Glenn Castelein, founder and brewer at Alvinne Brewing in Moen, Belgium briefs us about the current status of brewing and the export market.
Alvinne is legendary among beer lovers for his sour ales, barrel ageing and expert use of wild yeasts – all three at the same time. Castelein is especially known for his development of a house yeast he has named ‘Morpheus’. This was collected from nature in Auvergne (France) in 2008 and selected, isolated and cultivated with what he calls “monk patience” until he obtained the desired properties.
Morpheus is a culture of 2 brewer’s yeasts (saccharomyces cerevisae) and lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus). This gives him the base upon which to do variations on the traditional flemish sour ales, and other beers he produces.
Castelein runs the brewery with Marc De Keukeleire, who is involved in managing the yeast, and Ricardo Murgioni, the head brewer at the 20 hl installation, which has 6 main fermantation tanks, 10 lager tanks, 75 wine barrels, and 5 foeders.
Together they output about 1,500 hl of beer a year, exporting 1,000 hl to raving fans abroad. Castelein is especially responsive to those belonging to Alvinne’s Fellowship Of Exceptional Ales on Facebook, currently with about 950 members. He created the fellowship as an annual subscription service to get access to a limited amount of beers, usually lapped up rapidly when he posts the 400 litre limited release online.
Brouwerij Alvinne has been brewing at the location since 2004.