Our diplomats at work
Promotion of Belgian Beer in China is of course often by the beer companies but the Belgian embassy and its partners actively promote the different brands. As per a near general rule, events at the embassy (or consulates) have Belgian beers for the guests, through sponsorship.
An example: “International Beer Day” by WalloniaAndChina, see the original article in French. Here the translated version.
7 August 2020, was International Beer Day, a special day for Belgium, which is the world’s leading exporter, ahead of Germany and the Netherlands. Belgian beer is known for its many varieties and for its superior quality. In 2016, Belgian beer was listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
The brewing sector makes a major contribution to the Belgian economy. It directly and indirectly employs more than 50,000 people. There are now more than 260 breweries in Belgium, for a total production of more than 20 million hectoliters per year. 30% of Belgian production is intended for own use while 70% is intended for export. Domestic market consumption in 2018 was more than 7 million hectoliters.
Belgium is particularly known for its Trappist beers. A Trappist beer is a beer brewed in a Cistercian abbey, under the supervision of Trappist monks. Beer must be produced with a view to social and charitable solidarity. Of the twelve producing Trappist abbeys in the world, six are in Belgium, and three in Wallonia: Chimay, Rochefort and Orval.
Since 2017, a 290-kilometer hiking trail has linked these three abbeys, to the delight of sports enthusiasts and beer lovers.
The best known Trappist in China is probably Chimay. It is produced at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont, and comes in four versions: amber (red capsule, 7%), triple (white capsule, 8%), brown (blue capsule, 9%) or golden (capsule golden, 4.8%). The abbey was built during the second half of the 19th century and currently has 13 monks aged 45 to 99. Its dean, Father Bernard de Give, died in January 2020 at the age of nearly 107.
In Rochefort, the monks of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy abbey brew three types of beer: “6” (red capsule, 7.5%), “8” (green capsule, 9.2%) and the “10” (blue capsule, 11.3%). The discrepancy between the figure attributed to beer and the percentage of alcohol is explained by the use of an old unit of measurement of alcohol, the “Belgian” degree. The Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy abbey was erected in 1230 and the brewery has been operational since 1889.
The mythical Orval is tasted in the province of Luxembourg and has a content of 6.2%. The Notre-Dame d’Orval abbey was founded in the 11th century in the middle of the great Ardennes forest.
Beer Big Bang
On 16 October 2020 our Belgian ambassador Jan Hoogmartens presided the opening of the Belgian beer stand in SOHO Sanlitun in Beijing.
A number of Belgian beers were promoted, such as Lindemans, Hoegaarden, Delirium, Rochefort, Kasteel and others.