BROUWERIJ 3 FONTEINEN
The full pour
One of the best reasons to get out of Brussels is not to just wander the agreeable Belgian countryside, it is to visit 3 Fonteinen's new facility located in Lot (Beersel). You may even have the good fortune to meet the always charming frontman, Armand Debelder, during your visit. You will not find drie fonteinen (3 fountains) here, as those just symbolize the three pumps for lambic, kriek and faro that were featured in the original inn. But what you will find, is lambic beatitude.
Akin to other lambic tales of Belgium yesteryear, 3 Fonteinen has a storied past that is highly worthy of further exploration on your own. In short, the Debelder family has now been at the helm since 1961, after acquiring the original inn (over in Beersel) when it closed. More recently, they've bounced back from the brink of disaster in 2009, when an equipment (thermostat) failure ruined a bottle inventory to the tune of tens of thousands (*). With that episode now in the rearview mirror, this historic operation appears to be thriving in their new facility. It is a truly spectacular indoor/outdoor venue for sampling both current and aged releases. After visiting multiple times, there is simply a lot to be excited about for 3 Fonteinen.
Why is this on THL?
Most admirers of Belgian lambic blenders will surely already have 3 Fonteinen on their radar. However, many travelers may not be aware of how close it is to Brussels and what a delightful place it is to visit. Don't put it on the list for your next trip, just because it's outside the city, go on the first visit if you can. The stylish space provides for a unique atmosphere, and (most importantly) you have the opportunity to sample vintage bottles that are fairly tough to get anywhere else. While you can take a train out from central Brussels, a car might be helpful if you have a designated driver. Then you can easily bring back some souvenir bottles and fold in a few other stops while you're out there ambling about. Tilquin anyone?
WHAT'S NEARBY out there?
* Source: Lambic.info