De Troch, Wambeek
The history of the De Troch brewery dates back to approximately 1795, when Joannes Franciscus De Troch (1766-1808) and his wife purchased an extensive farm with a number of outbuildings. Sometime around 1818-1820, a brewery and chicory roasting works were added. The brewery passed hands several times through the family of Joannes De Troch’s wife after her death in 1818. In 1857, Petronella Schoonjans married her nephew Egidius De Troch.
Like many lambic brewers, Egidius De Troch became involved in politics and eventually was elected mayor of Wambeek in 1885. While mayor, Egidius continued to develop the brewery and erected the buildings which are still in use today. In 1861, Egidius and Petronella had a son, Ludovicus (Louis I), who would eventually take over the brewery in 1899. Louis I also succeeded his father as elected mayor of Wambeek from 1899 until 1933. The marriage between Louis De Troch and Maria Josepha De Neve produced seven children, only two of whom outlived their parents; their oldest son Ludovicus Albertus (Louis II) and Magdalena Theresia.
In 1923, Louis De Troch installed a new brewing system that included cast iron mash tuns which are still in use today. By 1936, his son and successor Louis De Troch II had taken over the brewery, and in 1938 he also became the mayor of Wambeek, where he remained until 1976. Louis I passed away in 1940. In 1964, De Troch also opened up a beer shop to keep the business running.
By 1974, Louis De Troch II was ready to retire and passed the brewery on to his nephew Jos Raes, who had been working at the brewery since 1972. Jos (short for Jozef), the son of Magdalena and Raymond Raes, was raised by his uncle Louis and aunt Maria Louisa in the brewery. Jos downsized the farming aspect of the business after his uncle Louis II passed away in 1982.
After an accident in 2002 that left Jos Raes unable to brew for two years, his son Pauwel is running the business now.