Hanssens, Dworp

Hanssens is one of the oldest lambic blenders in Belgium. Before moving to their current site in 1896, lambic was brewed and blended at the family farm since 1871. Hanssens came into existence through a non-lambic brewery known as Het Hooghuys brewery. This brewery was initially owned by the Van Hemelrijk family and eventually became associated with the Hanssens name after Petrus Van Hemelrijk married Joanna Maria Hanssens in 1837. The oldest son of Petrus and Joanna, Jozef (1861-1890), continued the family brewing tradition until he fell ill in 1888. That same year, Jozef let his cousin Bartholomé Hanssens (who later became the mayor of Dworp from 1914-1927) take over the brewery operations on the condition that he would return it back to the Van Hemelrijk family when Jozef’s young children were old enough to maintain the business. The brewery was signed over on a 9-year lease to Bartholomé.

A family quarrel came about when Bartholomé did not want to return the popular brewery, and he was eventually fired, forcing him to find a new location for his brewery. Professionally, Bartholomé Hanssens was not a lambic brewer or blender originally. By all accounts, his new brewery, Sint-Antonius, broke with Dworp tradition by not producing or blending any lambic. However, during the First World War, Bartholomé’s brewery was stripped of all its copper equipment by the occupying German forces. The loss of all of his brewing equipment forced Bartholomé Hanssens to turn to purchasing wort, maturing it, and using the resulting lambic for blends.

Bartholomé’s second marriage resulted in four children (two daughters and two sons). One son Theo began to learn the lambic blending craft at the age of 14. Theo took over the business full time when his father passed away in 1928. In 1932, Theo married Rosa Vastiau, whose name makes up Hanssens barrel marking today: THV.

Theo Hanssens and Rosa Vastiau had one son, Jean, who would eventually learn the trade from his father and move into the business after completing his military service.

The numerous brewery closures after World War II lead to Hanssens using wort from Lindemans and Girardin. By 1990, the blend also contained lambic from Boon. Today, these three breweries make up all of Hanssens’s gueuze blends. 

After succeeding his father Theo in 1974, Jean Hanssens continued to produce only gueuze and kriek throughout the 1970’s and 80’s as the lambic market continued to shrink. Jean Hanssens continued to blend lambic until 1997, when it became apparent that it was time to retire. Fortunately, Sidy and her husband John Matthijs took interest in continuing the family’s blending business.
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    Hanssens Oude Geuze – 37,5 cl

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     3.48
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    Hanssens Oude Geuze – 75 cl

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     5.83
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    Hanssens Cassis – 37,5cl

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     4.89
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    Hanssens Oude Kriek – 37,5 cl

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     4.21
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    Hanssens Schaarbeekse Oude Kriek – 37,5cl

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     5.86
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    Toer de Geuze Collection (1 HORAL Megablend 2022 75cl + 11 Oude Geuzes 37,5cl + 2 FREE tasting glasses)

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     59.99
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    Hanssens V.S.O.R. Very Special Old Red – 37,5cl

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     12.79

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