-French-speaking citizens use a distinctive Picard dialect. Tournai's Hôtel de Ville serves citizens from the original Abbot palace, which was re-constructed following extensive WWII damage. (See the photo gallery at the bottom of this page.)
Production, styles & labels
An artisanal (non-conglomerate) brewer, Brunehaut employs ancient Belgian brewing recipes, dating from the First Crusade and documented from 1096. Combining top (in-bottle) fermentation with modern production technologies, Brewmaster Damien Delneste's signature beers include Dubble and Tripel bottle-conditioned ales, consistent with 1000+-year-old Belgian brewing tradition.
Each Brunehaut Organic (Bio) label has earned organic certification. Both the Ambrée and Blonde labels are EU certified as <5ppm gluten-free. The company grows their own barley and wheat. locally, within the brewery's terroir. Brasserie de Brunehaut historically maintained approximately two dozen labels, including several specialty and occasional seasonal beers. A 2006 ownership change tightened the firm's market focus. Seven products were retired and new packaging labels commissioned. Today, the brewery exports ten labels, across three beer styles. All Brasserie Brunehaut labels are verified as vegan-friendly.
Abbey beer (Bières d'abbaye)
- Abbaye de Saint-Martin Tripel (tripel) 9% ABV
- Abbaye de Saint-Martin Brune (bière brune/dubel) 8% ABV
- Abbaye de Saint-Martin Blond (bière blonde with triple hops) 7% ABV
- Abbaye de Saint-Martin Winter ale (bière hiver) 8.5% ABV
Gluten-free beer + Organic (Bières Bio) Styles
- Brunehaut Gluten-free Bio Amber (bière ambrée) 6.5% ABV
- Brunehaut Gluten-free Bio Blonde (bière blonde) 6.5% ABV
- Brunehaut Bio Blanche (bière blanche) 5% ABV
- Brunehaut Gluten-free Bio Triple (bière blonde) 7,5% ABV
Regional Style (Bières régionales)
- Abbaye de Saint Amand (juniper-spiced blond ale) 7% ABV
- Mont Saint-Aubert (Bière de Garde) 8% ABV
- Ne Kopstoot (ale), English translation = head butt 7% ABV
• Brunehaut Gluten-free Bio Ambrée was a Gold medal winner at the 2011 United States Open Beer Championships.
• Brunehaut Gluten-free Bio Blonde was a Silver medal winner at the 2011 United States Open Beer Championships.
• Abbaye de Saint-Martin Triple won a Gold medal at the 2011 World Beer Championship.
• Mont Saint Aubert Grand Reserve was runner-up in 2010 Philadelphia Beer Week judging.
• In 2008, Mont Saint-Aubert and Abbaye de Saint-Martin Blonde were awarded Silver and Bronze medals (respectively) during the Australian International Beer Awards in the "Abbey Style, Dubbel and Tripel" category.
• In 2007, Abbaye de Saint-Martin Blonde received the International Taste & Quality Institute's Superior Taste Award.
• Brasserie de Brunehaut Organic White Beer earned a Silver medal at the 2007 World Beer Championship.
• Mont Saint Aubert received a Gold medal at the 1997 World Beer Championship.
Brewery tours, festivals, packaging + distribution
Brasserie de Brunehaut is a member of The Union of Belgian Brewers and participates in many of Belgiums' annual beer festivals including Zythos Bierfestival, Brussels Beer Weekend, Brugs Bierfestival, and Essen's Christmas Beer Festival. The brewery maintains a limited schedule of private and public events, including local seasonal celebrations, plus bicycle and motor coach tours. Most popular among these is a brewery public open house, Fêtes de la Brasserie, held annually each September.
Brunehaut Brewery ships bottled products in either "capped" 33cl or "corked" 75cl bottles across Europe, Asia, North and South America. Brunehaut draught beer is traditionally distributed in 20-liter kegs. In 2008 however, Brunehaut became the first European brewer to offer recyclable, lightweight 30-liter EcoKegs as an export alternative to negative environmental impacts of non-reused or un-recycled beer bottles.
- Beer Me! — Brasserie De Brunehaut — Brunehaut, Hainaut, Belgium. Beerme.com.
- Mons, capitale européenne de la culture en 2015. Visithainaut.be.
- The Restoration of the Monastery of Saint Martin of Tournai - Herman (of Tournai) - Google Books. Books.google.com.
- IMG_8262wtmk | Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Flickr (2008-05-30).
- (Dutch) Abdijbier - Wikipedia. Nl.wikipedia.org (2013-10-23).
- Belgian Ale, Kolsch, and Alt Facts, Ratings, and Reviews. Tastings.com (2011-06-15).
- ActionDesign - Brasserie de Brunehaut. Action-design.be.
- [dead link]
- United States Open Beer Championship. Usopenbeer.com.
- Beer Review for Brasserie de Brunehaut Abbaye de St. Martin Tripel. Tastings.com.
- Tijdlijnfoto's - Brunehaut Brewery. Facebook.
- Philadelphia Beer Week’s Champion Founders Porter Sam Smith. Whiskey Goldmine (2010-07-27).
- RASV Portal - Australian International Beer Awards. Beerawards.com.
- World Beer Awards 2009. Tastingbeers.com.
- Belgian Beers: Belgian Beer no.113: Mont Saint-Aubert. Gloriousfoodandwinebelgianbeer.blogspot.com (2006-12-08).
- Beer Review for Brasserie de Brunehaut Abbaye De Saint Martin Blonde. Tastings.com.
- Beer Review for Brasserie de Brunehaut Abbaye De Saint Martin Dark. Tastings.com.
- Beer Review for Brasserie de Brunehaut Abbaye De Saint Martin Organic White Beer. Tastings.com.
- Zythos Bierfestival. Zbf.be.
- Belgian Brewers - Belgian Beer Weekend. Weekenddelabiere.be.
- Home - Bierfestival Brugge / Bruges Beer Festival / Februari 2013. Brugsbierfestival.be.
- Het O.B.E.R. Kerstbierfestival. Kerstbierfestival.be (2013-08-10).
- [dead link]
- Brasserie Brunehaut Official website
- C2 Imports, U.S. importers of Abbaye de Saint Martin Beers + Brunehaut Organic Beers
- Collins & Collins, Chilean importers of Abbaye de Saint Martin Beers
- EcoKeg, Corporate web site''
- Saint Amand (Amandus), Patron Saint of Brewing, bartenders and Boy Scouts