English | Deutsch

Passion for brewing

We’ve just happened upon an issue of the 2/17 magazine. And there we found loads of interesting articles: like a report on the Lupulus Brewery. And because we immediately started browsing, we want to share this rediscovery with others. Here, however, there’s space for only a brief summary; there’s more about the subject on the magazine article.

In a small village in Southern Belgium right in the heart of the Ardennes, a father and his two sons are keeping up the local beer-brewing tradition. Admittedly, the Brasserie Lupulus is not Pierre Gobron’s first brewery, but most definitely his best-equipped one. This is because for his investment he decided to place the order with Krones as the turnkey contractor supplying the brewhouse and the bottling kit. He had Krones dimension the equipment’s capacities so generously that they will guarantee the brewery sufficient “breathing space” for further growth in the future, when it will be managed by his two sons Julien and Tim.

The three of them are united by a fierce innate passion for brewing beer: “We feel that we’re not so much craft brewers as the term is understood nowadays, but rather a group of experts with the know-how it takes to brew good beers while faithfully observing Belgian brewing traditions,” says Julien Gobron. “First and foremost, we’re a family-managed brewery that just loves making beer.”

Time to take a decision

It seems as if it’s downright impossible for Pierre Gobron to keep his brewing volumes small, something due not least to his beers’ superlative quality. Because by 2014 the Lupulus beer family had already topped an annual output of 10,000 hectolitres. Exports, especially to Italy, were flourishing. However, the brewery’s premises were bursting at the seams, and the kit installed required a large amount of manual labour: for instance, a brew had to be prepared in the ten-hectolitre brewhouse 30 times a week, there was just one Italian-produced monobloc available for filling, and unpacking, packing and palletising had to be done by hand. So the time had come to take a decision for the future.

This was made jointly by the father-and-two-sons threesome. They opted for a new building directly adjacent to the restaurant and the existing microbrewery, which had been erected by mid-2016 with a footprint of 1,200 square metres. The identically sized cellar serves the brewery as a store for raw and processing materials, and also as a maturation chamber where the filled beers undergo a second fermentation process at 20 degrees Celsius. “Never before had my father invested in such top-notch technology. But we believed that we should start thinking ahead and give ourselves a “breather”, so to speak, with the state-of-the-art kit we were about to order. By doing so, we hope to have more time for developing new beers and flavours, and for sales and marketing,” says Julien Gobron. “Besides, the new technology also significantly enhances our flexibility.”

Turnkey solution

Lupulus placed an order with Krones for supplying a turnkey solution – except the fermentation and storage cellar, because the brewery already had these tanks. In June 2016, the Gobron family was able to prepare the first brew in their new Steinecker brewhouse. They anticipate an output of 16,000 hectolitres for 2016, with the new brewery dimensioned for an annual capacity of 80,000 hectolitres. “Mind you, we don’t want to grow too fast, we’re rather aiming to create quality and progress our development step by step,” emphasises Julien Gobron.


Lupulus is particularly successful abroad, with 60 per cent of the production output being exported today, mainly to Italy, France and Switzerland. But smaller quantities are also travelling as far as China and Japan. The intention now is to above all tackle the domestic market more intensively, and to supply kegged beer to cafés and restaurants and bottled beer to supermarkets. Admittedly, bottom-fermented pilsner continues to be the most popular type of beer in Belgium, but that’s about to change, Julien Gobron confidently believes: “Now that the craft-beer wave has arrived here, Belgian consumers are meanwhile showing keener interest in new flavours. One or the other of the breweries that are now springing up well-nigh everywhere may go a bit over the top, for my taste. But overall this is highly beneficial for the sector as a whole, and for the reputation of Belgian beer, which means we can look to the future with justified optimism.”

And so that you don’t miss any articles in the future, you can subscribe here quite easily:


Share on Pinterest
Your Comment

All (*) marked fields are mandatory fields