Shut your mout.
The Designskills headquarters include a unique museum. Our museum contains some unique pieces of the past of the malt house and serves as a creative playground and outlet for Designskills. The museum is a place where a piece of industrial heritage is being stored with a lot of pride, in addition it acts as an exhibition room and creative hotspot. In here, creativity and industrial heritage go hand-in-hand.
THIS IS HISTORY.
Our malt house is part of the rich brewing history of the city of Diest. A lot of breweries used to be located along the Demer and the Verversgracht. Around 1846 the city counted about 20 breweries.
Belgian breweries have always had a way of firing the imagination and the Belgian beer culture is something to be quite proud of.
Malt houses like ours are a big part of that, since good beers can only be brewed with qualitative malt.
Our malt house was founded in 1880 when a wheat and malt trader expanded his workplaces and added a steam engine to his company. In the steam malt house, the cereal grains are germinated with steam. The chimney from this steam engine is still visible from the outside of the building that dates from 1880.
In 1907 malt house Raymaekers is bought by the Cuypers family that expanded it and shifted to diesel aggregates for electricity (1928). The capacity at that time was 6 tons of barley a day.
In 1936 an increase in scale followed with i.a. a new mash tun, a kiln and silos with all kinds of accessories in terms of transportation and cleaning. This is the part where Designskills and the museum are located. Through this expansion, the capacity could be increased with 8 tons a day. The total capacity was 14 (6+8) tons of barley or 11,2 tons of malt a day.
During the first World War, the production of malt was put on the back burner. The occupier had claimed the copper kettles to make them into ammunition. During WWII there was a strict rationing of resources that made the people focus on the drying of cereals and beet during the harvest.
Around the 1960s high standards were set for the quality of the malt and a more science-based approach of the malting process was required. This lead to the establishment of a laboratory in which the raw materials, the barley and the malt were being analysed on a daily basis.
Around 1970 the switch was made from coke to fuel oil for the heating of the barley. After the company was passed from father to son in 1972, the production was extended even more but due to the central location of the malt house, this was hard. At that time, the malt house converted 10.000 tons of barley into 7.000 tons of malt a year.
In 1976 the installation of 1928 was fully modernized and automated. The capacity could increase to up to 22 tons of malt a day. In 1980 a gas interconnection was set in place. That way the heating could be done with natural gas or fuel oil.
In March 1990 a high-rise fire brought an end to the production in the malt house.
After the fire, the malt house was never rebooted. A few unique pieces of the malt house were saved and have received a special place within the communication office Designskills, who’s preserving this piece of history with love.