No.1 travel guide for Belgium. Discover Belgian beer and food in Leuven.

Zythos Beer Festival 2015


Email  •  Print

Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2015-04-28 09:00:18 +0200 / Last Updated: over 1 year ago

Zythos beer festival 2015 Zythos Beer Festival 2015
© BeerTourism.com


LEUVEN - Big, bigger, biggest... with around 17.000 visitors, it feels like the eleventh Zythos beer festival in Leuven is about to burst at the seams. Once the festival is in full swing, it is impossible to Tripel Karmeliet, Zythos Beer Festival 2015 Tripel Karmeliet
© BeerTourism.com
worm your way through pretty much everywhere. You hear a cacophony of languages.

Visitors come from all over Europe but have also flown in from the USA and Asia.

Beer lovers from abroad will often schedule their travel so they can take in Zythos and stay on for the Toer de Geuze, held one week later, when lambic brewers and geuzestekers in the Brussels region open their doors to the public.

The enthusiasm of beer fans for their favourite drink remains fascinating to see as is the amount of effort they put into tracking down that one particular taste or variety they have not yet sampled.

As always, the Zythos Beer Festival provides a great sample of what Belgium has to offer in the field of specialty beers.

What’s more, all the brewers exhibiting here are equal in the eyes of the law. Large or small, the size of the booth where they display their wares is the same for everyone.

Meanwhile, tangible or mouth-to-mouth advertising are both proving very effective. ‘Have you tasted this ‘limited edition’ yet? Or that ‘barrel aged’ or ‘brett’..? I overhear Italians with an impeccable pronunciation of the name of ‘Straffe Hendrik Heritage’.


Zythos Beer Festival 2015 Beer monks on tour...
© BeerTourism.com


A Sea of Beer

So, what’s on the menu? Around five hundred beers dotted around eighty-nine booths. Admittedly, there is no room for any more. Sign up early to ensure your place. The organisation gets in touch with Zythos Beer Festival 2015, Timmermans Timmermans
© BeerTourism.com
the brewers first of all, followed by the beer firms (who don’t have their own brewing equipment).

At one point, applicants will be told that ‘Full is full’. Safety has to be taken into account. This number of exhibitors brings Zythos on a par with the main European beer festivals.

In Belgium, it is in the Top 3 together with the Brussels Beer Weekend and the BAB Brugs Bierfestival.

In spite of the never-ending stream of visitors, the atmosphere is relatively quiet, but livens up when a glass crashes down on the floor and the public starts to cheer and launches into a Mexican wave.

What is happening at the moment in our beer country of Belgium?

First and foremost, brewers are experimenting with hops in the form of IPAs (India Pale Ale).

Exotic aroma hops in particular are doing well. You will also come across classics such as the ‘spéciale belge’ Palm amber beer, but in an unfiltered version. Or the Rodenbach foeder beer. And wood-matured versions of well-known beers.


Zythos Beer Festival 2015 Pouring galore
© BeerTourism.com


Sightseeing

Most brewers in Belgium will interpret new trends in their own way and translate them into existing beer styles, going for added value and balanced beers. Others are creating blended styles like Zythos Beer Festival 2015, St. Bernardus St. Bernardus
© BeerTourism.com
the tripelgeuze or unleash wild yeasts (Brettanomyces) on the beer just before bottling.

The beer will slowly re-ferment in the bottle and develop freshly sour aromas.

This brings us to the different fermentation methods distinguished here in Belgium.

We have bottom-fermented and top-fermented beers, beers of mixed fermentation, spontaneous fermentation of combinations thereof.

After all, we are talking about the ‘soul’ of the beer. And the brewer will safeguard this religiously with the assistance of the very best fermentation experts.

However, the Zythos festival programme includes more than beer. Many visitors from abroad are discovering that there is another side to Belgium.

The city of Leuven is playing its beer trump card by organising many related activities: city tours, brewery visits, packaged trips including cycling, hiking and culinary delights, always featuring beer in one way or another.

At the festival, countless volunteers from more than forty local divisions of beer consumer association Zythos ensure that all is running smoothly on this day, the most important date in their calendars.

Not an easy task when so many glasses are emptied right down to the bottom. Have you tasted everything there is to taste?


Leuven Blog Posts

Good beer hunting at the 2016 Zythos Beer Festival
LEUVEN - Hordes of beer lovers are flowing towards Leuven. They come from all around Belgium and far beyond. ‘Zythos’ is an important event in the diary of every beer lover. ... [ read more ]
Great Belgian Beer Dinner 2015
LEUVEN - The Great Belgian Beer Dinner is an annual event for lovers of gastronomy and beer pairing. Last year’s edition was staged the tavern at City Brewery Gruut in Ghent. ... [ read more ]
Going for gold: Brussels Beer Challenge 2014
LEUVEN - As many as 79 Belgian breweries with 200 Belgian beers took part in the third edition of the international Brussels Beer Challenge. There was plenty of international ... [ read more ]
Professor Jo Swinnen: Halfway between tradition and innovation
LEUVEN - Our passion for a good brew in the glass can make us forget that brewing beer is an important economic activity but Professor Jo Swinnen of Leuven University takes us back to reality. In his ... [ read more ]
Celebrating ten years of the Zythos Beer Festival
LEUVEN - It’s almost the last weekend in April. The air is sparkling with electricity and beer lovers are on high alert: “Zythos is coming to town!” We’re headed to Leuven for the annual Zythos Beer f ... [ read more ]

Comments



SHARE:
 



BLOG

POSTS
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 ... [ more ]

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 http://belgium.beertourism.com/about-belgium/geograph... [ 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 Barriques saw the light <... [ more ]

Saison_dupont_250

More Beer

Saison Dupont is the ultimate reference beer for saisons from Hainaut. Thirty years ago, this farm beer from the western region appeared to be on the way out as sales and popularit... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

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

Name:
Email:
TWITTER
    FACEBOOK