The historic Brouwerij De Hoorn
Saturday 13 March 2021
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In the Flemish-speaking Flanders region, Brewery DeHoorn had been brewing for its village and the surrounding areas for around 300 years.
Originally an inn and farm with space for horses, dairy cattle and grain farming, the business served the village of Steenhuffel, but also travellers and the nearby Diepensteyn Castle. The homestead would later be called “De Hoorn,” and by 1525 records show it being run as an inn.
Over the next several centuries, De Hoorn saw a lot of changes, including being burned to the ground during a particularly violent war, and being home to a nobleman. For our purposes though, the real action starts in 1706, when the estate was bought by husband and wife Andries and Joanna Van Doorselaer, and set up as a brewery (as well as a farm, with horses, dairy cattle, grain farming, maltings and oast house – the Van Doorselaers were quite the entrepreneurs).
The brewery side of the business seems to have done a roaring trade, at least. A settlement of excise duties from 1724 shows that brews of 9 hl on “brown beer” were made – not insignificant for the time.
The brewery itself had almost disappeared completely by the time it was acquired in 2014 by Palm Belgian Craft Brewers and restored to its former glory. Today, it is part of the Swinkels family of breweries, and is a place for brewers to experiment with spices, fruit, wood ageing and other traditional and modern techniques.
Featured in this month’s Beer52 box, Cornet was named after Theodoor Cornet, the steward of Diepensteyn Castle, which played a pivotal role historically, as a major customer of the brewery. It is a richly oaked, heavy blond beer with a subtle vanilla note from the oak on which it is matured. In recent years, Cornet has been awarded World Beer Awards several times. It has a smooth and velvety mouth feel and is bottle conditioned.
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