The origins of the Lefebvre brewery, located at Quenast (in the Brabant region of Wallonia, the French speaking district of Belgium) in the valley of the Senne, goes back to 1876. In this year, Jules Lefebvre, gamekeeper, farmer, inn keeper and brewer, inaugurated his new brewery. Pubs were opened around the neighbouring porphyry quarries so that the numerous workmen, made thirsty by stone working, could come to refresh themselves.
Opposite : Jules and Auguste in front of the first brewery
In 1916, during the war, the brewery is dismantled, following the commandeering of metals by the Germans.
In 1921, just after the First World War, Auguste Lefebvre, son of Jules, moves 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.
In 1921, Gaston Lefebvre, the third generation, modernized the brewery by, notably, starting the bottling of beer that widened the range of beer conditioning, which was until that time, only conditioned in 30, 50 and 100 litre barrels.
In 1932, cylinder-conical tanks are installed in the brewery. This technical effort allows the brewery, during a certain time, to enjoy a certain technological advance in the brewery field.
Opposite : An ancient brewery lorry
During the period from 1940 to 1945, the war and the death of the wife of Gaston slows the activities of the brewery down. The brewery is not dismantled but the obligation to only produce a beer with a low alcohol level (a maximum of 0.8% of alcohol) will affect all the breweries. This obligation has the effect of reinforcing the deceleration of this activity.
In 1953, and up to the year 1987, the brewery also becomes a drinks trader.
In 1960, Pierre Lefebvre takes over the brewery while the neighbouring quarries reduce their activities. A new beer makes its appearance : the Porph-Ale. Containing 5% of alcohol and produced by high fermentation, this beer gets its name from the local stone.
In 1966, another beer is born : the Super-Houblo, a Scotch type of beer, containing 6% of alcohol.
In 1975, Philippe Lefebvre, the 5th generation, takes over the brewery in his turn, endowed with a marketing diploma.
Opposite : Four generations of brewers together.
The first yeast beers are created in 1978, following a positive contact with the Abbaye de Bonne-Espérance.
In 1980 the first real exports start. The export of the Bonne-Espérance, especially re-fermented in the bottle, for Italy quickly proves to be a success.
In 1983, the Abbey of Floreffe entrusts the Lefebvre family with a licence for the brewing of its special beers. The range, including 3 beers at the beginning, quickly widens to 5. To the Floreffe Double, Floreffe Triple and Floreffe Prima Melior are added, thereafter, the Floreffe Blonde and Floreffe Blanche.
1983 is also the year of Anne Suenaert's arrival, Phippe's wife. She took over the administration and finances of the brewery.
In 1989, a white beer is added, la Student, which will quickly be renamed : Blanche de Bruxelles.
In 1996, the brewery innovates and launches Barbãr, a lager with honey. Its little sister, Barbãr brassin d’hiver, brewed from October to February, will be created in the following years.
An apple beer is launched in 1998 : the Newton.
In 2002, Paul Lefebvre, the son of Philippe, joined the brewery in his turn. His arrival is synonymous with innovations. In 2003, a cherry beer, Belgian Kriek as well as a peach beer, Belgian Pêches, is launched on the market. In 2004, it is Belgian Framboises (raspberry) that is launched.
Opposite: Paul and his son named Sacha, Céline, Ann and Philippe.
In 2008, Céline, Paul's sister, came to work alongside Ann and strengthened the administrative and commercial team.
After six generations, there is still a youthful determination and family spirit present in the brewery. It is constantly expanding and mainly works on the export market which accounts for 80% of overall production.