The story begins in the sixteenth century. At that time, celebrations form the heart of social life and break the precariousness of daily existence. Everything is a pretext for a party: births, baptisms, late harvest feasts – the villagers enjoy their taverns, the real meeting places where all the rumours are born. Beer is their favorite drink, and it’s generously distributed during the winter games, carnivals and processions. Many varieties are available and each village is very proud of its own brewery. .
In Genval, the story of Genèvieve de Brabant, who was abandoned in the woods with her child and taken in by a doe, creates a legend. This heroine of the Middle Ages has inspired our Master Brewer, who has paid tribute by creating a range of high-quality traditional beers.
Geneviève, daughter of the Duke of Brabant, was the wife of the Knight Siffroi. Married for some time, but not yet with child, Siffroi had to leave to join Charles Martel and his army. Genevieve was unknowingly pregnant on the day of the departure of her husband, and was entrusted to the ‘care’ of Steward Golo, who unsuccessfully tried to seduce her. In failing, he denounced her, claiming she had given birth to the fruit of adultery. By letter, Golo Siffroi ordered the mother and child to be drowned.
The steward gave the two victims to his domestic help, who were supposed to murder them in a nearby forest. But, their hearts softened by Geneviève and her baby, they decided to let them live and abandoned them in the woods. For several years, they survived on the milk of a doe that clung to them. One day, during a hunt, Siffroi came to the cave where Genevieve lived.
Before this miraculous meeting, he had learned the truth and had killed his steward. At the site where they were found and in gratitude for her protection, Genèvieve de Brabant erected a chapel in honour of the Virgin Mary.