Belgium requests Unesco recognition for Beer Culture


The ministers of the three Language Communities have jointly applied to Unesco for Intangible Cultural Heritage status for Belgium’s beer culture

More than 1,000 brews

Together with the culture ministers from the Communities of French- and German-speaking Belgium, Flemish minister Joke Schauvliege has submitted an application to Unesco requesting that Belgium’s beer culture be recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage. The application was completed with the help of the Belgian Brewers federation and the input of several beer-related associations, including the International Trappist Association and the High Council of Artisanal Lambic Beers.

Although the number of Belgian beers on the market has always been more of a guestimate than an exact figure, the ministers claim there are more than 1,000, including “the largest selection of authentic, locally produced beers of any country in the world,” they said in a joint statement. “This unbelievable diversity in terms of colour, taste and production methods makes up a huge part of the pride taken in our cultural and gastronomic heritage.”

Should Unesco approve the request, which will be decided next year, beer culture would join several other recognised cultural heritage in Belgium, including the Binche and Aalst carnivals, the shrimp fishers of Oostduinkerke and the Holy Blood Procession in Bruges.

Photo courtesy Visit Flanders