I arrived in Brussels on August 31st, I was right on time for the 14th Edition of the Belgian Beer Weekend which was organized by the Belgian Brewer’s Guild. Their goal is “to defend the general interests of the brewery sector in the economic, social and ethical spheres”. According to their website, the Weekend is set up to pay homage to Saint Arnould, the patron saint of Brewers. I say, no matter what the reason is, I like it. Brewing is a Belgian tradition, and although I am primarily a wine drinker (vodka drinker 2nd) I could not let this opportunity pass by.
I chose Sunday as my day to visit the festival. It was pretty cool. It took place in two locations, the Grand Place and the Bourse. The Bourse had historically shown itself to be too crowded so I chose the Bourse.
If you go next year, don’t get discouraged by the lines to buy “caps”, this year they had ticket (err…cap) booths around the other end of the building that were quite short. Caps are ¬1, and a beer costs between 2-5 caps.
We bought our caps and headed over to get some beer. There were over 350 beer to choose from. I was feeling a bit parched, so I opted for something easygoing. I had a Limburgse Witte. It was refreshing, and exactly what I was looking for.
Unlike any beer festival in the US, there were no fights, the streets were clean, and people were completely civilized. I could learn to love beer in this type of environment (and with such great brews).
I’m not sure when the 15th edition will happen…but I may just have to book a flight.