Brasserie de Silly, a family brewery with a long tradition

Ever since the 19th century, beer has been brewed on the large farms of the Hainaut region with the use of home-grown barley and hops. In those days the area covered by the community of Silly comprised 29 cafés and three breweries, catering to the needs of two thousand inhabitants, give or take a few. Nowadays, Brasserie de Silly is the only active brewery remaining in the eponymous village. Allow us to provide you with a brief overview of our history. Brasserie de Silly saw the light in 1850 in Cense de la Tour, a farmhouse owned by Squire Arnould de Limoge before it was sold to Marcellin Meynsbrughen. Marcellin owned a sunflower oil press. Perhaps, as a brewer, he was also continuing a long-standing tradition at the farm. His son Adelin succeeded him in 1904. It was he who set up health insurance to cover the brewers of Hainaut against the risk of work related accidents. Adelin passes away at an early age in 1907 when his heirs were still young. Adelin junior, at the tender age of 16, had to finish his brewing education in Ghent before being allowed to take over the business. Luckily, for a number of years, he was assisted by a cousin. During the First World War, the brewers painted the copper kettles in tar so they would not be requisitioned by the German occupiers. The plan worked and the brewery managed to survive; in fact, this was the only brewery in the area that remained operational during the war. They supplied other brewers so they also were able to continue deliveries. Up 1955 Brasserie de Silly was using five horses including one dapple grey, traditionally the bringer of luck. At the entrance to the brewery there are two sets of stalls, one accommodating two horses and one with room for three. In around 1930 the brewery was the proud owner of a fleet, comprising of a lorry and two horse-drawn beer carts to transport the barrels.

To be continued…