Brouwerij The Musketeers: Flexibility and Innovation

A walk inside of a classic of the Belgian modern brewing history

Sometimes you keep on stumbling upon the same name over and over: you've just heard of it out of a wonderful design concept, and then you notice how this is not only that, but a real institution into your niche world called: Craft Beer.

I got to know about Musketeers because of the edgy design they produced with NOMOQ's tech: the Kiss My Neighbour('s Wife) from their Bucket List. And I never tried anything else of their portfolio since when I arrived in Brussels where I found taps dedicated to Musketeers to any cool taproom I visited: L'amère à Boire, Les Brasseurs and even Brasserie de l'Union, all of them had some space for this brewery that by the time I only knew by the name.

Brouwerij The Musketeers: the brewery and the values

The time I traveled from Anderlecht and Brussels Beer Project to Sint-Gillis-Waas where Musketeer is located, it was pretty exciting, as I was thrilled to meet people around such a brewery.

"We've always built our company with quality and community in mind" – is Stefaan Soetemans telling me that as founder and soul of the brewery – "always mindful on the products we brew and on the people we serve".

Brewing with Flexibility

These strong values are absolutely visible in any corner of the brewery and the people work inside, and between innovation, customer orientation and quality, the Master Brewer Brecht De Causmaecker pulls in another value of The Musketeers: "The whole structure of the brewery is built around flexibility" – says the masterbrewer – "be built our system in a quite modern way, and this allow us to brew quickly batches from the small ones to the big ones". The system he talks about is their brewhouse built recently and planned together with the German company Rolec excellent for this flexible projects. "Our system works with the possiblity of brewing fast in the brewhouse and do it in small or full quantities, and everything start from the the raw materials that are brewed and then with the beer that can be move in the tanks where it will be finished with the time needed" – keeps on Brecht – "in this way we are free of brewing the most traditional beers that will then go to the traditional market, but also experiment with something a bit more edgy, that can be produce seasonally and in small quantities to experiment something cool but also to cuddle the more progressive beer lover audience".

Brewing with Innovation

And this is the case of the Bucket List line: "The Bucket List line is the dream of any brewer." – on Brecht words – "All the beers that any brewer would love to try brewing, the special and the frontier scouting ones, now they have the platform with us, and this is called the Bucket List. The Milkshake IPAs (Jump out of a plane), The Belgian Bitter Blonds (Cross the desert), The Juice IPAs (Kiss Your Neighbour) have space in this series and people love them. Maybe because they also love the names, also those ones part of a bucket list, and not only for brewers". And edgy tastes, often, need some edgy packaging as well. "The design of the Bucket List series are always funny and colourful, with our character committed on ticking all the boxes of his list." – still Brecht talking – "traditionally we always fill our beers into bottles, but with the Kiss my Neighbour('s wife) we decided to use a canvas that could potentially fit better the creative qualities of the illustration and of the beer series. That's why we decided to go for NOMOQ's digitally printed cans, and, hey, the result is just incredibly visible".

That afternoon, I went back to Brussels happy having had met a crazily historic brewery with progressive production systems and always ready to innovate and give a twist to their production. 

And, I was even happier of finally having given a shape to all those beers pouring from any tap of Capital City of Europe and of the European beers.

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