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Beancurdturtle Visits Brasserie Fantôme

Brasserie Fantôme
Brasserie Fantôme

Sometime in March-ish of this year I somehow got in a Facebook conversation with Dany Prignon, who is the man behind Fantôme. I mentioned that a collaboration with him would be the highlight of my brewing experience. His response, “Daniel. Too much! I am just a brewer.”

As the year went by plans emerged for me to collaborate with two breweries in Spain. So a trip was planned with stops in other countries – including Belgium – along the way. Dany, to my surprise, asked if I was going to visit him at Fantôme. I said I would love to, as long as it wasn't a burden to him as I speak no French. And I made it clear; I am just a brewer – not a famous brewer, maybe a good brewer – but just a brewer.

Dany answered, call him when we get to the train station Gare de Melreux-Hotton near Soy Belgium. He would come pick me, my wife, and my mother in law up at the station. How could I refuse?

So after a two hour train trip from Brussels to Hotton, Dany picked us up as promised. We received a casual, entertaining, and thorough introduction to the small and functional brewhouse and surrounds. My mother in law helped on the bottling line for a short while. Tried many good beers. Spent the day talking about one thing and another. Had a hearty Belgian lunch at Restaurant Le Jacquemart Hotton with Dany and friends (I still have to do a Yelp review).

And of course I asked him many beer related questions; what grains and hops he liked, how he managed his yeast, and so forth. And you might think these are the secrets to making Fantôme Saison – but that’s not the case.

Here are the important things that I learned:

  • A good brewer can make extraordinary beer in a simple and functional brewhouse.
  • A good base beer can be the backbone to express amazing things – seemingly different beers – if you know how to layer complexities with creative herbs, spices, and other special ingredients.
  • Even if you’re “just a brewer”, passion and creativity – and maybe the help of a friendly ghost – can bring magic to your beer

It was a fantastic day, a wonderful learning experience, and a great pleasure to meet Dany and make a friend of such an authentic, humorous, and charming person.

Thanks Dany! My wife, mother in law, and I are all happy to have made a friend of you.

À votre santé!
=BCT=

Now, the photos…

Gare de Melreux-Hotton
We come bearing gifts to Gare de Melreux-Hotton.
Brasserie Fantôme
Brasserie Fantôme
À votre santé
À votre santé
Just fun stuff
Just fun stuff
Just fun stuff
Just fun stuff
Just fun stuff
Just fun stuff
Dany Fermenters and Me
Dany Fermenters and Me
My mother in law bottling
My mother in law bottling
An energetic lecturer
An energetic lecturer
A hearty lunch at Restaurant Le Jacquemart
A hearty lunch at Restaurant Le Jacquemart
Fantôme Saison at Brasserie Fantôme
Fantôme Saison at Brasserie Fantôme
Fantôme Saison at Brasserie Fantôme
Fantôme Saison at Brasserie Fantôme
Dany told me why this one is funky, and very likely one of a kind
Dany told me why this one is funky, and very likely one of a kind

 

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