history

Beer and the City // When beer was brewed at the European Parliament: Brasserie Leopold and the "Whim of the Gods"

Rue Wiertz, in Brussels’ European district, is a nothing street. Bound at both ends by slate-grey security barriers to protect the European Parliament, it is an unremarkable street in an unremarkable part of town. But, underneath the glass and stone towers that line the street, is some remarkable history. This spot, at the confluence of Rue Wiertz, Rue Vautier, and Parc Leopold, is where brewing in Brussels died. More specifically, it is where Brasserie Leopold – the last commercial brewery operating in Brussels city soil – shut its doors in June 1981.

Beer and the City // When beer was brewed at the European Parliament: Brasserie Leopold and the "Whim of the Gods"

The Kalibabou // Recreating the Brussels Christmas cocktail made with Lambic and...eggs

As the days grow darker and the nights colder, winter is the time of year to huddle close in a pub with a warming drink. Winter in Brussels is no exception. But, instead of a mulled wine or a hot toddy, in Brussels people celebrated the end of one year and the coming of he next with a “Kalibabou” – a hot cocktail of lambic, rum, sugar and eggs. Or, at least they used to.

The Kalibabou // Recreating the Brussels Christmas cocktail made with Lambic and...eggs

Beer & the city // Surviving Brusselization: the fate of Brasseries Atlas

Brussels has not been kind to its architectural heritage. The process of “Brusselization” describes the “indiscriminate and careless introduction of modern high-rise buildings into gentrified neighbourhoods” that characterised post-war urban planning in Brussels and was responsible for the callous destruction of historically important buildings, whole neighbourhoods, and local communities. Brussels’ breweries and their architectural legacy were not immune. The Grandes Brasseries Atlas is an exception.

Beer & the city // Surviving Brusselization: the fate of Brasseries Atlas