Founded in 1887, the 3 (Drie) Fonteinen café and geuzestekerij in Beersel, near Brussels, has been blending their own geuze from young and old lambics for well over a century. In 1998, a brewery was also installed to produce their own lambics for blending with others from the likes of Boon, Girardin and Lindemans. They are also famous for their traditional krieks.
The brewing operation was almost abandoned entirely back in 2009 with ‘The Thermostat Incident’, which saw the premises heated to 60°C and tens of thousands of bottles ruined (around 3,000 of which exploded). When life gives you lemons, however, you make lemonade, and the ruined beer was distilled to create Armand'Spirit, an eau de vie that helped keep them in business. Some bottles of Oude Kriek, now affectionately known as ‘Hot Cherry’, also survived the incident.
It would be 2013 before 3 Fonteinen was in a financial position to resume their brewing activities, producing lambics, as well as blonde beers, lagers, porters and witbiers and reclaiming their position as a highly regarded Flemish brewer.