Belgian beer culture is Cultural Heritage of Humanity

UNESCO decided that Belgian beer culture deserved a place on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The German-speaking Community submitted the application to UNESCO on behalf of Belgium. This was done with support from the brewers’ organisations, beer tasting associations, beer promotors, specialised NGOs, and educational institutions. It took a year and a half to evaluate the application. The dossier underwent a strict selection procedure.
Beer culture is experienced all over the country. There are breweries, beer tasting associations, museums, courses and classes, events, festivals, restaurants, and pubs in every province that contribute to the creativity and diversity of the Belgian beer landscape. Various practices even have local origins. For example, Lambic beers were and still are brewed in Brussels and the Pajottenland, using a process of spontaneous fermentation. Saison beers are brewed primarily in Wallonia, “Oud Bruin” beers are brewed primarily in West Flanders, while washed-rind cheeses ripened with beer originated in abbeys like Chimay. Moreover, there are clearly distinguishable flavour patterns that differ from region to region.

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