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Brouwerij Van Steenberge

by Nicola Radisis

Known for the “golden dragon”, the beer which reminds of wine. Gulden Draak bears the dragon representing a Vikings ship. But the past of the Van Steenberge brewery in Ghent is long, dating back to the 18th century. I got to know the brewery in the late 00’s by tasting Augustijn which was then imported to Greece.

Where to begin with the history of the Van Steenberge brewery. Going back to the early years, we will find stories of Flemish people wanting to pursue their hobby, beer production. We are in 1784 and Jean Baptise De Bruin creates the De Peer brewery in Ertvelde. The brewery passed on to his wife after his death. When she passed away the brewery was taken over by her cousin, whose daughter married Paul Van Steenberge. The microbiologist in the profession learned the secrets from a Paster’s student. He loved politics more than anything, but he was proven to be a successful entrepreneur who decided to pursue brewing after World War I in 1919 renaming it to BIOS brewery. He invested in equipment, worked with brewers who were struggling through the war and benefited greatly by gaining valuable knowledge.

After his death in 1962, his son, Jozef Van Steenberge, a passionate man for beer, took over, focusing on upgrading the brewery and developing the raw materials for beer production. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Jozef loved politics as much as his father, and at just 64, he was involved in brewing as a full time job. This choice has been very important since the brewery has since started producing quality beers. It should be noted that in 1978 the brewery began producing beer by acquiring recipes of August monks. In the 80’s there was a significant brewing activity which now had in its portfolio Piraat and Gulden Draak. The following decade (1990) the brewery, was taken over by Paul Van Steenberge, son of Josef. Refurbished the brewery, invested in water treatment and energy saving. Jef Versele, Paul’s cousin, joins the brewery in 1998. Their aim was to increase exports of their beer to major destinations in the US, the Netherlands and Italy.

Van Steenberge brewery produces Augustijn (Blond, Dark and Grand Cru), Baptist (Blonde and White), Piraat (Ale and Triple Hop), Gulden Draak and Gulden Draak 9000 and some other labels such as Bornem, Leute, St. Stefanus. Their beers have been honored at the World Beer Cup, International Beer Challenge, Calgary Beer Fest, World Beer Awards.


Gulden Draak

The Golden Dragon adorns the bell tower in Ghent and is a landmark with history. Dark beer with aromas of coffee and roasted malt. Taste of high alcohol, sweet with notes of chocolate, caramel and a long-lasting bitter aftertaste is not easily understood. Also referred to as Barley Wine or Dark Tripel. Pleasant as aperitif or digestive. It is combined with dark Belgian chocolate and Flemish stew.

Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale | Alcohol: 10,5% abv | Bottle: 330ml, 750ml, 1,5lt | Glass: Tulip & Beer Sommelier

Augustijn Grand Cru

It’s the Tripel of the Augustijn series. Blonde with white foam, fruity aromas and hop. Enough alcohol, full body and malty taste, with a dry bitter aftertaste. Beer that evolves over time. Ideal for combining cheese, seafood and fish.

Style: Tripel Ale | Alcohol: 9% abv | Bottle: 330ml | Glass: Goblet & Beer Sommelier


Brouwerij Van Steenberge
Address: Lindenlaan 2, B9940 Ertvelde, Belgium
Email: info@vansteenberge.com
Url: www.vansteenberge.com
Founded: 1784
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