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Tilquin: blending the best

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Video: Pierre Tilquin talks about recovery after the lockdown, barrel ageing his lambic blends and takes us on a tour of Gueuzerie Tilquin in Bierghes, in Rebecq, Belgium.

In the hagiography of lambic producers, once it is written, Pierre Tilquin will stand out as one of the best. Since 2009, when he started Gueuzerie Tilquin, his blends are rated among the highest by gueuze addicts. 

Tilquin gets his lambic wort from Boon, Lindemans, Girardin, Cantillon and Timmermans, then stores them in up to 650 oak barrels for up to three years before blending them and in some cases mixing them with various fruit.

His Gueuze Tilquin à l’ancienne is a blend of 1, 2 and 3 years old lambics while the Quetsche Tilquin à l’ancienne is mixed with fermented plums.

His production per year is about 1500 hl of which about 30-40% is sent to other countries.

That production slowed down during the COVID-19 lockdown and he is now back selling as much as possible. At one point Tilquin was deliveries to 31 places during a day to drinkers. 

He did not create an online webshop like some other brewers: “I do not want to sell online. I do not want to shortcut my importers in different countries. I am not a fan of webshops. When I allocate to a country that is the amount I can give.”

Tilquin also had to cancel his popular English Beer Festival this year but he is planning on lots of events in 2021 as he celebrates the 10th anniversary of producing his first gueuze. He plans on having 10 different gueuzes on hand for a “big party”.

Tilqun’s background is as a bio-engineer and holder of a PhD in statistical genetics. This is backed up by a course in brewing science in Leuven, and working experience at Huyghe (Melle), 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon.

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