Brussels university starts making beer and chocolate


When one says Belgium, many people think “beer and chocolate”, and an unlikely player has now joined that game: the Free University of Brussels (VUB).

The university’s Etterbeek campus now includes a microbrewery, micro-bakery and micro-chocolatier. A team of 21 doctoral students are putting their grey matter together at the Fermented Food Pilot Plant.

The project, launched by Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology professor Luc De Vuyst, aims “to better map the impact of microbiological fermentation processes for the production of sour beers, sourdough bread and cocoa and better understand their influence on flavour formation,” according to the professor.

Did you know that the complex has been installed on the location of former on-campus student rooms which were designed by the late Belgian modernist architect Willy Van Der Meeren?

And so, on the beating heart of its main campus, the university is helping to ensure that classically Belgian specialties like chocolate and beer keep evolving, and that Belgium stays at the top of its game in these areas of expertise.