Belgian beer on the UNESCO world heritage list?

Nov 18, 2016 by Stephane

Westvleteren and the Trappist family of Belgian beers that it belongs to are some of the oldest beers our country knows. That our beer traditions are known all over the world is no secret and now it looks like it will be recognised as being worthy of "world heritage" status by UNESCO. The decision will be made during an upcoming UNESCO meeting, taking place between 28 November and 2 December.

The proposal was submitted by the Federation of Belgian Brewers and supported by the Belgian government. 

Seventy new dossiers with potential cultural heritage material will be looked at during this meeting. Apart from Belgian beer, there are the Belfries, the Flemish Béguinages, the historical centre of Bruges, the Grand Place and various other properties that have the world heritage status - currently Belgium has 12 such properties in total.

The full list of Belgian sites can be seen here

The production of beer belongs to the patrimonium of several Belgian communities. Almost 1500 different beers are being brewed in our little country and trappist monks brew beer in different locations all over the country.

The application to make beer officially part of our cultural heritage has already received a first approval and has already received another "heritage" status from official instances.

Other items that are being evaluated for approval include Turkish coffee, falconry and various traditional festivities in Japan, Switserland and Spain.