The values of our team: respect for nature, local roots and respect for people
At the Brasserie des Légendes we attach great importance to the values of respect for nature, local roots and respect for people.
These values are actually put into practice every day in everything our team does, in supplying, producing and marketing our beers.
Short supply chain (Beauregard farm)
We have been growing our own barley since 2015 at the Beauregard family farm, located in Arc-Wattripont in the Pays des Collines region. The family of brewers, Pierre and Vinciane and their children, are sixth-generation farmers and thus perpetuating their family values. When his parents retired in 2012, Pierre wholeheartedly took on the management of the farm.
The farm grows winter and spring barley, with no pesticides or other treatments. This choice is part of our process for selecting raw materials in accordance with criteria for quality and sustainable development. 17 hectares are sown, which produce 130 tonnes of barley. Other crops are also grown at the farm: wheat, beets, beans and pulses. Three hectares are maintained as wildlife reserves.
Once harvested, the barley is germinated and dried to obtain malt (the most important raw material for beer in terms of quantity) at Castle Malting in Beloeil.
We are the only brewery in Belgium that grows its own barley. It enables us to control the whole production chain and to use a short supply chain: we do not import barley transported by trucks from abroad. Our beer comes directly “from the earth to your glass”. Ultimately, when production from the farm is insufficient, we buy quality barley from a few other farms in the region, at a fair price that is higher than the market price.
Reuse of heat energy
In order to reduce our energy consumption, we reuse the heat produced during the two stages of beer production:
– During the brewing process
Cooling 5000 litres of wort enables us to heat the same quantity of water to 85°C, which will be used for the next mashing.
– During fermentation of the wort
Fermentation releases heat, and as the tanks must be maintained at a temperature of 25°C, the excess heat (produced by the transformation of sugars into alcohol by the yeast) is reused to heat the warm storage rooms and offices. 70 to 80% of the heat required for heating comes from fermentation of the beer!
The brewery’s water treatment plant
When the Brasserie des Légendes was founded in the early 2000s, a wastewater treatment plant was created on the Irchonwelz site. This system purifies the “dirty” water produced during brewing, cleaning tanks, cleaning and racking bottles and barrels, etc.
The treatment plant works using the lagooning technique (the water flows slowly through various lagoons where microorganisms break down the impurities). Oxygenation provided by mechanical aeration accelerates the water purification process..
The purified water is checked several times a year to ensure that the treatment plant is working correctly and guarantee the water quality before it is discharged into surface water.
The plant can hold over 1,000,000 litres of water, giving the water a flow-through time of two months at the treatment plant.
When the Quintine site in Ellezelles was taken over, the Brasserie des Légendes set up a treatment plant comprising four 10,000 litre tanks fitted with aerators to treat all of the site’s wastewater.Once purified, this water is discharged into the surface water.
We currently have 250 solar panels that produce 50 MWh per year. We plan to increase this to an additional 200-250 MWh.
We also have 54 m2 of solar boiler panels on the roof. This solar heating enables us to heat the water needed for beer production, and to consume less energy to reach the necessary temperatures.
Using heat energy recovery, 70 to 80% of energy needed for heating the offices and warm storage rooms comes from the brewery itself.
A small, local, family business that respects people and the environment
Other initiatives genuinely put our values of respect for local employment and quality into practice.
- We do not use any additive whatsoever in the production of our beers.
- The majority of our bottles are returned and reused.
- Our car park is surfaced with gravel rather than concrete: water can drain through the soil.
- We have replanted 600 young trees on land next to the plot used to construct our new buildings. This has become a nature reserve on the banks of the river Dender.
- We work with local businesses as much as possible (gardeners, electricians, architects, etc.)
- Our team includes several people working under the protected employment scheme.
- The great majority of our passionate team are local people.
- The fermentation tanks have been installed in an enclosed building so as not to disturb the local residents, and our buildings are sound-proofed for the same reason.
- We have set up water-saving systems for bottle-washing and rinsing procedures.
- The new “Cureurs” building has been completely covered in “Thermowood” timber (natural and ecological timber profiles) so that it blends perfectly into its woodland setting.
- Brewers travel between the two sites in Ath by bicycle.
- A footpath has been built alongside the road for local residents.