The Leuven Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

We’ve joined forces with Leuven to highlight 100 local people, places and projects that contribute towards making the city what it is today. From artists and architects to producers and professors, these are the driving forces powering Leuven forward one ingenious initiative at a time.

Jef Janssens

Jef Janssens

Brewer, Hof Ten Doormaal (1990)

Can you describe what you do?

I work in a small family-run brewery in Tildonk, a couple of miles outside of Leuven. The business is based in a farmhouse, and we work as much as we can on growing our own crops and hops. There’s no real daily routine since every day brings along something different; whether it be brewing, bottling, packaging – you name it.

How do you perceive Leuven?

Being from a small town, Leuven to me is considerably a “big city”, despite its fairly small scale. Due to it being a student town, there’s always a certain multicultural aspect to it, while still remaining very laidback and low-key. As a fan of general history, the architecture is a definite plus too.

What would you say is Leuven’s main appeal as a city? What gives it its edge?

The University, without a doubt: it’s an overriding powerhouse of knowledge.

I always take people to the Fiere Margriet installation – it’s a gem in Belgian beer culture!

On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city? What could it do better?

More beers, more specialist bars – just more things centred around quality beer, really!

If you had to take out-of-towners to one place that truly symbolises the city, what would it be?

I always take people to the Fiere Margriet installation – it’s a gem in Belgian beer culture!

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