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30th June 2022

“A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects” – new book charts the story of Brussels and its breweries, beers, and iconic cafés

Award-winning Brussels-based author Eoghan Walsh tells a new history of 10 centuries of Brussels beer – from its origins on the Zenne, to its 19th century industrial heyday, and its 21st century brewing revival – through 50 specially-selected objects from the city’s past.

Launching at Brasserie En Stoemelings in Brussels on Friday 15 July, A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects tells the story of 10 centuries of beer, brewing and drinking history – how the city shaped the beers its residents have drunk, and how Brussels’ brewers in turn left their mark on their home city – its culture, folklore, architecture, and taste buds.

Starting with Brussels’ origins on the marshy banks of the Zenne, to its emergence as an industrial powerhouse, and on to the calamitous fall and stunning 21st century revival of its rich brewing heritage – A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects is an enthralling account of 1,000 years of urban and brewing history.

“This book essentially tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Brussels beer history but were afraid to ask. But the history of beer in Brussels is so much more than just the beers that were drunk and the brewers that made them,” Walsh says. “It’s also about how deeply interwoven the city’s brewing and beer drinking traditions are with Brussels’ urban heritage, its folklore, and its centuries-old café and estaminet culture. These 50 objects barely scratch the surface of that story, but they do bring vividly to life the rollercoaster rise, fall, and phoenix-like revival of Brussels beer.”

From a mythical beer king’s grave and a medieval brewers’ oath, to Schaarbeek cherry trees, abandoned 19th century brewery buildings and original Zenne river water – each object included in the book tells a different story. But together, these and the other objects – beer cans, bottletops, books, and more included here reveal a fascinating history of Brussels and its beers.

Not just a book – but a beer and culture festival too

To celebrate the launch of the book, and the fifth birthday of the Brussels Beer City blog, the book will be launched as part of the BierCult festival of beer and culture. Taking place in venues across Brussels from July 14-17, the festival celebrates Brussels beer’s links with culture, history, architecture, food, art, and music. Alongside the launch of A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects at Brasserie En Stoemelings on Friday 15 July, the weekend will feature tastings, tours, talks, live podcast recordings, and a very special exhibition of beer and wine label art from some of Brussels’ best illustrators and designers.

To mark the occasion, Brussels Beer City has teamed up with five local breweries and five local beer “personalities” for five limited edition birthday beers.

“Brussels Beer City wouldn’t have been possible without the support of many fantastic people – brewers, bar owners, fellow writers, and more – from the Brussels beer world. With the BierCult festival, I wanted to celebrate them in the best way I thought possible: by brewing a special birthday beer with them!” Walsh says.

The limited edition beers will be launched on 14 July at the Mazette brewpub in central Brussels as part of the BierCult festival launch. The beers will be available for a limited time in bottles and kegs while stocks last, and A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects will be available in selected Brussels bookshops and beer shops from July 15.

Advance Reviews for A History of Brussels Beer in 50 Objects:

“This original beer book leads us to the many bigger and smaller crossroads towards the making of Brussels as a beer capital.” – Sven Gatz, Brussels politician & Belgian beer lover

“A brilliant examination of Brussels beer culture, and essential reading for beer enthusiasts and Belgophiles alike.” – Breandán Kearney, award-winning author and founder of Belgian Smaak

“One of the most consistently fascinating projects in beer writing. Transports you through time and brings a complex beer culture to life.” –  Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey, authors of 20th Century Pub

“Eoghan Walsh has taken a flea market and turned it into a meditation on history, culture, and place. Piece by piece, these fifty objects create the colourful mosaic of a city with beer running through her veins.” – Jeff Alworth, author of The Beer Bible



  • AUTHOR BIO: Brussels Beer City was founded by Eoghan Walsh in 2017. Eoghan’s writing at Brussels Beer City has covered art and graphic design, architecture, mental health, social history, and more. Eoghan was crowned the Best Young Beer Writer 2018 by the British Guild of Beer Writers, and has received multiple gold medals from the North American Guild of Beer Writers awards. His work has featured in The Irish Times, Good Beer Hunting, and Belgian Beer and Food, and Pellicle.


Press release from Brussels Beer City

Contact: Eoghan Walsh,