No.1 travel guide for Belgium; dedicated to Belgian beer and food culture. celebrates its first anniversary with the title of “Best Belgian beer site”

Email  •  Print

Published: 2014-01-17 10:42:47 +0100 / Last Updated: 12 months ago 1 year anniversary ©

ANTWERP/OSTEND - It was just one year ago that, the first project of the Belgian Beer Company, was launched with plenty of ambition. Its mission? To establish an international online community, Our Award!
and communication channel, focused on the Belgian regions, beer, gastronomy and tourism. intends to build bridges between the best of these diverse, but overlapping, worlds. But it's beer that is the angle by which we take our alternative view on Belgium's history and tourism. And it's beer that carries our message, viewed always through our Belgian-tinted lenses.

All the hard work and great efforts of the last 12 months were rewarded, a few days ago, when we received the title of 'Best Belgian Beer website', at the digital “Beer Awards” in Belgium. The Beer Awards are an online competition that asks the beer-loving public to vote for their favourite Belgian beers over the past year, and includes many various categories.

As this is a public vote, we are hugely proud of our first award. And, partly because of this crowning success, we thought the time was ripe for a review of our first year. ©

Public and content

One year on, where are we now? has attracted over 100,000 visitors and is continuing to grow. Who visits the website? Three quarters of visitors are from three countries – Belgium, the USA and Britain –, Café Manuscript ©
with the rest hailing from Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, France and Italy.

Through our social media outreach, we are connecting to over 150,000 people every week. The site now also offers the most detailed (and insightful) brewery and beer listings to be found on the web.

Wilderen, Duvel, Liefmans, De Koninck, Bockor, Van Honsebrouck, Bosteels (and more) are all included, as are listings for beer firms such as Coccinelle, La Cresse, Harlekijn and Poppolou. And there's lots more to come.

We're planning to expand on this, over the coming months, with detailed information on, amongst others, all of the Belgian Trappists. In addition to this regular content, we will be publishing, on a weekly basis, the latest beer and tourism news straight from Belgium.

We will also continue to keep our readers informed through our monthly newsletter. Last but not least, we will continue to update and expand our city guides, keeping them packed with scintillating background stories, and useful information. ©

Practice what you preach… is, however, far more than just an online project. Ostend, on the Belgian coast, saw the launch of the first Beer Tourism Café. We intend to set up beer cafés in every Belgian tourist city, but fear not. This won't, Café manuscript ©
be the first in a long chain of identical branded venues. Like the best in the Belgian beer scene, we have a much more idiosyncratic vision than that.

A guided tour of our first beach-head in Ostend will show you where we're coming from. Café Manuscript remains its name, and it's still one of those typical brown cafés where you feel at home straight away.

That's all down to the approach of affable owner, Glenn Rotsaert, and his lovely girlfriend and partner Vanessa Demeij. They are the sort to put their best feet forward seven days out of seven.

So what, exactly, has changed since Beer Tourism got involved? First and foremost, the range of speciality beers has grown from twenty to seventy-five.

Opposite the bar there is now a large blackboard, taking pride of place, where dozens of beer names have been chalked up, ranged by beer style: ‘Belgian dark beer’, ‘Belgian tripel’, ‘wheat beer’, ‘IPA’… All the main Belgian beer styles are represented here.

A diverse, and wide-ranging coverage is the key to our menu. So if you want to try something different from your normal brew, this is the address for you. And a small Belgian beer-themed events room has been created, on the first floor, which is now a venue for regular beer tastings. ©


The Manuscript took its love for the barley-brew one step further, and commissioned its own Poppolou beer, in co-operation with Brouwerij Anders! from the Flemish province of Limburg. And another frontier was broken in our ©
first year – you can now enjoy this beer in the brand new degustation glass,

This specially-commissioned glass can hold up to 51cl (!). On the outside you will find markers for different measures: 12cl, 25cl and 33cl; on the inside, at the bottom of the glass, a fine pearlisation point. It all makes for an ideal tasting glass for beers strong, as well as light.

Our beer glass is currently distributed exclusively through Horeca Totaal, in Ostend and Bruges, and it can also be purchased from the Beer Tourism Café Manuscript in Ostend.

Now, we are busy making plans for 2014. Plenty will be happening in Belgium, on both the beer and tourism fronts. After all, 2014 marks the centenary commemoration of the start of the First World War.

One thing is certain: we will do our very best to keep you posted on all that's beer and Belgian, over the exciting year to come! Thank you for your continuing support!

Recent Blog Posts

Val-Dieu, celebrating 800 years of Belgian beer culture
VAL-DIEU - Those monks certainly picked some beautiful spots for their abbeys. The rumble of the busy motorway lies far behind me as I swap the flat northern Belgian landscape for the gently rolling ... [ read more ]
Belgian beer culture recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage
BRUSSELS - “We have won the World Cup!” exclaims Sven Gatz, Minister of Culture for Flanders. In his former role as Managing Director of the Federation of Belgian Brewers he immediately lent his ... [ read more ]
Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques 2016, a touch of wood
CHIMAY/COGNAC - Chimay Bleue stands out as a classic amongst Trappist beers. Nevertheless, its brewer continues to break new ground. The first ‘limited edition’ Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barri ... [ read more ]
Brussels Beer Challenge 2016: Belgium holds its own in the beer world
BRUSSELS - For the fifth running of the Brussels Beer Challenge the organisers selected a location steeped in history and prestige. After touring from Brussels to Liège, Leuven and Antwerp, ... [ read more ]
The Belgian Beer Book: Tapping into Belgian beer culture
BELGIUM - How do you write an unbiased review of a book that you yourself have written, pouring your entire soul into it? I’ll immediately give up on that impossible task and instead I’ll offer you a ... [ read more ]




Why breweries have taken a shine to Decoprint - and we have too!

HOOGSTRATEN - Belgian beers are known as much for their astonishing variety of glasses and bottles as they are for their diversity of types and flavours. After all, each beer supped is sensory... [ more ]

First Beer Tourism Café launched in Ostend

OSTEND - Good news for beer lovers on the Belgian coast, the first Beer Tourism Café now offers them a warm welcome in Ostend. No, this is not the first in a long chain of cloned establishments t... [ more ]

First Beer Tourism Café to launch in the autumn

OSTEND – is far more than just an online story. Yes, we are promoting the Belgian regions through our rich beer culture and gastronomic tradition, but we also want to give an impetus to the general, ... [ more ]


More Beer

The label of the Chouffe Soleil tells you straight away what this beer is about. The brewery’s gnome mascots, known from the blonde La Chouffe beers and the dark Mc Chouffe brews, ... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.