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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tap Handle #271: Brasserie Lefebvre - Blanche de Bruxelles

There are a few different variations of this tap - such as the boy standing on a flat base and a smaller one of the boy on a pedestal. You would expect it to be more expensive since it is from an overseas brewery and not readily available. The tap is based on the Manneken Pis, a famous statue in Belgium of a little boy peeing into a fountain (pictured to the right).

The Lefebvre brewery was founded in Quenast (in the Brabant region of Wallonia, the French speaking district of Belgium in the valley of the Senne), in 1876 by Jules Lefebvre. Lefebvre was a gamekeeper, farmer, inn keeper and brewer, who opened his pub near the neighboring porphyry quarries so that the numerous workmen, made thirsty by stone working, could come to refresh themselves. In 1916, during the first World War, the brewery was dismantled when the occupying Germans commandeered metals. In 1921,  Jules's son Auguste moved the brewery from the centre of the village towards a neighbouring hill in order to avoid the annual floods of the Seine. The new brewery was installed in the place of a brewery that had been in bankruptcy, in the location where the present buildings are. Also in 1921, Gaston, Auguste's son, modernized the brewery by starting the bottling of beer.

During the period from 1940 to 1945, the war and the death of the wife of Gaston slowed the activities of the brewery down. The brewery was not dismantled but was obligated to produce beer with a low alcohol level. In 1960, Pierre Lefebvre took over the brewery, and in 1975, Philippe Lefebvre, the 5th generation brewer and holding a diploma in marketing, assumed control of the brewery. In 1980 the brewery started exporting beer. In 1983, the Abbey of Floreffe entrusted the Lefebvre family with a licence for the brewing of its special beers. The license included 3 beers at the beginning but quickly widened to 5.

In 1989, a white beer was added and named Manneken Pis ("Little Man Pee"). A couple of U.S. states banned sales of the beer in the 1990s, due to the name and its label depicting the famous Brussels fountain of the same name. The brewery changed the name of the beer to Blanche de Bruxelles and was able to keep the image on the label, which was important for a brewery with an export market that accounts for 80% of overall production. Paul Lefebvre, the son of Philippe, currently runs the brewery, with a lineup of about 15 varieties.

Blanche de Bruxelles is a Belgian White that owes its natural cloudiness to the large percentage (40 %) of wheat that goes into its composition. The natural spice aromas of coriander and bitter orange peels are added during the brewing process. The brewing method, which includes infusion, is very slow. The beer, which is not filtered, is bottled and re-fermented with yeast and brewing sugar. Weighted average on is 3.12 out of 5.

Brasserie Lefebvre Official Website (the site is in English and is well done)

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