From brewing to distilling
From 1637 to 1914, the miller’s family Van Breedam ground and distilled grain into jenever on the Molenberg in Blaasveld. In 1872, Louis Van Breedam and his sister left the Molenberg to become brewers in Mechelen. The Molenberg is still in the hands of the family and they continue the tradition.
Charles Leclef grew up in the brewery but remained in touch with the Molenberg in Blaasveld, where his uncle lives. After modernizing the brewery, Charles came up with a daring plan. In the Molenberg, he wanted to distil beer to alcohol: whisky. This whisky distillery has become the perfect match between two family traditions, brewing and distilling.
Beer and whisky are both produced from grains. Gouden Carolus Single Malt is a refined whisky distilled from the mash of Gouden Carolus Tripel beer. The ensuing aging in First Fill Bourbon casks followed by a further aging in 'Anker' casks (oak casks reworked by the cooper according to our own specifications) results in a refined whisky with a rich and balanced taste. The subtle fruit aromas are delightfully enhanced by hints of wood and vanilla.
Someone who wants to distil whisky has to follow the rules of art. In Blaasveld, a modern, fully-fledged production-unit is gleaming. A first for Belgium are the hand hammered, copper pot stills, made by Forsyths, one of the most well-known coppersmiths in Scotland.
Over the years, the ‘Molenberg’ family farm fell into a state of disrepair. In 2009, the preparatory renovation works started. The installation of the copper pot stills in November 2009, an absolute first for Belgium, heralded the start of a new tradition. The first, pure distillate flowed out of these stills in October 2010.
Below are some pictures of the works.