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Cherish the cherries!

Cantillon and Vert d’Iris join hands: let’s revive Brussels’ cherry beer tradition – organically, ‘f course


Cantillon and Vert d’Iris have started rebuilding orchards of the traditional cherry used for the production of Kriek. They have already planted 600 cherry trees by late 2018. They invite sponsors in order to maintain the orchard until it's entry in full production (around 2025) and possibly to increase the capacity with more trees. Cantillon is looking for a capacity of 3.000 cherry trees...

Yep, three thousand trees. That’s about 10 tons cherries per year in average.

-Wait a minute. Planting trees is a lot of hassle. Why in the world would you want to plant cherry trees?

-And… How do you want to do that? Where? Who…?

Cantillon is a family brewery since 1900 in Anderlecht. It is organically certified since 1999.

The Cherry beer (Kriek) is a landmark of Brussels’ heritage

The Kriek beer is made with cherries. It is intimately associated with the horticultural history of Brussels. Brussels used to be a green city who numbered many orchards within its walls, together with a diversity of fruit varieties that is simply unthinkable today.

Cherry trees have long gone and the last brewer of Brussels Lambic, Cantillon, wants to revive the local production of sour cherries. He is tired of looking for fruits all over Europe.

So, the demand for local cherries is up. And the revival of this typical beer stimulates new activities such as tasting, heritage tourism, education, etc.


Planting cherry trees

In order revive the production of traditional cherry beer in Brussels, Cantillon and Vert d’Iris have become partners with the goal of delivering several tons of organic cherry annually by 2021.

This means… WORK !

Here’s what we have done so far:


Cantillon is a family brewery since 1900 in Anderlecht. It is organically certified since 1999.


March 2018 – Plantation of cherry trees in Vert d’Iris’ potager at InnRGreen (Neerpede, Anderlecht)


We bring rich soil from our gardens in order to enrich the ground of the slope and help the growth of the cherry trees


We dig wide holes in the slope of the site. This will provide each tree with a comfortable supply of good soil and water.


The first cherry trees are lining up on top of a long slope that will soon be planted with herbs and berries. A second line of low stem trees (apple and pear trees) is being planted at the bottom of the slope, in order to enhance beneficial micro-climate conditions and biodiversity – and to produce more fruits!


March 2016 – first sketch of the terrace project with fruit trees (by Nohe Kolasa for Vert d’Iris)


April 2018 – First terraces are taking shape under the cherry trees.


April 21 – A wonderful blossoming tree line!


May 09 – Promising prospects…


July 01 – Jean van Roy (Cantillon) and Frédéric Morand (Vert d’Iris) are tasting their first fruits


Article in Beer Advocate, 14 Aug. 2018: Belgian Lambic Makers Like Cantillon Bet on Cherry Orchards to Revive Traditional Kriek


Les chantiers de l’hiver 2018-2019 prévoient la plantation de près de 500 fruitiers pour compléter le potager agroforestier de Vert d’Iris à InnRGreen.


Toutes les tranchées ont été creusées en février. Ici la tranchée 13, la plus longue (83 m), qui accueillera 28 griottiers mi-tige.


Avec 80 cm de profondeur et 80 cm de largeur, les tranchées sont conçues pour donner un volume généreux au développement racinaire des fruitiers.


Il ne reste plus qu’à planter 🙂 Ici la tranchée 1, également plantée de griottiers mi-tige.


Jeudi 28 fév. 2019 : fin de la tranchée 1.


La tranchée 9, terminée également le jeudi 28 février. Toutes les petites mains sont bienvenues. Merci Norah 🙂 Dépéchez-vous, il n’y en aura pas pour tout le monde. Rebelote ce vendredi 1 mars et samedi 2 mars, 13h30 sur place.

Help us plant more trees!

A first plantation phase of nearly a six hundred cherry trees has taken place, on the InnRGreen potager. We are already preparing the next plantation phases: find more land, secure plants, document the cherry cultivation, communicate, train…


We want to gather a minimum of €20.000 euros in 2023 in order to make progress in this organic cherry project, and start plan the next plantations. This cherry project is coming in synergy with the cooperative’s other projects, such as the Greenhouse project.

Join us for greening Brussels together. Over 300 shareholders take part in our efforts to make Brussels a greener city where local, delicious quality products are easy to find.


Sponsor a cherry tree!

In order to fund its projects, Vert d’Iris offers shares of euros 100 (Sorbus share), 1.000 (Fraxinus) and 5.000 (Quercus), with a maximum of euros 5.000 per person or organisation.

In order to thank the subscribers of this cherry campaign, Cantillon and Vert d’Iris will grant:

  • the first 100 subscribers of a Sorbus share (€100): a sample of apple chips of 50 gr. (100% organic fruit, dehydrated at low temperature), plus a personal dedication (to a name of your choice) of one tree with a permanent label attached to the trunk.

  • the first 50 subscribers of a Fraxinus share (€1.000) : a personal dedication of one tree with a permanent label attached to the trunk, plus a sample of apple chips and a set of three bottles of Lou Pepe Kriek Cantillon.

  • the first 10 subscribers of a Quercus share (€5.000) : a personal dedication of five trees with a permanent label attached to the trunk, plus a sample collection of all our vegetable and fruit chips, twelve bottles of Lou Pepe Kriek Cantillon (including one 13 and one 14), plus a monthly box of organic vegetables (box value up to €30) delivered to your home during one year (limited to the Brussels Capital Region, or Flanders up to 20 km from our potager).

Vert d’Iris also accept donations for this project. Donations can be made for any amount, using the same banking details as for subscriptions (see below). Simply mention « Donation Cherry » in the bank transfer communication. Donations are not eligible to financial compensations. However, upon request, donors of €100 euros and above will be entitled to a personal dedication of one tree with a permanent label attached to the trunk.

All subscribers and donors of this campaign will be invited to take part in a guided tour of the cooperative gardens, followed by a tasting event at the InnRGreen restaurant (owner of Vert d’Iris land).


Discount on vegetables purchases

Moreover, Vert d’Iris grants all shareholders who holds at least one Fraxinus share, a permanent discount of 30% on purchase of its fresh produce. All shareholders also enjoy the following advantages:

  • (professionals) cross-communication supported by a variety of supports: posters, web, cards, fliers…

  • privileged access to  our events, products (tasting, workshops, visits, etc), and education programs

  • dividend limited to 6% of subscribed shares (depending on results and general assembly decision)

  • multiple opportunities to take part in the cooperative governance.

Subscribe online: – please mention « Cherry project » in the bank transfer communication.

Contact us for more information about this project, or about our other financial tools.


Vert d’Iris is a cooperative approved by the Belgian Conseil National de la Coopération.
It is organically certified by Certisys.

Certisys BE-BIO-01

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