With a beer tradition that goes back centuries, the art of brewing beer in Belgium, is a testament to its age old craftsmanship. Beer brewing styles range from top, low and spontaneously fermented styles, some are even mixed but collectively, all contribute to a distinctive & world renowned brewing reputation for quality and excellence. A growing interest in Belgian authentic speciality beers has fuelled a demand by the public to find out more and brewers up and down the length and breadth of Flanders, are opening their doors to visitors to find out more. Regional beer festivals provide another outlet for the public to find out more about large and small and craft breweries who frequently attend small, local beer festivals. For a list of some well-known and some lesser known beer and food festivals, which feature local beers, we have compiled a list of some interesting places to visit in the quest for the perfect Belgian Beer!
25th & 26th April 2015 | Location: The Brabanthal, Leuven
Zythos Beer Festival
During the last weekend of April, Leuven becomes the Mecca of Belgian beer. The largest beer festival of Flanders is a must see for every beer fan. It is the best way to get acquainted with a variety of beers because even the smallest breweries are represented. Besides tasting, there is also room to learn more about the brewing process and tapping beer. Every year, people look forward to the presentation of new beers. Many restaurants will be selecting delicious beer based dishes on their menus, and special beer tours and beer workshops will be organised. Over 100 breweries participate in the festival, offering over 500 beers. Admission is free and the festival runs between 12 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the 25th and 11am and 9 p.m. on the 26th. A free shuttle bus from Leuven station to the Brabanthal operates every 10 minutes.
23rd April 2015 | Location: TBC
Great Belgian Beer Dinner
The Great Belgian Beer Dinner is an exquisite culinary experience founded on a commitment to quality. It is a major event in a prime location, with excellent beers, top class food and features five of the world’s best beer chefs. For more information: www.lekkervlaanderen.be/en/
24th – 25th May 2015 | Location: At the former ‘De Hoorn’ brewery site.
Leuven Innovation Beerfestival
A completely new beer festival featuring 16 breweries from 8 different countries offering beer from all over the world. The festival will feature several innovative and artisan beers from Belgium. This festival runs from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the 24th of May and from 12 a.m. till 9 p.m. on the 25th May. The historic De Hoorn brewery is actually the site of the original Stella Artois brewery.
See website for more information.
2nd August 2015 | Location: Leuven, City Centre
This is the culinary event “par excellence” which takes part in Leuven’s city centre. Several stalls run by the city’s best restaurants serve the tastiest treats in the Grote Markt. The Oude Markt famous for its many bars is also transformed into a large market with exclusive beers on sale to the public. A Bartender’s race also takes place during the event where Leuven’s very best compete against each other. For more information: www.hapje-tapje.be
19th – 21st June 2015 | Location: Zeedijk, Middelkerke
Belgian Beer Weekend at the seaside
The terraces along the seafront take on a festive look and as well as the beer on offer, brass bands play at various locations. For more information: www.middelkerke.org/en/event/
26th – 28th June 2015 | Location: Groenplaats, Antwerp
Beer Passion Weekend
Now into its 16th year, the Beer Passion Weekend features around 40 breweries offering visitors the chance to try over 200 speciality beers with its main purpose to provide a cultural and educational approach to beer. The city’s beautiful Groenplaats, is transformed into an exclusive village accompanied by live music. Entry is free and beers are charged by tokens for tasting at a rate of €2 per glass. An obligatory purchase of the tasting glass at €5 makes a great souvenir after the event!
For more information: www.bierpassieweekend.be/en/
26th – 28th June 2015 | Location: Oudenaarde
Adriaen Brouwer Beer Festivities
Music and a wide selection of Belgian beers. For more information see website.
4th & 6th September 2015 | Location: Grand Place, Brussels
Brussels Beer Weekend
This festival is one of the most exciting beer festivals in Europe. In 2014, 35 Belgian breweries representing 350 different Belgian beers attended the festival. More than 30, small, medium and large-sized Belgian breweries will present a selection of their best brands on the Grand Place.
For more information: http://www.belgianbrewers.be/
Flemish-Brabant / Pajottenland / Senne Valley
3rd May 2015 | Location: Pajottenland
Toer de Geuze
During this biennial event (now celebrating its 10th event), the lambic breweries and gueuze blending houses open their doors to the public. There are free guided tours and, of course, a chance to sample lambic, gueuze, kriek and other lambic beers on the premises. The breweries and blending houses can be visited at leisure by car or bike, or a place can be reserved on a tour bus that takes in various different breweries and blending houses.
For more information: http://www.horal.be/en/toer-
17th October 2015 | Location: in front of the main Market Square, Diksmuide
October Beer Festival
This festival has been running for over 50 years with music, dancing and of course, plenty of beer, including special varieties. The festival runs from 6.30pm – 11.30pm and costs just €3 to enter. For more information & reservations: www.beerfestival.be
11th October 2015 | Location: Bevegemse Vijvers, Bevegemsevijvers 1, Zottegem
The Bles Bierhappening is a yearly event in Zottegem. Every year it attracts about 1,700 visitors and is growing each year. This year around 20 breweries are expected to offer a selection of over 100 different Belgian beers including their own brew! Zottegem, is situated in between Ghent and Brussels and accessible by train.
For more information: www.bles.be ( Website only in Dutch)
20th – 23 August 2015 | Antwerp, Grote Markt and surrounding streets
Although this is one of Antwerp’s biggest food events, the range of regional products of offer are wide and varied. Represented under the brewery category is the city brewery De Koninck ( soon to open their new Beer Experience Centre in the summer) and Het Anker who will be showcasing its Gouden Carolus beer. De Koninck will offer food pairing with beers.
For more information: www.bollekesfeest.be (Dutch only)
Modeste Beer Festival
3rd – 4th October 2015 | Location: De Koninck Brewery
The Modeste Beer Festival pays a tribute to Modeste Van den Bogaert. He joined the De Koninck Brewery just after the war and after his father’s untimely death, he led the brewery for more than 50 years. Now into its third year, only 25 Belgian brewers are invited to this festival ( see list) but the festival also includes cheese and beer pairing with the famous De Tricht cheese shop and various other activities during the festival. For more information: www.modestebierfestival.be ( Dutch Only)
19th & 20th December 2015 | Location: Heuvelhal, Kapelstraat 7, 2910 Essen
Christmas Beer Festival
This is a special festival which celebrates Christmas and Winter beers. Over the course of two days, visitors get to try over 170 Belgian Christmas and Winter beers. Last year it attracted about 3000 visitors. On arrival 15cl taster glasses are given to visitors (refundable deposit of €3), entry is free but drink tokens need to be purchased at the event. Visitors can also purchase simple but delicious local food at the show. For more information: http://www.
24th & 25th October 2015 | Location: Hotel Belfort, Main Square 29, 8970 Poperinge
Poperinge Beer Festival
Hop capital of Belgium, Poperinge celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. There’ll be over 20 breweries offering a choice of over 100 beers. There will also be a tombola in which every participant is guaranteed a beer themed prize and it attracts over 1700 visitors from all corners of the globe. Admission is free and the festival runs from 2.30 p.m to 11.00 p.m. Poperinge is just over the Belgian border and close to the port cities of Dunkirk and Calais.
For more information: www.poperingebierfestival.be/
18th – 20th September 2015 (TBC) | Location: Poperinge
Poperinge Beer and Hop Festival 2015
An entertaining festival which only takes place every three years so worth trying to see it this year if you can! For more information: www.hoppefeesten.be
6th – 8th November 2015 | Cultural Centre of Hasselt
Weekend Der Belgische Bieren 2015
Celebrating 22 years of beer, The Weekend of Belgian Beer will attract beer aficionados from all over the world with over 100 different Belgian beers and traditional snacks. Some of the beers are new and exclusive and attract some lesser known breweries. For more information: www.limburgse-biervrienden.be (Dutch only)
1st April 2015
Notes for Editors:
To find out more information about Beer and Flanders as a destination, download Belgian Beer Experiences in Flanders and Brussels, including a listing of breweries and museums open to visitors in addition to information about beer related guided tours, pubs and restaurants.
For beer images : https://www.flickr.com/photos/
For more information please contact:
Tel: 020 7307 7741