Ratebeer honors Pajottenland’s pride

Armand Debelder at "De Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst"

Like every year, the US beer site Ratebeer.com announced its final ranking of Best Beers in the World, but also of Best Brewer in the World and his final ranking .

Bronze for 3 Fonteinen

Since last weekend, the one who can call himself the world’s 3rd Best Brewer 2015, is … Armand Debelder of Brewery 3 Fonteinen (Beersel). For Armand, this is a recognition for the many years of hard labor and the stubborn continuation of a long tradition and authenticity without compromise. Each year, several of his lambics adorn in RateBeer Top 100, evidence of his established expertise.

And no, Armand (64) is still far from retirement, he is even working hard on the future of 3 Fonteinen. Since 2013 with the help of his partner brewer Michaël Blancquaert (32), since a year also with the support of his financial partner Werner Van Obberghen (36).

Armand Debelder and Michaël Blancquaert - 3 Fonteinen

Gold for ‘In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst’

On its side the popular café ‘In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst’ (Eizeringen), was elected the Best Bar in the World and the second Best Beer Destination in the World. ‘In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst’ is also sometimes called ‘the café with the longest name and the shortest opening hours’, but that aside. :-)

The inn at the church square of Eizeringen has one of the widest selections Geuze and Kriek in the world. Open every Sunday from 10:00 to 13:30, including holidays. Is certainly worth a visit!

In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst


For those who don’t know RateBeer.com … This American website is a global network where thousands of individual beer connoisseurs give their appreciation after they have tasted a beer. They aren’t paid to participate in this evaluation, each beer – both of large and small brewers – has the same chance of winning and / or receiving a grading.

>> Look at all the laureats of the Ratebeer 2015-election

3 Fonteinen’s experience center under construction

Armand Debelder 3 Fonteinen

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.

Grand project

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.

3 Fonteinen

Government fonding

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.”

3 Fonteinen brouwerij


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.”

3 Fonteinen Michaël

(Source: Het Laatste Nieuws)

NEW: 3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera lambic

Experimenting with lambic is clearly on the rise. After SpontanBasil from Lindemans Brewery (Vlezenbeek) and Green Walnut from Stekerij Oud Beersel (Beersel), now Armand De Belder from 3 Fonteinen Brewery (Beersel) had the honour to present something new, in collaboration with sommelier Andy De Brouwer from Restaurant Les Eleveurs (Halle).

Zenne y Frontera

Spanish sherry casks

With pride they presented their < strong>Zenne y Frontera, a lambic aged in Spanish sherry casks. “In these casks rested authentic Oloroso and PX sherry for over forty years,” says Andy on Nieuwsblad.be. “In May 2012, I selected these vessels personally. Armand Debelder then filled them with his illustrious young lambic. After another year of maturation, the assembly was bottled on March 1st 2014, to rest then another 1.5 years in the bottle in the cellars of the brewery. Therefore, one bottle of Zenne y Frontera is 3.5 years work.”

“It’s incredible how the full aroma of the sherry and the strength of the wooden barrels give a sophisticated touch to the typical gueuze character of this beer. The beer has a touch of fruit, nuts and a fresh acid complexity that really comes into its own, if one carefully decants the bottle. I had in my mind an idea of ​​how the Zenne y Frontera could taste. The result is even better than expected“, beams Andy.

Fixed range

“It is the first time that the tradition of lambic and sherry is put together. In this respect, this new beer really is innovative. And that actually is not a coincidence”, said Andy De Brouwer. “There are a lot of similarities between the valleys of the Senne and those of the Frontera. In both regions is a kind of microflora that allows maturing in wooden barrels. Both regions have a centuries-old craft tradition developed. In my opinion, Zenne y Frontera is really the missing link between beer and wine.”

In total, Armand made 4,000 bottles of Zenne y Frontera, as an experiment. Because the result is so good and refined, there is no doubt that the beer will become a permanent fixture in the 3 Fonteinen range. For now, you can only taste the beer in Restaurant Les Eleveurs (Halle), but Andy has already received numerous requests from fellow sommeliers to be able to serve it in their business as well. So it looks as though the Zenne y Frontera will be a real gourmet product.

Zenne y Frontera

(Source: Ingrid Depraetere, www.nieuwsblad.be)