Discovering Antwerp’s beer culture with the BeerWalk

Antwerp has a long beer history. And things are moving as well, with microbreweries and craft beer bars transforming the beer scene in the city. The BeerWalk is an ideal way of getting to know both. Organized in Antwerp and several other Flemish cities, they give you an insight into the authentic and craft beer culture. We had a short interview to get to know more.

How did BeerWalk started?

BeerWalk is founded by Ariël Meeusen (Professional Beer Coach) and Joël Dumont (CEO Deadline Entertainment Group) at the end of 2016. Ariël already knew Joël from previous Medieval Beer Tasting experiences.

On one of these occasions Ariël was telling Joël that there are a lot of beerwalks in our cities which tell a lot of lies. Lies about the history of the city, but most important lies about the different beers. Just some people who think they know anything about beer…
As Joël replied, so you have to do it yourself then.. Think twice, Ariël had already been setting up some tours but didn’t have the tools to make it happen… And the rest is history. They put their heads together and formed BeerWalks. Joël as the commercial, technical brain. Ariël as the brains behind the tours.

Which kind of walks do you organize?

We offer tours in 5 different cities of Flanders (Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, Courtrai and Malines). The tours take 3 hours and you will enjoy different bars and beers along the way. Our guide is a professional Beer Guide, who knows the history of the city and combines that knowledge with his knowledge of beers and the history around beer and its culture.

You can participate in the tours as an individual (which is unique in Belgium), as a couple or as a group. Beers and bars are carefully selected by Ariël.

What are some of the biggest challenges for a project as yours?

A challenge for us is our visibility towards incoming tourism. As we are a unique concept, we need to make sure our awareness is constantly up to date. This means we have to invest in our networking, promotion, social media, online visibility, etc…

Do you have the feeling things are changing as to sustainability, with craft beer and microbreweries for instance?

We feel that mass consumption is past time. Special craft beers are getting more territory. People are looking for a once in a life time experience or love to try something new. The go with the flow and everyone consumes this or that is past time, the mindset is changing.

This is a good thing for our beer culture. No more big volumes and the story behind the beers are getting more and more important, instead of just drinking alcohol. We are also noticing that there are a lot of microbreweries on the market. It has been from the beginning of the 20th Century that this is going in a straight line upwards.

This is not especially towards Antwerp, but for all of our cities. We try to gain a different mindset with our participants. We tell the story behind the beers and serve them the more craft beers instead of the well know beers. We respect our beer culture in combination with the history of the city.

Find out more about the BeerWalk on their website

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More info of BeerWalk: in our review

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