Today is the birthday of Josephus Petrus Van Ginderachter (May 19, 1889-June 17, 1959). He was the son of Corneel van Ginderachter, and the grandson of Cornelius Antonius Van Ginderachter, who, in 1888, acquired the Brouwerij Martinas, which had been founded in 1871 by Florentinus De Boeck. Josephus, who was sometimes referred to as Joseph, created their most well-known beer in 1928, Ginder-Ale, and the business became known as Brouwerij Ginder-Ale.
This account, that mentions Joseph’s contributions, is from a Flanders heritage website:
In 1908, the brewery buildings were again adapted, including an increase in the volume parallel to the Kattestraat. The street facade on the Kattestraat was adapted around 1923 as a result of the construction of, among other things, a warehouse, to the left of the former buildings, which was extended to the current volume. The brewery buildings were also further expanded in 1927 and 1930. From the interwar period, Joseph Van Ginderachter was director of the brewery. In 1928 he launched Ginder-Ale, a top-fermented beer. In addition to being a brewer, he was also mayor of Merchtem from 1933 to 1959. Under his directorship, the brewery flourished during the 1950s. This was accompanied by the construction of a new director’s house with offices on the side of the Langensteenweg (after the demolition of, among other things, the former brewer’s house and a warehouse), as well as an extension of the industrial buildings. The architect was Paul-Jean De Vos. The house on Langensteenweg was registered in the land register in two phases, namely first the right part and the gate in 1949 with offices and a caretaker’s house, and then in 1950 the director’s house on the left side of the passage. The extension of the brewery was registered in the land register in 1952 and included a building with cold stores. Another large-scale expansion followed in 1955. The brewery also expanded during that period with a building with a bottling plant on the other side of the Kattestraat (1954). 1956 building plans, drawn up by engineer L. Durin (Ghent), adapted the appearance of this complex on the Katte and Dendermondestraat. This building was also expanded later. A connecting bridge was also built between the buildings on Kattestraat (demolished around 1995). Afterwards Constant De Smedt took over the brewery and finally in 1973 the Artois brewery. Production continued until the late 1980s and the brewery finally closed in 1991.
Here’s a short history of the brewery translated from the Belgian website Residentie Martinas.
The brewery was founded in 1871 by Florentius De Boeck (1826-1892) – the father of composer August De Boeck – and was taken over in 1888 by Corneel van Ginderachter. After Corneel’s death, the company was managed by his wife Hendrika van Nuffel, who had to hand over her copper boilers to the Germans during the First World War. In 1928, son Joseph launched the high fermentation beer Ginder Ale, a beer of the Spéciale belge type that, according to experts, was closely related to the taste of Antwerp’s De Koninck or Palm from Steenhuffel. The company enjoyed its greatest success in the 1950s, employing 180 people at its peak. In 1973 it was taken over by the Artois Brewery – from 1988 Interbrew – and it continued to brew there until 1991. From then on, production was transferred to Leuven and to date 3,000 hectoliters are produced annually. This beer is usually distributed in the vicinity of Merchtem, so that one can literally speak of a regional beer. Due to the successive mergers, Brouwerij Ginder-Ale is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev.