In the 19th century, Franciscus Vanneste was a farmer in Oostkamp, near Bruges. He ran the farmhouse “Lieverstede” there together with his wife Sophie D’Hoore. This preserved farmhouse still exists and is currently a residential complex, which means that the living room of Franciscus and Sophie is still well conserved.
In those days, beer was usually brewed on farms, particularly during the cold winter months. Beer was partly brewed for own consumption, but brewing was also an activity during the quieter winter months. During the 19th century, many farming families decided to stop their agricultural activities, move to the city and start up other activities.
The industrial revolution was in full swing and many people were drawn to a new life in the city and in the industrial sector. Four of Franciscus’ five sons decided to leave behind the farming business and start a brewery.
Désiré Vanneste (1828-1900) set himself up on the Walplein area, where he started the new brewery “Brugge Zeehaven”.
His son, Achille, continued with this until the onset of the Second World War.
His daughter Clémence Vanneste went on to marry her next-door neighbour, Henri Maes… from the Halve Maan brewery.
Another son, Aimé, also became a brewer at the brewery “Le Phare” in St Andries Brugge (just outside the Smedenpoort).
Jules Vanneste (1835-1909) followed the advice of his brother, August, and took over the distillery “'t Hamerken” on Langestraat in 1872. This went on to become the brewery “‘t Hamerken”. After a relaunch in 1983 by Paul Vanneste, this brewery continued as the brewery “De Gouden Boom”.
Philogène Vanneste (1843-1922) was the brewer at the brewery “’t Zwarte Gat” in Oostkamp, and he was also an alderman in this municipality (see photo).
August Vanneste (1831-1908) became a brewer at the brewery “De Drie Monniken” in the Molenmeers area.
This brewery remained in operation until just before the Second World War.
August specialised in brewing wheat beer, among other things.
In this photo, you can see August Vanneste I in the centre, the founder of the “De Drie Monniken” and his son August II in the top right.
Paul Vanneste is the fourth generation of brewers to follow Jules Vanneste and is once again continuing the family tradition of brewing wheat beer.
He gave a new start to the original family brewery “’t Hamerken” with the brewery “De Gouden Boom” and launched “Brugs Tarwebier”, a refreshing wheat beer.
Xavier Vanneste is the 5th generation of this brewing family, and the youngest member of the Vanneste family still working as a brewer.
His father, Tonny Vanneste, worked in the family’s brewery “’t Hamerken” (together with Paul), while his mother, Véronique Maes, worked in the family’s other brewery “De Halve Maan” from the Maes side of the family.
In 2005, Xavier Vanneste restarted his mother’s “De Halve Maan” brewery, with the launch of “Brugse Zot”.
In 2008, he also managed to reacquire the family’s old brand “Straffe Hendrik” and bring it back to the original “De Halve Maan” brewery.
In 2019, Xavier is bringing “Blanche de Bruges/Brugs Tarwebier” back to its roots in the family’s brewery in Bruges.