Promoting Belgian beers

Our embassy is a key promotor

Promoting Belgian beers in Beijing happens in many ways but the Belgian embassy has been on the forefront many times.
Delegates from the embassy often officially join commercial promotion events, see earlier post.
Biggest fun for me are the official events at the embassy in Beijing where several distributors join as sponsors and promoters.

Some recent events were National Day on 21 July 2023 and King’s Day on 17 November 2023.
I always find some beers I have never seen and are not yet in my list.

Other promotions

Heaven Supermarket often runs videos promoting Hoegaarden on its outdoor video screen.

Georgia Feast, a well-known and great restaurant, recently had a promotion of Grimbergen.
Sometimes a new venue organizes a Belgian Beer Launch, such as Mystic Alley.
I also collected beer glasses (Corsendonk and KVB) as well special promotion items from Hoegaarden.

Top beer exporters

Dutch ahead in Europe

In 2021, the top Beer exporters were Mexico ($5.49B), Netherlands ($2.11B), Belgium ($1.98B), Germany ($1.38B), and United Kingdom ($513M).
According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Netherlands is still Europe’s biggest exporter of beer, and globally is second only to Mexico.
In 2020, Dutch breweries exported more than two billion euros worth of (non-alcoholic) beer. According to CBS, Heineken is, unsurprisingly, the largest exporter.

In Europe, Belgium comes in a close second; while the Netherlands has been the largest European exporter since 2000, Belgium is quickly closing the gap between the two countries. The Dutch neighbor exported 1,8 billion euros worth of (non-alcoholic) beer last year, climbing ahead of Germany and France who occupy third and fourth place respectively.

Top beer exporters, other source

Below are the countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of beer during 2020.

  •     Mexico: US$4.3 billion (28.4% of total beer exports)
  •     Netherlands: $2.1 billion (14.1%)
  •     Belgium: $2 billion (13.3%)
  •     Germany: $1.3 billion (8.4%)
  •     United States: $645.6 million (4.3%)
  •     United Kingdom: $525.5 million (3.5%)
  •     France: $386.4 million (2.6%)
  •     Czech Republic: $297 million (2%)

Source: Beer exports by Country

Belgian beer for everyone

Abbey beers, Trappists, doubles, triples, brown, blonde, or white Belgian beers are known worldwide for their variety. We estimate there are around 3000 different beers in our country spread out over more than 200 breweries. With so much variety, there’s bound to be a type of beer for everyone, whether you like sour, bitter, or sweet. If a traditional blonde “pilsner” doesn’t do it for you, check out which unique beers Belgium makes, maybe there will be one for you!

International Beer Day – 4 August 2023

Or Journée Internationale de la bière – Internationale dag van het bier.
Belgian beer is an excellent cultural export for Belgium and plays an essential role in our economy. Every year, Belgium exports over 6 billion pints! What’s more, our country brews at least 1,500 different beers in over 400 breweries. Internationally, we’re best known for the excellent flavor of our beer. In short, we can be proud of our Belgian beer!Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Belgium


Belgian beers in Beijing

More discoveries

My list of Belgian beers in Beijing that I bought and tasted is growing.
See here some of the new ones in the list:

This now the latest list: Beer bottles.pdf
See also: Belgian beer

Bob’s Wine shop

The small shop on Xindong lu has several Belgian beers. In summer it’s nice to sit outside.

There I did make some new discoveries.

Other interesting locations to find Belgian beers

Actually you can find Belgian beers in many bars and restaurants.
Here some.

I found the Bloembier in a Japanese restaurant on Xindong lu, very near the Greek Freak that also has a few different Belgian beers.
Then we have the famous “Heaven Supermarket”: a vast underground beer, disco and music hall under Shimao Gongsan (corner Gongti bei lu and Xindong lu). There are vast fridges where you find an enormous variety of beers and alcohol. Self-service, pay at the checkout and take to a table. Life bands and disco in separate sections.

Comparing Sint-Bernardus and Westvleteren

I had received several Westvleteren bottles from a Belgian diplomat leaving, the ones without a sticker.
A few days later we did a tasting in Morel’s Restaurant to compare it with a St. Bernardus Abt 12, that we feel is the closest in taste.

Later on I bought online in Beijing the 3 different Westvleteren beers for a bit less than 50 euro.
Westvleteren and Sint-Bernardus are said to be the same but there are some differences. The water used is different and that has an influence. For Westvleteren the monks use a Westmalle yeast while for Sint-Bernardus they use the old Westvleteren yeast. This according to this source.
Other articles such as this one still tell another brewing story:

Beijing TRB Iberico

One more location

Our famous Ignace Lecleir has opened a new location in Beijing, Beijing TRB Iberico, one more restaurant in his chain, the TRB Hospitality Group. Other restaurants are TRB Hutong, Fork by TRB, Iberico by TRB, Peach and TRB Catering. The new restaurant is located in a building sitting on Liangma river near Kempinski Hotel, Maizidian Jie. Many years ago it was a SPA where I was a member for some time. The opening received a lot of attention in the media, see here in TheBeijinger.
I was curious to try it and on 2 October 2023 we went for dinner. Pleasant surprise to see unexpectedly Ignace at the entrance. He took so much care of us, with a nice table overlooking the river and a menu he composed and ordered for us.

We were really spoiled with a great red after some sparkling wine. And a stream of dishes with no end.
All the dishes were pieces of culinary art, bone marrow with tartare, seafood paella, mushroom balls, foie gras, toasts with all kinds of goodies, salad with Iberico ham, crispy duck, egg and tuna, steak, fish, … I lost count.

What a service

It was a unique dining experience in Beijing TRB Iberico with personal service of Ignace Lecleir  plus the other staff, always attentive. It is not cheap but you get an unforgettable evening. If you want to impress a guest, the place to be.
We made a short video you can watch here (needs VPN in China): Beijing TRB Iberico

Later on several of my friends also tried it and were very happy.
Interesting to note is that Ignace and Renaat (Morel) are good friends and dine at each other’s restaurant. They are both Belgians promoting the best in cuisine here in Beijing.

Yingjie Museum of Stone Art

A unique museum

The Beijing Yingjie Museum of Stone Art is located in “A.C. Museum Hotel” in A.C. Embassy Hotel on Dongzhimenwai Avenue, pretty close to the well-known Paddy O’Shea bar.

The complete hotel is pretty much like an art museum but the Yingjie Museum of Stone Art is a pretty unique attraction in the basement of the hotel, accessible through an elevator.
It is not well known, which is a pity. The Yingjie Museum of Stone Art is dedicated to art in stones, most straight from Mother Nature. The “paintings” you see are thin slices of natural stones but they look like paintings of forests, rivers and anything according to your imagination.
Near the hotel lobby there is even an “Art Stone Bar”. Nearby more galleries with paintings and other art.

The website mentioned in their leaflet,,  actually goes to this website, no English. There are many pictures and videos but all in Chinese.

A lot to admire

We were invited to a VIP tour on 14 September 2023 and we were very impressed.
Most of the exhibits are related to natural stones, artwork with inlaid stones, statues, stalagmites, but also paintings (one from a Belgian artist), African art, Chinese antiques, European antique furniture and more.

Even the walls and the floors are pieces of art! Everything is of superb quality and craftmanship.
There is a section not open to the public where repairs are made, among other activities.