On September 9, 2023, Belgian Beer World is set to unveil its extraordinary 12,000-square-meter establishment, destined to become the globe's most extensive interactive beer center.

Located within the iconic Brussels Stock Exchange, this venue has undergone substantial renovations, shaping it into a vibrant meeting point for both locals and tourists. The space encompasses a central nave area, a captivating beer museum, and a rooftop Skybar.

The opening day festivities on Saturday kick off with the lively Zinneke Parade at 12:15, featuring music and captivating performances. Following the parade, the official inauguration will be conducted by Brussels Mayor Philippe Close and Charles Leclef from the Maison des Brasseurs.

From 13:30 to 21:00, Place de la Bourse will come alive with the DetourS Festival, presenting a series of thrilling performances, including breakdancing, acrobatics, music, and dance battles. The inauguration also presents an excellent opportunity for attendees to engage with local associations, including community centers and humanitarian groups.

The realization of Belgian Beer World has been a decade-long journey. The City of Brussels spearheaded this endeavor, receiving financial support from regional, federal, and European sources. In addition, specific Belgian brewers contributed to the project with the goal of enhancing tourism in Brussels.

However, amidst the celebration of Belgium's beer heritage, some groups express concerns regarding potential adverse effects of the renovation on this historical landmark. ARAU, a volunteer organization devoted to urban democracy, and Inter-Environment Brussels jointly issued a statement before the opening, expressing apprehension. They fear that the project could exacerbate issues such as "over-tourism," a challenge faced by various European cities, including Barcelona, Venice, and closer to home, Bruges. These groups have openly opposed Belgian Beer World and have lodged an appeal with the Council of State contesting the planning permit authorizing its commercial designation. Photo by  I, Egien, Wikimedia commons.