Belgian brewers apply for World Heritage recognition
Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2014-04-04 15:25:13 +0200 / Last Updated: 10 months ago
BRUSSELS/PARIS - Plenty of beer has flown through the taps but now the moment has come... The Belgische Brouwers (Federation of Belgian Brewers) have submitted a substantial proposal to UNESCO in Paris.
“We intend to have Belgian beer culture recognised as immaterial UNESCO World Heritage”, explains Sven Gatz, President of the Belgian Brewers.
“Our characteristic beer culture is tightly interwoven with our identity and lifestyle. Also, we have managed to preserve our rich tradition that incorporates a wide range of beer styles.
Don’t forget that our beer culture is very lively thanks to the dedication of the brewers, the restaurants and cafés, beer academics, beer lovers who have set up numerous local and national societies….
The proposal documents that we have now put forward address all of these factors”.
It will take a while for UNESCO to make its final decision. In 2015 we will find out whether Belgian beer culture will be included in the representative list and thus, will be considered for recognition.
"Fier op ons bier/Fiers de nos Bières"
What are we talking about? The plain and unadorned numbers speak for themselves. Around one hundred and sixty Belgian breweries account for a total annual production of eighteen million hectolitres. Sixty per cent of what they produce is destined for export.
‘Belgian beer’ is a strong brand these days. Therefore it does not come as surprise that beer lovers, importers and distributors show an ever-increasing interest in our national pride.
If you pay a visit to a Belgian brewery, large or small, there is quite a good chance that the brewers are investing, have just invested or are planning to invest into larger fermentation or storage tanks, a new brewing hall or an expansion of the current one, or into a better logistics stream.
Distributors from abroad are skimming the market in search of that one single brew that is still missing from their range of Belgian beers. The ‘Fier op ons bier’ (Proud of our Beer) advertising campaign by the Belgische Brouwers requires no further explanation.
An American chef and café owners from Paris or China are singing the praises of Belgian beer. Speaking for ourselves, we would like to keep things modest and continue beavering away to ensure and enhance the quality of what will be in your glass very soon.
Each to their own
In the meantime beer is increasingly taking centre stage. Beer festivals such as the BAB Brugs Bierfestival, the Zythos Bierfestival in Leuven, the Brussels Beer Weekend and numerous local beer festivals attract thousands of beer lovers from all corners of the globe.
New beer firms, breweries and beers introduce themselves to the market regular as clockwork. Unless you are a totally committed beer lover, it is hard to find your way through these endless offerings. Luckily, there are inspired beer sommeliers and beer coaches who will lend us a helping hand.
Or else we can join one of the many courses that will train us to be a brewer or beer taster. There is so much happening around Belgian beer, both in our own country and abroad.
This positive vibe is a great incentive for Belgian brewers to continue their search for beers that form a real enhancement to their existing range and to set the benchmark even higher for themselves.
In this respect, microbreweries and beer firms tend to experiment more whereas the large breweries find their inspiration in the latest trends for new but well-balanced beers. Each to their own. And in any case, enjoy!
Recent Blog Posts
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 ]
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/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 - 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 ]
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 ]
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 ... [ more ]
BRUSSELS - Open Sesame. I disappear through the archway of the imposing 'Brouwershuis', one of the architectural pearls of the Grand Marché in Brussels. This prestigious location – the Brewers’ House in English - is home... [ more ]
What is Belgian beer without a café in which to enjoy it? For as long as anyone can recall the two have been inseparable. Throughout Belgium you will find cafés in every size, shape and colour an... [ more ]
This Antwerp classic, launched over a century ago in 1913, catches your eye straight away. That's thanks to its intense mahogany colour and its robustly frothy collar. De Koninck ... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.