Bruges Beer Festival

Bruges Beer Festival
For a relatively small country, Belgium produces a very large number of beers, having more distinct types of beer per capita than anywhere else in the world. There are approximately 180 breweries in Belgium, producing over 1,100 different varieties of beer. No wonder the country hosts a series of beer festivals throughout the year. The Bruges Beer Festival (Bierfestival Brugge) is held every February, showcasing over 350 types of beer from more than 80 breweries.

The Bruges Beer Festival is relatively young, it was founded in 2007. It might be not so large-scale as its longer-running counterparts such as the Belgian Beer Weekend held in Brussels, but it has its fair share of devoted fans. Beer lovers from all over Belgium and even abroad come to Bruges to sample craft beers produced by small breweries, of which many are not showcased at other festivals. Besides, the Bruges Beer Festival is one of the first beer festivals of the year.

The Bruges Beer Festival is held downtown near the belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower located in the city’s historical center. It lasts for two days filled with beer samplings and other exciting activities. There is no entrance fee, but if you want to taste delicious beers presented by several dozen breweries you need to buy a festival package containing tokens. The token payment system is used by many food, wine and beer festivals. Upon entering the festival site, attendees purchase tokens for cash and then use them to make on-site purchases.

A festival package contains an exclusive postcard, one or two 15 cl tasting glasses (depending on the package type), a beer festival guide, and several tokens worth one tasting each (5 or 11 depending on the package type). If you run out of tokens, you can always purchase extra ones from official token stands. When the festival is over, you can take the tasting glass with you as a souvenir or you can hand it in. For each turned in glass, the Bruges Beer Festival donates a certain amount of money to charity.

Although the Bruges Beer Festival focuses on showcasing a variety of Belgian beers, there is a minimum of two non-alcoholic beverage stands. Several food stalls offer cold and hot snacks, including Belgian specialties such as fries served with an assortment of sauces, waffles, different cheeses, and seafood.

Bruges Beer Festival


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