Xavier Van Honsebrouck
West Flanders, Belgium
Flanders Oud Bruin, Quadrupel, Fruit Beer, Triple, Gueuze
The roots of the Van Honsebrouck brewery can be traced back to Werken where Amandus Van Honsebrouck (1811-1865) was mayor and ran a farmstead with a dairy farm, brewery and distillery. Amandus’s son Emile and his wife Ludovica Louise De Poorter, due to family issues Louise up her own brewery in Deerlijk later relocated to Toekomststraat.
In 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Honsebrouck-De Poorter purchased a small farm on the outskirts of Ingelmunster where they established Sint-Jozef Brewery. Emile was not very interested in the business of the brewery and Louise was the one who ran the brewery. Emile and Louise had five children. In 1922, sons Paul and Ernest took over the brewery. Paul and Ernest like their father were not particularly good at brewing but their mother has asked them as long as she was alive to continue brewing and don’t go bankrupt. She said they could do whatever they pleased after her passing.
Despite their lack of success at brewing, Paul and Ernest had big plans. In 1930, they built a new four-story building built to accommodate the malthouse with a double drying kiln and a large malt floor, barley loft, water tanks, and a cask room. In 1939, they made another addition with a brewhouse, fermenting room, tank room, and bottling unit. Both of constructions were paid for with 50 percent cash up front and the remainder in beer deliveries. During this time the brewery was brewing bottom fermented beers – bock, export, and pils.
Ernest never married and had children and Paul had eight children. Luc, the eldest son, was most interested in the brewery, he first trained at a brewing school in Ghent. Then went to Tournai where he worked for a “brewery” and learned everything one should not do. The following year during the holidays Luc went to Germany to work in the Wickule-Kupper brewery in Wuppertal. As soon as Luc finished his studies the brewery was handed over to him.
Luc renamed the brewery Sint-Jozef to Van Honsebrouck Brewery. From 1953 to 1975 Luc worked hard to improve the quality of beers and find the niche beer for the brewery. Around 1975, Bacchus became a breakthrough beer for the brewery. Van Honsebrouck also developed St. Louis Gueuze and from that created the St. Louis Kriek and much later the St. Louis Framboise.
Luc married Francine Depauw and had two sons Xavier and Vincent. On January 1st 2009 Xavier took over the reins of the brewery.