600 beers in competition

The second Brussels brewer’s competition was moved to Liège.

It will merge with the “Liège Beer Lovers’ City” operation. Thanks to this, customers from about thirty cafés will be able to sample prize-winning beers.

On the 31st of this month and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of November, the city of Liège will be living life through the lens of beer thanks not only to the Brussels Beer Challenge (BBC), but also to operation “Liège Beer Lovers’ City” which will run until November 15.

The second annual Brussels Beer Challenge will take place in Liège. Becomev (Beer Communication and Events), a subsidiary of the Vinopres company, created this competition in 2012. Vinopres has organized the well-known worldwide competition of Brussels wines for the past 20 years. In beer country, though, there was no such thing as an international competition that would put the spotlight on quality beers from here and abroad. This was a grave oversight.

The 2012 competition met with great success. 498 beers from 15 countries were entered. This time around, there will be 592 from 20 countries sampled by 50 judges over two days. Specialists from the four corners of the world and of course from Belgium will be present along with Dutch, Danish, German, American, Canadian, British, Brazil and Costa Rican representatives.

“In 2012 we were unknown. In one year we made a name for ourselves,” states Thomas Costenoble, the manager of the BBC. “Belgian brewers who had missed out the first time around made sure not to repeat their mistake and signed up one or more of their beers. There will be more Belgians along with Italian brewers. The competition will be tight. This adds a great deal of value. The goal is to promote premium beers. Brewers are on the lookout for innovative products to attract and keep new customers and to open up new horizons.  Winning a Brussels Beer Challenge competition is an affirmation of a job well done. This also gives consumers quality brands that have been recognized by professionals.”

The importance of visibility

The 2012 competition helped open some breweries to exportation. Not only did a network of French wine merchants purchase some winning beers in Brussels, but so did specialized distributors. “It’s hard to really calculate what a brewer can gain from this,” points out Dominique Friart, manager of the brewery of the same name that won two medals last year, “but visibility is always important. This way people talk about our beers. We received a prize for our dark Saint-Feuillien which is not very well known here. It’s important to show our products, even to our Belgian consumers.”

At what cost? The entry fee is 165 euros per beer.  “If it wins a medal, the impact is enormous considering the investment,” observes Costenoble.

The competition organizers would also like to give the BBC greater visibility by holding it in different areas. Inaugurated in Brussels, it will be held in Liège for the second competition and in Flanders in 2014, then, back to Brussels every other year with the option to organize competition abroad. “And why not?”, muses Costenoble. Belgian brewery visibility will only improve.

This year, the city and province of Liège have actively collaborated in the event by extending its impact over fifteen days through the concept of “Liège Beer Lovers’ City”.  About thirty cafés will feature award-winning beers on their menus. Last year, the competition was too closed. This time around, the organizers want to acquaint consumers with the beers.

In order to accomplish this, “Liège Beer Lovers’ City” will offer an exploration of the richness of Belgian and international brewing know-how. In addition, a November exposition of  ‘De Piedbœuf à Jupiler’ at the Curtius Museum will take a look back on the brewing history of Liège.


For further information, please visit: www.brusselsbeerchallenge.com

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