Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Brussels Beer Fests Deliver the One-Two Punch in September.

The next two weekends are huge for the Brussels beer enthusiasts.

From Friday to Sunday is the big Belgian Beer Weekend on the Grand Place. Next weekend, September 13 and 14, is Bruxellensis. These are two of the best fêtes on the Belgian calendar, and they're the only two full-on beer fests in the capital.

More importantly, for those who live here: Nobody has to drive!

Here's what I was thinking: Some Brussels-based beer writer ought to really whoop and holler and make a big deal out of the next two weekends. Isn't that what bloggers are supposed to do? You know, pretend that lots of people are reading and make a big deal out of stuff. Unfortunately there are only three or four of us beer bloggers in the city, far as I know.* So it might as well be me. (Ahem.) Naturally my unrivaled promotional powers will bring hundreds of thousands of additional thirsty pilgrims flocking to the city, ready to sample the country's best tipples in opulent surroundings.

Anyway, this weekend's bash is the opulent one. How can you beat the Grand Place for ambiance? This one's also bigger (43 breweries at last count), more commercial, and slightly more expensive. Did I mention the ambiance?

One of the more interesting things about the Belgian Beer Weekend is the funny little ceremonies. Check out the lineup for Friday afternoon:

2.20 p.m. Celebration of Saint-Arnould, Patron Saint of brewers, with the consecration of the beer organised by the Knighthood of the Brewers' Mashstaff, in the Saint Michael and Gudula Cathedral, Parvis Sainte-Gudule at 1000 Brussels.
3.30 p.m.

Academic session and enthronement ceremony of the Knighthood of the Brewers' Mashstaff, in the Gothic room of the Town Hall of Brussels.
(Access limited to invited guests and press).

4.30 p.m.

Solemn inauguration of the beer stands on the Grand'Place by the brewers, the Grand Master of the ‘Knighthood of the Brewers' Mashstaff', the Mayor, the aldermen of Brussels and the invited guests.
(Access limited to invited guests and press).

Think they'd let me in?

*The only others I know are Andreea's Belgian Beers – attached to her snazzy food blog – and Andrew Stroehlein's 40 Beers at 40. Also one very nostalgic one in French called C'était au temps où temps Bruxelles brassait – or "It was the time Brussels brewed" – a nifty Jacques Brel reference. Go read them all.


  1. if only we would have been here :)
    next time perhaps? there is a little beer festival coming weekend (10/11 october) BLES we plan to go to ...

  2. I'll be back in the States for a wedding, so I'll have to miss that one. I reckon we'll catch up one of these days, though.