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Tuesday
Jul022013

BELGIUM'S TEMPLE OF BEER

Beer has long been one of Belgium’s biggest exports. Now it’s about to get a temple to Beeriosity’s favourite tipple.

With perhaps the greatest variety of beer styles per capita in the world, more than 150 breweries and around 1500 different beers, Belgium is a mecca for beer lovers who aren’t called Michael Taylor (who generally isn’t a fan of fruit beers). 

So they’re building a temple to an industry whose exports have boomed by 70% in the last decade to the point where more than 60% of Belgium’s beer is now exported.

The Temple will be housed in the former Brussels Bourse building, which served as the Belgian stock exchange until 1996. A huge building with giant columns resembling a Grecian temple, it has been abandoned since the city’s council took it over in 2012.

In typical Belgian fashion, there has been a 15-month study and consultation period to research the Temple to Beer, with the Belgian Brewers’ Federation also on board.

“Beer is to Belgium what wine is to France,” Brussels Deputy Mayor Philippe Close said.

That short quote was backed up by an even shorter one from the very Belgian-sounding Belgian Brewers’ Federation president, Sven Gatz: “It gives our small country a real identity.”

Doubtless there will be sufficient homage paid to cherries and junipers and raspberries and strawberries and pine needles and all the other stuff the Belgian brewers toss into their brews. This is the country most famous for lambic and sour cherry froths and red and golden ales and is noted for highly sweet beers beloved of women and those wishing to be.

Still, we'll pop our heads in when it opens in a year.

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