Complete with all the pomp and ceremony you’d expect, Bart Adons and Cillian O’Moráin of Mescan Brewery were officially knighted and became part of the Confrérie van de Hasseltse Jenever. A crowd of 120,000 people flocked into the Flemish town of Hasselt for the annual Jeneverfest.  (Jenever is the Flemish word for the spirit that is known here as gin). Ancient fraternities representing different guilds paraded throughout the town in full regalia and a huge street party takes place in this almost traffic-free town.

Tradition dictates that the new season’s gin is delivered by a unique system which changes each year. This year it was lowered from a huge tower crane in a box which was neatly dropped at the feet of Alex Van Brabant, the grand master of the Fraternity. At one point during the festivities, the fountain in the town square dispenses free gin instead of the usual water.

“This was a great honour for us both”, said Bart Adons who is the Belgian part of the Mescan partnership, “For our Mescan Beer to be recognised in Belgium is really a wonderful tribute.   We’re very proud the brewers’ guild, Gilde Demerdal, saw fit to nominate us for this accolade”.

Mescan Brewery produces artisan Belgian-style beers brewed in small batches on the slopes of Croagh Patrick near Westport. Westport Blond is their flagship beer in a range of seven varieties. Next up will be Christmas Beer ‘Beoir na Nollag’, a dark amber beer, which is currently aging in wooden whiskey casks.