If you’re looking for a city break with a difference within easy access of the UK, why not consider combining a weekend in Brussels with the Belgian Beer Festival taking place in the Belgian capital over the weekend of 6th-8th September?
Arranged by the Belgian Brewers’ Association, the Knighthood of the Brewers’ Mashstaff and the City of Brussels, this annual event, now in its 15th year, brings together the very best beer that Belgium has to offer, all set against the stunning backdrop of Brussels’ Grand Place and Bourse. Symbol of Brussels, the architecturally-rich Grand Place is transformed into a beer lover’s paradise with processions of historical brewery carts and wagons making their way through the cobbled streets from the Fish Market and over 400 different Belgian beers available to taste. This year, there’s also a 50-metre bar situated behind the Bourse, Brussels’ Stock Exchange, aptly renamed ‘Beer Street’ for the weekend, where you can leisurely sample a wide selection of speciality beers on draft.
Smaller specialist breweries stand alongside their larger, internationally-renowned contemporaries to offer visitors a chance to sample and enjoy the extensive array of beers that are produced in the country. Whether you are a fan of the classic pils and amber varieties or you prefer to try something more specialist such as Trappist, abbey or fruit beers, there’s really something here for everyone. Other varieties on offer include white beer, gauze/lambiek, strong pale, strong brown, red brown and specialist beers from particular Belgian regions and towns.
The event kicks off on Friday afternoon evening when Beer Street and the Grand Place stalls open to the public (from 4pm and 6pm respectively until 9.45pm), with Saturday and Sunday proceedings taking place from 11am until 8.45pm (7.45pm on Sunday). Whilst entrance to the festival is completely free, the beer unfortunately is not! Payment is via special ‘crowncorks’ which can be purchased at dedicated points.
So charge your glasses, raise a toast and enjoy a memorable weekend away in the Belgian capital, provided, of course, your ‘amber nectar’ appreciation is kept in moderation!