Schnapps is not schnapps, corn liquor is not corn liquor, and Belgians refuse to hear a word against their „Jenever“. In this respect the best opportunity to test your own sense of smell and taste is take a visit the Jenevermuseum in Hasselt. True, there is plenty of competition from the attractive narrow alleyways in the historic centre of Hasselt, but the real aim of the visit is undisputed. In the Belgian „town of Jenever“ visitors can find out more about its history: The Jenevermuseum is located in an old rebuilt monastery farm dating back to the 17th century. Around 1803 the farm was converted into a distillery, which was still in operation until a few decades ago. After expensive restoration, the fully equipped jenever distillery opened its doors to visitors in 1987 to enable them to take a tour of the fascinating history of jenever production.
The museum’s master piece can be found in the distillation room: a complete 19th century steam distillery. You can see the museum’s master distiller at work and the listed installation in action. It is still used to produce two authentic grain jenevers and two liqueurs based on historical recipes. The importance of packaging and promotion is explained in the germination loft and in the house you will be given a potted history of jenever from the mediaeval alchemist´s chamber to industrial production. As you will learn in the museum’s jenever academy, jenever should be sipped rather than drunk. A dummy demonstrates how drink travels through the body and impacts on the judgment.