Everything you need to know about Belgian Beer Festivals

Whilst the Munich Oktoberfest is probably the most famous beerfest in the world, Belgium has a diverse range of excellent beer festivals that offer a fantastic opportunity to discover the best of Belgian beer.

belgian beer weekend

What you need to know about Belgian Beer Festivals

  • They come in many different forms, from big open air events to niche occasions where micro breweries get to run taste tests on potential new beers.
  • Some are part of bigger food festivals, others are beer plus one other ingredient and others still are beer and beer only.
  • Many cities have their signature festival: Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges and Leuven to name just a few.
  • Beer tourism is big business - planning ahead so you book good accommodation and know where to find things is vital to getting the best out of any beer festival Belgium based or anywhere else!
  • Most are based on jeton tasting - you buy jetons (tokens) which entitle you to a tasting glass, then you take your glass to each tent, hand over a jeton and get your taste of the appropriate beer.

Our pick of the best Belgian beer festivals in 2015

Bierpassie (Beer Passion) Weekend

Where / When:  Antwerp. June 27 and 28.

More than 200 beers, some of them international rather than Belgian.

Festival of 100 Beers

Where / When: Anvaing. August.

The weekend contains loads of activities such as bike races and ends with the tasting of exactly 100 beers! Anvaing has a pretty castle but this is hardly a centre of tourism, so if you’re planning to attend, make sure you’re taking beer lovers, rather than culture vultures with you!

Brussels Beer Weekend.

Where / When: September 4-6.

Held in the Grote Markt, this will be the 17th Brussels Beer Weekend, with around 350 different Belgian beers. Free entry, lots of jazz bands, halberdiers, beer awards and even activities for children, this is a great weekend for the whole family.

Beer, Bread and Cheese Festival Durbuy.

Where / When: September 12 and 13.

The 21st anniversary of this festival offers visitors the opportunity to go on sampling tours all weekend, discovering the best of regional beers, breads and cheeses.

Beer Collectors Exchange & Mart

Where / When: 1st Sunday of October, Lustin.

Held on the first Sunday of October, this collector’s event offers vintage glasses, coasters, advertising material, mirrors and clocks and all the material of a brewer’s trade. It also claims to have 850 different beers! Lustin is also the home of the Belgian Beer Museum, so this is a combination flea market, tasting weekend and research trip for beer lovers.

International Festival of Small Breweries

Where / When: Gaume. October 17 and 18.

Home for many a micro-brewery, this festival offers many stands and the chance to meet 26 master brewers who will be offering tastings of more than 80 beers, lost of opportunities to ask questions about their products and brewing methods.

Kerstbierfestival (Christmas Beer Festival)

Where / When: Essen. December 19 and 20.

The opportunity to taste more than 150 winter beers.  This festival has surprised its organisers with its popularity, and this year they hope they have shortened the waiting time and fast tracked experienced bee tasters who know what they want and simply want their jetons and tasting glass and to get on with it!

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