The true nerve centre of the brewery was the machines room. The room back then had three steam machines that action two compressors, which in turn “produce the cold”. We can nowadays find a Carels steam machine from 1895, paired to a Sulzer compressor; a De La Vergne compressor from 1894, two Ingersoll Rand compressors, an electric board and a bridge crane. The machines are missing some components but what remains is very eloquent.
After a period of successes and a number of expansions, the brewery is bought by Interbrew and is closed down in September 1988. The fight to save and have the brewery listed, led by La Fonderie and its Director Guido Vanderhulst, then starts.
The brewery became very successful and requires expansion. Constance-Ide Ceuppens decided in 1888 to build a new brewery and choose to locate it on Avenue Van Volxem in Forest (Brussels) to make the most of the existing railroad connexions there and increase its visibility, as it is situated on a large avenue.
The brewery is from then on at the forefront of innovation and will continue being innovative throughout its existence. It produces both gueuze and pilsner, which at the time was a very modern beer style that will become increasingly predominant in European markets.
The history of the Wielemans-Ceuppens brewery starts on Rue Terre Neuve in Brussels. After the death of Lambert Wielemans, who was a baker, his widow Constance-Ide Ceuppens, daughter of a brewery owner, sent her three sons on training to learn how to produce gueuze, the local spontaneous fermentation beer. She bought the brewery on Rue Terre Neuve where they were trained.