Having achieved the first objective it was time to Focus on the second. In between running sessions Grégoire and Max started taking their first steps into brewing. Brewing once a month at first and then little by little they started brewing once a week. Their beers were getting better and they considered it a shame they couldn't share their creations with a wider audience. So the idea of starting a brewery themselves started to take shape. They formed a company together in January 2017 and in May of the same year their first beer hit the market the Saison de Bruxelles.
As their passion for beer developed they became more and more aware of the power of yeast in the creation of their beverages, and that lead to an interest in other fermentations. They started looking for older recipes, experimenting with cider and other funky fermentations. This lead to the successful introduction to the market of the Amarilis, a naturally fermented drink based on the subtle taste of elderflowers. Currently they are working on other fermented beverages that will revolutionise the market.
When looking for a name for the Brewery many options had been considered until they realised there was a long lost family brewery. Indeed Gégoire's wife, Sylvie, stems from a long line of family brewers. On the father's side the Van der Kelen family stems from the Primus family and on her mother's side she was part of the Hendrix family. The Hendrix Family had a brewery in Peer from 1797 to 1981. Wanting to reinstate the Brewery to it's former glory Grégoire and Max decided to name their Brewery "Brouwerij Hendrix".
Unfortunately, when they deposited the name, there was an objection from a well known brewery in Bruges. Suddenly there were two urgent problems to resolve, a change of name that had to be implemented within days, and 10000 bottles of labelled beer that had to rebranded by hand. After many sleepless nights we decided to rename the brewery after the name of the building where we brew. L'Annexe of the Van der Kelen school. And the rest is soon to be history.... (picture above by Vincent Leysen)
With the Saison de Bruxelles L'Annexe has redefined an old classic to suit the modern day pallet. A Saison beer with a delightful touch of bitterness, a complex pallet yet retaining the highly quaffable aspects of a saison beer. A refreshing beer that will comfort you whilst quenching your thirst.
A perfect marriage of two styles whilst retaining the benefits of both. The Black Saison by l'Annexe combines the warm chocolate coffee flavours of a Porter or Stout with the dryness and quaffability of a Saison. A unique beer that will surprise many. Try it...
The Weizen Saison combines the spicy character of our Saison de Bruxelles with the roundness the malted wheat gives the German Weizen beers. Being Belgian we couldn’t help add some citrus zest and coriander seeds that characterise our Belgian wheat beers. Add a touch of white tea and you end up with a divinely refreshing beer.
L'Union fait la force. When Bart from Brasserie de L'Union contacted us to see if we could make a beer together we were immediately interested. Based on our Saison de Bruxelles we have developed this bitter blonde beauty.
Taking long lost recipes and reinventing them in a modern context is what L'Annexe aims to do with its fermentations. Our Tonic is the first all natural, organic Tonic in Belgium and probably one of the only ones in the world. Enjoy the freshness of lemongrass, lemon, lime, Jamaican pepper, along with the bitterness of fresh quinine. This will be a drink you will never forget.
Our elderflower fermentation is the first fermented beverage launched by L'Annexe. It is a naturally sparkling delight made using the natural yeast on the elderflower. It is best drunk on a warm summers day when its refreshing soothing taste will delight your senses even more. As the flowers are seasonal so is the product. You will have to wait next year to get your next fix.
When developing our fermentation we looked for a long time whet we could add to it that would make it a more balanced refreshing drink. When someone suggested adding Timut pepper (Tibetan Sechuan) We couldn't wait to try it. When we finally tasted the result, it didn't dissappoint
It's sweet, it's lovely and it's refreshing. A favourite of our children when they come to visite, and treat for the grownups with some vodka after hours. Whichever way you decide to drink it it will deliver. Every time.