Samia Patsalides and Rémy Perée have restored an old manor in Harzé, Belgium to a new glory and over the past two years have made it a home for their two children while squeezing Misery brewery and pub into it.
After two years of “misery” and hard work they have created a joyous space in the Belgian Ardennes as the Beer Idiots can attest on our visit there earlier in August.
But their on-going journey is more than the story of a new craft brewery starting up. It is a story of their lives, their two children, building a place of they can inhabit in countryside and the friends they have made while doing so.
“It is our life,” says Perée, an avid punk rock musician who occasionally played with friends at the house during the redevelopment. He has a hankering comics and a taste for the occasional Stella, which I share.
Patsalides and Perée had just thrown their launch party the week before we visited and were in the mood to take it easy after sleepless, relentless work before the launch.
And yes, they decided on the name of the brewery based on the Stephen King book. Misery also attests to the many trials and tribulations they went through to arrive at a working brewery and launch during Covid-19.
Misery Beer’s team includes Yoni Imbro, a brewer and Bob Tillieux, a graphic designer who is also good with a trowel, and Andrea Dainef.
Patsalides and Perée praise the many contributions from their many friends in developing the brewery within Misery Manor, including the 100 or so visitors, mainly brewers from Belgium, Canada and the US.
A successful crowdfunding drive in November 2019 raised €20,400 to help buy the equipment.
They received their brewing installation near the start of Covid-19 and without the technical help that comes with it. But they had the help with the welding and the fitting from a helpful Belgian brewer.
That support throughout the two years is down to their welcoming natures. They are the kind of people who will invite you to continue a conversation by sharing their last steak.
Even before the official launch, their beers were the underground talk of the beer nerd circuit and the bars.
The beers I tasted there attested that they have more than something going and promise to reach even greater heights.
First, Patsalides and Perée want to perfect their range, which includes La Holy Moly, a double-dry hopped pale ale and Fudd’s Session, which they describe as having a “shitload of calamansi”. This is a citrus hybrid native to the Philippines.
They also have released a stout and are releasing a grisette, a local style of beer, normally light and citrusy in the farmhouse, saison class.
They can brew 10 hl in one batch and plan to brew 500 hl in their first year as Misery Beer Co.
We also await for whatever is coming out of Misery’s barrels. Their story continues.
You can try Misery’s beers at today from 10:00 at a tap takeover at Moeder Lambic Fontainas.