Brussels International Beer Festival: Celebrating craft brews from home and abroad
Belgium’s world-famous beer culture is showcased at the BxlBeerFest at Tour & Taxis on 27 and 28 August.
The international beer festival will be serving some 400 different craft beers, including brews from North America as well as other European countries.
Under the banner ‘The crossroads of beer and friends’, the event is keen to highlight the human element at the heart of all of its activities.
In total, some 60 breweries are represented, gathering around 160 brewers. Co-founder Kevin Desmet explains: “Breweries present a minimum of four beers each. These are all small, independent, artisanal breweries that we are happy to expose to a wider audience.”
The event was launched in 2017 to showcase home brews on the international stage.
This year, it joins the Belgium Beer Week, “to further our joint goal of promoting Belgian beer culture by creating events for the whole week, culminating with the BxlBeerFest as a finale.”
Although breweries’ participation is by invitation only, they can request to be included. Says co-founder Cédric Dautinger: “The decision is made on more than just the quality of the beer; it’s very important for us to have a personal connection with the brewers. Recently I was in Hungary and I met some people with a small brewery and from this friendship comes their participation this year.”
Organisers are also keen to promote quality local produce with artisan food trucks providing visitors plenty of opportunities to pair their brews with tasty snacks. Brussels deli Ferdinand Obb and La Fruitière are just two of the local businesses who will be serving up specialities.
Another welcome presence is women brewers’ organisation Pink Boots Society, who’ll be holding their first Belgian chapter meeting during the festival. Activities include a lecture on women in the beer business.
Belgium Beer Week
While the beer festival promotes micro and craft breweries, Belgium Beer Week has an even more ambitious agenda.
Driving the event, is a group of people who are passionate about beer who draw on their network of connections in the brewing world to fly the Belgian flag for beer and stage innovative events.
It’s a multi-location series of events that includes a focus on beer museums in Belgium as well as tastings in bars and cafes at home, and for the first time, abroad.
One of its founders, Canadian expat Ahmed ElAmin, told The Bulletin: “Unesco considers Belgian beer an intangible cultural heritage and we hope to make it as tangible as possible.”
“Bars can choose to join and hold innovative events, such as tap takeovers, blind tests, tastings, food pairings and bar exchanges between Flanders and Wallonia.”
ElAmin says events will be hosted in Leuven, Liège, in Ghent, in Antwerp, in Bruges as well as the Toone puppet theatre in Brussels. He welcomes the partnership with BxlBeerFest that will see afterparties in small towns and villages, “that hold that beer tradition very close to their heart”.
27 & 28 August, 12.00-20.00
Tour & Taxis
Avenue du Port 86C
Belgium Beer Week