More than 275 breweries recorded in Belgium
There are currently 278 breweries in Belgium, as recorded by the consumer association Zythos. Around a hundred others still need to be visited by volunteers from the association, to determine whether their operations are sufficiently professional.
The Federation of Belgian Brewers used Zythos' figures to express the growth of brewing entrepreneurship in Belgium. With 66 members at present, the Federation will phase out two admission criteria, in order to better reflect the reality of a market that is increasingly open to small operations. "By the end of 2019, we hope to double our number of members", explains the president of the Belgian Brewers, Jean-Louis Van de Perre. "We will phase out the production criteria (3,000 hectolitres per year) and longevity criteria (at least 5 years) to focus on the professionalism criterion", he added. Access will be refused to companies which subcontract their brewing activity.
As regards beer consumption during the summer, Mr. Van de Perre could not give exact figures. The warm summer and the performance of the Red Devils obviously contributed to an increase in consumption, but it was not a dramatic increase, in his opinion. "For July, we are looking at an increase of 3 to 5% compared to the same period last year. When it gets hotter than 25°C, consumers often prefer an alternative to beer."
Zythos and the Belgian Brewers made their announcement at a press conference at the Anker Brewery in Mechelen on 13 August. This brewery won the trophy for best beer two years in a row, with its "Gouden Carolus Whisky Infused", awarded by visitors to the Zythos Bier Festival, held every year in Leuven and considered the most important beer festival in Belgium.