That’s right, Armand De Belder and his associates Michael Blancquaert and Werner Van Obberghen are going to start up an experience center for lambic beers in their resettlement to Lot.
The brewery itself remains in the center of Beersel, but even now already a part of the production has moved to the Molenstraat at Lot. In addition there will be a new experience center in which visitors from home and abroad will be able to follow the production closely.
“We want to show the people everything that is envolved in the making of Geuze and Kriek,” says Armand. “It must be very open. Today we can receive visitors only at the weekend, in the center it will be all the time. We are not going to send people off between the barrels and keep watch over the production, but they will be able to taste and live everything on site. There will be tasting rooms as well as meeting rooms, which will naturally have more charm than an ordinary meeting room. We will also be able to serve regional cuisine prepared in a modern kitchen installation.
Fortunately, Armand & ko can count on Flemish subsidies for the realization of their experience center, thanks to the Flemish Minister for Tourism ben weyts (N-VA), also coming from Beersel. He puts the experience center on a list of 11 projects which have to rely on government fonding.
“The Minister likes Geuze,” Armand Debelder confides. “But the minister will especially have noticed that weaim to appeal to a very wide audience with our center.”
Whether the new experience center of 3 Fonteinen will be a competition for the visitor’s center ‘De Lambiek’ at Alsemberg? “That is certainly not the intention”, says Armand.
“In ‘De Lambiek’ people receive a nice introduction and then they can come into our experience center to fully delve into the matter and beers. Our lambic beers deserve it. It is a unique piece of heritage that must be shared. We still need consult the municipality about this.”
Besides the new experience center they hope at 3 Fonteinen also to plant an orchard with cherry trees. But first the renovations are on the program, which they hope will be ready late 2016, early 2017.
“The plans for the experience center would never come up without my partners Michael and Werner,” admits Armand, which meanwhile turned 64. “What these men do is phenomenal. Thanks to them 3 Fonteinen evolves with the times. For me it will the crown on the work. Years ago I said that the lambic beers are an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists, but then many people declared I was crazy. After all these years I’ve been proven right.”
(Source: Het Laatste Nieuws)