The Oude Pijpen from Oud Beersel came from Portugal, where they originally contained port wine. Some are more than 100 years old. Ultimately, they were shipped to Belgium via the port of Antwerp and then distributed to the various Lambic breweries of that time. After changing hands several times, a few ended up at Oud Beersel.
The colour of the barrels is darker than most other barrels you usually see in a lambic brewery. The surface is also slightly more porous, making it easier for oxygen to enter the barrels and for faster fermentation and acidification. Therefore, Oud Beersel only allows the lambic to mature for about two years in the Oude Pijpen; otherwise, the flavour profile becomes too overwhelming. For this blend, Gert Christiaens selected twenty of his ‘best’ Oude Pijpen, the barrels that deliver the most character. This is reflected in a pronounced Brett flavour and a slightly sharper sourness than usual lambic. The average age of the lambic was 20 months.