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

North Sea Beer Festival’s second successful showing

Email  •  Print

Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2016-09-01 17:00:12 +0200 / Last Updated: over 1 year ago

North Sea Beer Festival 2016 Opening the festival in style...
© Kim Vanbesien Fotografie

OSTEND - For the last weekend of August, Ostend moves its location to the shores of the ‘beer sea’ as Belgian breweries, local restaurants and food trucks pull out all the stops for the annual North Sea Beer Festival. North Sea Beer Festival A happy crew...
© Kim Van Besien Fotografie

The sun clocked in and did overtime for the event, after a summer in which it seemed to be on a break and the green spaces of the Leopoldpark made a great backdrop for the festival.

In Belgium, a mix of tasty beer and good company makes a scintillating, and very moreish, cocktail.

The North Sea Beer Festival was premiered in 2015 but it is already a firm fixture in the busy entertainment calendar of the Belgian seaside, growing into a phenomenon with an international reputation.

The passion of beer fans never ceases to amaze us.

Throughout the three days of the festival you kept seeing the same faces who had come from far and wide to the city by the sea. Did they spend the night in the park?

Ask a random visitor where they are from and you will soon discover that beer lovers from around the world don’t want to miss out on this one. “We have sold out of everything,” says a satisfied organiser at the close of the festival.

Well done and well tasted everyone!

North Sea Beer Festival It's on!!!
© Kim Van Besien Fotografie

New in The Glass

Twenty-six breweries put their wares on show in Ostend. This might not be the place to try the most extreme or exclusive brews on the beer scene, but there is always something new to enjoy. North Sea Beer Festival A concentrated pour...
© Kim Van Besien Fotografie

The Tungri beers from Amburon Belgian Craftbrewery are a prime example. This Tongeren-based brewery was exhibiting before its official launch in September.

Brasserie de Silly introduced their new Swaf Tripel and Silly Sour. Chimay showcased its Chimay Bleue Barrique, matured in oak barrels.

Visitors to the Omer Vander Ghinste stand could taste the new Tripel LeFort. De Brabandere surprised with its newcomer: Wild by WTK, a white beer based on Wittekerke.

Bertinchamps launched the first of a range of experimental beers: the Bertinchamps B+ with grapefruit flavours. Recently, Bourgogne de Flandres has started to brew again in its home city of Bruges. Each brewery has its own story to tell.

Many other breweries were present at the festival:

Bosteels, Brasserie d’Achouffe, De Koninck, Dubuisson, Duvel Moortgat, Het Anker, Liefmans, Lindemans, Brunehaut, St-Bernardus, Strubbe, Timmermans, North Sea Beer Festival Beer in the park...
© Kim Van Besien Fotografie
Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck, PALM Belgian Craft Brewers, Brasserie de Waterloo, Roman, Rodenbach, Kazematten and Rulles.

This one show takes in a huge variety of beer styles and tastes, and a wide range of aromas and flavours. It’s a perfect microcosm of the wide-ranging and colourful Belgian beer culture.

Ostend’s top restaurants also put their best feet forward to showcase their culinary skills. Inspiration for their tapas and snacks came from the North Sea’s salty sea breeze.

Among the visitors all ages and all nationalities mingled happily. A fine example of how the whole world can unite around a good glass of beer. Throats are lubricated, conversations struck up, and new friendships forged.

The Belgian Beer Book - Het Belgisch Bierboek The Belgian Beer Book
© Kim Van Besien Fotografie

The Belgian Beer Book

Finally, this year saw a first for the North Sea Beer Festival with the pre-launch of The Belgian Beer Book (704 p, Lannoo & Rizzoli (USA). The Belgian Beer Book at the North Sea Beer Festival The first copy sold!
© Kim Van Besien Fotografie

Written by beer writer Erik Verdonck and beer expert Luc De Raedemaeker, the well-known organiser of the Brussels Beer Challenge international beer competition, this book promises to be an indispensable guide to the rich and complex beer culture of Belgium.

The Belgian Beer Book is now available in book stores throughout Flanders and in a couple of months it will be launched worldwide! For those who can't wait you can also order your English or Dutch copy online directly via Lannoo.

One final question remains; where are we planning to go for the last weekend in August next year? No prizes for guessing, we will be making our way to Ostend for North Sea Beer Festival 2017.

Ostend Blog Posts

Café Manuscript, a quarter of a century young
OSTEND - The Neville Brothers come bursting out of the musical wallpaper. Just for a moment or two, café Manuscript in Ostend has been shipped to the shores and swamps of New Orleans. ... [ read more ]
First North Sea Beer Festival attracts 5,000 visitors
OSTEND - A cosy, relaxed atmosphere and happy expressions on the faces of beer lovers from all around the world greet me. This is, above all else, what strikes me when I visit the first ever North Sea ... [ read more ]
Belgian North Sea Beer PoppoLou officially launched
OSTEND/OOSTENDE - We witnessed it with our own eyes. There was more than just one solitary message in a bottle washed up on Ostend beach. Far more than that... an entire armada of bottles came ashore, ... [ read more ]
Manuscript, one year on from its launch as a Beer Tourism Café
OSTEND - One year ago, the Manuscript café in Langestraat, Ostend, outed itself as a Beer Tourism Café. At first glance not a lot has changed since then. Regular customers remain loyal to their cosy l ... [ read 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 ... [ read more ]


You must be logged in to leave a comment



Anthony Martin, a Belgian brewer with British roots

GENVAL - It’s 1909 when John Martin, a Brit, makes his home in Antwerp, earning his living by provisioning sailing vessels. Before long John’s deliveries are heading onto the ships of the Red Star Line, ... [ more ]

Brussels Beer Challenge 2017, the results are in!

NAMUR - At the 6th edition of the Brussels Beer Challenge, hosted this year by the city of Namur, Belgium once again lived up to its cast-iron reputation as one of the most important beer countries in the world. ... [ more ]

Hop picking time at Palm Belgian Craft Brewers!

STEENHUFFEL - The annual hop harvest at Palm Belgian Craft Brewers is truly a festival of and for the people. We survey the busy crowds on the last Sunday in August in the hop field in the shadow of the ... [ more ]

Lindemix... the art of blending Lambic by Lindemans

VLEZENBEEK/DILBEEK - It is often said that lambics are only for those with an experienced palate. At Brouwerij Lindemans, one of Belgium’s favourite brewers of this traditional style, they beg to differ. ... [ more ]

Omer Vander Ghinste celebrates 125 years of brewing craftsmanship

KORTRIJK/BELLEGEM - It was in 1892 that Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste opened for business in Bellegem, a village near Kortrijk in West Flanders, close to the French border. Since then, countless... [ more ]


More Beer

The now defunct Brasserie Le Fort in Kortrijk made a name for itself with its strong beers. Tripel LeFort pays homage to that brewery that closed its doors in 1911, moving its prod... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

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