HORAL’s Lambic Award 2022 Awarded to Jacques De Keersmaecker

HORAL’s Lambic Award 2022 Awarded to Jacques De Keersmaecker

Every year, the High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers (HORAL) awards the Lambic Award to individuals or organisations that have made a notable contribution to defending the interests of traditional lambic beers and promoting Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek. This year, this honour goes to Jacques De Keersmaecker. Gert Christiaens, chairman of HORAL, said: “Jacques is very fond of traditional Geuze because of his family’s lambic roots. Thirty years ago, he played a crucial role in protecting Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek. In the meantime, the Oude Geuze production has increased more than tenfold.”

At the end of the 1980s, some breweries were confronted with problems related to the legislation on lambic and gueuze. At the same time, several brewers urged better protection of the ‘traditional Geuze’. On 27th August 1990, all lambic producers gathered at the Brewers House at the Grand’Place in Brussels, where they decided to attempt to protect traditional gueuze based on new EU regulations, which were being prepared at that time.

The European legislation on protecting geographical indications and designations of origin for foodstuffs was published on 28th July 1993. Shortly afterwards, at the invitation of Jacques De Keersmaecker, the lambic brewers met again. They set up the so-called ‘Gueuze Committee’ that consisted of Jacques De Keersmaecker (Belle-Vue), André De Keersmaeker (Mort Subite), Frank Boon (Boon) and Jacques Van Cutsem (Timmermans). This committee represented all lambic brewers and was mandated to submit a protection file.

HORAL chairman Gert Christiaens explained the motivation for the choice of laureate: “As chairman of the Gueuze Committee, Jacques De Keersmaecker played a key role in this. After three and a half years, the product specifications were finally ready. They were approved on 21st January 1997, and on 20th November 1997, the European Commission decided that Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek were henceforth protected as a Guaranteed Traditional Specialty. This eventually also led to the establishment of HORAL, now 25 years ago.”

 

Who is Jacques De Keersmaecker?

Jacques De Keersmaecker (°1949) is is a descendant of the brewing family who made a.o. Gueuze Caves Bruegel and Gueuze Corona, among others.

In 1967, six lambic breweries merged under his father’s impulse. Five of them – Van Haelen (Brasserie de la Fontaine) in Uccle, Van de Perre (Caves St. Pierre), La Bécasse in Anderlecht, Taymans in Jette and Charles Vanden Stock (Brasserie du Renard) in Schaarbeek – closed doors and production was continued in the C. & R. De Keersmaecker brewery in Wolvertem under the name ‘Brabrux’.

When Jacques started his brewing studies in 1969, his father became seriously ill. Jacques was still too young to continue the company. As a result, Brabrux was taken over in 1970 by Vanden Stock (Belle-Vue).

A few years after his studies, Jacques De Keersmaecker started working at the Lamot brewery in Malines, where he was eventually appointed general manager. In 1981, Lamot was integrated by the Interbrew group, which also acquired Belle-Vue in 1991. After the restructuring of the Anderlecht brewery, Jacques De Keersmaecker became director of the raw materials department of Interbrew in 1997. 

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Previous Lambic Award winners are Edgar Winderickx, Hugo Casaer, Tim Webb, Stene Isacsson, Daisy Claes, Dominiek Geers, folk group Arjaun, the Lambic.info team, Andy De Brouwer, Yanick Dehandschutter and the Belgian associations for beer enthusiasts.

The High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers (HORAL) was founded in 1997. The non-profit association unites most of the Belgian lambic breweries and gueuze blenders. Eleven producers are members of the High Council: Boon, De Oude Cam, De Troch, Den Herberg, Hanssens, Lambiek Fabriek, Lindemans, Mort Subite, Oud Beersel, Tilquin and Timmermans. The association's main objective is to promote and protect craft lambic beers, in particular, Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek.

www.horal.be

 

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