La BRASSERIE
La Brasserie à Vapeur ,
1, rue du Maréchal à 7904 PIPAIX (Leuze-Belgique)
Tél: (069) 66 20 47
Fax: (069) 66 71 32
e-m@il : brasserie@vapeur.com

At the beginning of the 20th century, all the small villages in Belgium counted at least one firm-malt factory-brewery.  In consulting the statistics, one notices that there were 3,387 breweries in 1907, but only approximately 117 in 2001, including around 20 in Wallonia. These figures leave me wondering, but full of sadness. What were the reasons for these losses?  Was it the establishment of a beer industry of low fermentation – a problem of succession – of industrialization infection?  What became of these 3,200 and some breweries?  Some were reconverted to farms, depositing their beer onto the fields... But how many others, left abandoned, merely waited to be demolished?  It was nearly the legacy of the Biset brewery, located at the center of the village of Pipaix. That destiny was avoided in 1984 when a young couple repurchased the brewery. These two did not believe that the Biset brewery should suffer this cruel fate. The inhabitants of Pipaix had to go and see for themselves and the skeptics had to trust their own eyes when they saw smoke leaving the large chimney of the brewery again.  Pipaix’s brewery was again alive.   These two young people, Sittelle and Jean-Louis, would not be denied.  Their history is as fairy tale which could have started with, "Once upon a time..."  In 1967, after Jean-Louis had finished his humanities, his class had the occasion to visit the Dupont brewery—a small family brewery in Tourpes. This visit affected Jean Louis, as well as made a great impression on him, due in no small part to the friendship shown that day.  Upon their return to Peruwelz, the students discussed their adventure with fervor.  Jean-Louis spoke only about the brewery.  His friends said, “It is the effect of drink, tomorrow it will not seem so important!”  Quite the opposite happened.  On the following days, the following weeks, the following months… Jean Louis continued to speak about the manufacture of beer. His father, a doctor, considered the state of his son with a clinical eye. His official diagnosis was that his son had a minor, but incurable virus that found its beginning in that brewery.  Some years later, it also infected Sittelle. At first, there seemed to be some hope of a cure, but later on, they were hopeless lost to this disease of brewing beer!  Married and having bought a sluice-gate truss with Braffe, they organized a small distributorship of special brews almost immediately.  This satisfied them, for a time, but Jean-Louis always nurtured the hope to manufacture his own beer. Some attempts were carried out in pots and pans in their own kitchen!  In 1984, they learned that the Biset brewery was offered for sale. The opportunity was too good to pass up... They went all in and bought the brewery!  The dream was finally being realized. Two months later, Jean Louis’ long held dream reached fruition; the chimney smoked, the steam engine turned, and that magic liquid finally ran.  While the whole story seems almost too good to be true, the best part of it is the fact that it is most certainly not a dream.  Surely there is a message here about reaching for one’s dreams.  I say that fulfilling your dreams is impossible if you are unwilling to fight for them.  Young people that are willing to stand up in the face of life’s difficulties are destined to succeed.  Isn't the story of the Lemaire brewery a comfort?  Sittelle and Jean-Louis “left” their old life to begin a new one. The brewing trade was complex and complicated, but certainly not impossible.  It is by overcoming difficulties that one improves. My greatest wish is for them to continue the dream of the brewery. Good courage and long life with the “Steam-powered brewery!”  Marc Rosier.

The steam engine (1895)
Le régulateur de Watt 
Jean-Louis DITS
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Location - Visit the Brasserie- Labels - The Beers - Coasters
All the drawings of this site are © their authors and cannot be reproduced without the written authorization of them, and/or the Vapeur Brewery, or of the editions Topgame Conception and graphic realization: Louis-Michel Carpentier - Laurent English Anthony DEL ROSSO Assistance technique : Philippe Vanhaesendonck
Last site update was 10-04-2006 - © 1999/2006 Topgame Editions