With the advent and growth of Antwerp, brewing evolved from a ‘home’ activity to a specialized craft. Many breweries settled in the city, especially in the Kammenstraat (Kammer = old name for brewer). Around the year 1500, their number was estimated at 200. Step by step “Seefbier” took shape as a new local Antwerp beer type.
Why do we brew beer?
Because we love beer.
We believe that beer is incredibly unique and diverse
We love to explore new tastes, aromas, old and new beer styles.
We honor our Belgian brewing heritage and write a new chapter to this tradition, driven to brew new, memorable, and distinctive beers of absolute top quality.
We brew beers we like to drink ourselves.
We are a small, local brewery, in the center of Antwerp.
Our brewery is established and run by beer lovers.
It’s completely independent, it doesn’t make part of large brewery groups or investors.
Since 2012, the Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie adds a new chapter to Antwerps rich brewing history.Our brand-new brewery uses the most recent, state of the art brewing technology.
We combine technology with traditional beer methods, an open-minded brewing spirit and a never ending drive for high-quality.
Beer is a natural product; we pay a lot of attention to the environmentally friendly production of our beers. From 100% green electricity, to heat and energy recovery from the brewing vapor and maximum emphasis on reusability, sustainability.
Our most important succes factor is our team, together with the enthusiasm of many beer lovers, bar owners and shop managers who turn this unique dream into reality.
Brewing history of Antwerp
11th – 14th century
When the city was recaptured by Spanish troops in 1585, Seefbier almost disappeared. In order to finance the war, the Spaniards decided to impose high taxes on beer. (Up to 67% of tax revenues were beer based)
As a result of these new tax rules, the use of Buckwheat – historic ingredient of Antwerp beer and still today an important ingredient of Seefbier -was forbidden in favor of other grains that were more heavily taxes. After heavy protest by the Antwerp residents and widespread clandestine brewing, the taxed based ban of the use of Buckwheat is repealed. Seefbier was saved!!
During this period, famous painters like Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens achieved their success.
In is in this time that the first written entry of the name ‘Seefbier’ is found: in 1677 Seefbier is mentioned in the purchases of the theater association from the Sint Lucasgilde.
The historic Seefbier has become the beer style of the city, and the most popular beer of Antwerp.
A new city quarter, built at the north edge of the town for the many new dock workers receives the name ‘Seefhoek’. It refers to the many pubs in the neighborhood, where the Seefbier flows freely.
The beer is also nicknamed ‘working man’s champagne’.
Approximately 100 breweries in and around the city brewed Seefbier in this period.
When German forces occupy Antwerp during the first world war, they start with the expropriation of all small breweries: the copper of the kettles was used to make their munition.
That’s the way that all the Seef beer breweries disappeared in and around the city.
Not only the beer but also it’s recipe seemed to be gone.
Nevertheless that nearly all local independent breweries disappeared or were bought by large conglomerates, the quarter Seefhoek rings a bell to the rich brewing history of the city.
Johan Van Dyck, a beer lover reads in the city library, the book called “Verdwenen brouwerijen in en rond Antwerpen” – (disappeared breweries in and around Antwerp). Johan already works a few years in the beer sector. This book becomes the start of a search which dures three years in order to find the disappeared recipe. Along city archives, preservation societies, conversations with old brewers and getting in touch with relatives from brewing families.
After a research of three years, the original recipe was found back.
With the add of the Catholic University of Leuven, Beer center Delvaux the beer was brought back to life. For the first time in nearly a century, the Antwerp Seefbier revives again.
Johan and his wife Karen not only decide to bring back the beer but especially to give Antwerp it’s own, local independent brewery.
The beer was launched at the city hall of Antwerp at the 9 March 2012, accompanied by the mayor.
The mayor gave Seefbier finally a warm welcome and afterwards he elevated it to city beer.
Seefbier gets for it’s launch a warm welcome from beer lovers and step by step their brand will grow. In the old premises of “Noorderpershuis” close to the port was found a new location. Due to the support of 1000 beer lovers by crowdfunding was the brewing hall built in 2017 and afterwards used. Situated in the Center of Antwerp has this city again a complete, local and independent brewery. In the middle of the brewing hall was installated a taproom & restaurant where the beers – in the meantime evaluated till a wide range – can be tasted. Our range is still expanding but our passion for beer and focus on high quality turns our young brewery into one of the most awarded breweries in Belgium.
SEEF THE PLANET
It’s the only one with beer!
The brewery exclusively uses green electricity – from natural renewable sources – .
We also recover heat and energy from vapors of the brewing process.
Rather than letting the steam-clouds escape into the air, we use a specific techniques and equipment to condensate and reuse the energy.
Our brewhouse and its steam supply are equipped with the most recent, most environmentally friendly energy efficient power generator, elimination any pollution of sulfur components. The use of water is limited to the absolute minimum, making it top of its class.
When there are cups needed on a festival for safety reasons (obviously we prefer glass ), we either try to use reusable cups or if this is not possible we go for biodegradable cups. These bio-degradable cups might look like plastics, but they are actually made of corn starch.
They are completely biodegradable so – even if they end up in the environment – they cause no polution.
All carton for packaging is FSC certified: a label from ecologically managed forests.
Our beer crates are made of recycled plastic from old crates, resulting in the reuse of plastics otherwise lost. As a result, our house style is black: this way we can re-use all types of colored plastic bottles
The crates are filled with reusable bottles, which in turn are also made of recycled glass.
What’s left of the malt after brewing, also called ‘spent grains’, will get a second life as fodder.
Every week a local farm comes to pick up the fodder. It is high-quality feed for the livestock, full of vitamins.
A brewery needs CO2, f.e. to pressurize tanks or kegs. Rather than having additional CO2 produced – there is already too much CO2 in the environment – , we use CO2 produced as by product in the Antwerp port. Rather than blowing of the CO2 into the air, it is now captured, condensed and used by our brewery, resulting in a big environmental advantage.