The 1st Annual National Belgian Beer Week (NBBW), which took place July 14-21, debuted to resounding success.
America’s first ever all-Belgian brewery beer week saw strong physical attendance for its first year, bolstered by national media coverage leading up to the event. Digital engagement was very strong, with Untappd recording over 100,000 exclusive Belgian Beer Week badges unlocked and nearly 2 million discussing the week on social media.
“The U.S. Belgian Beer Week aims to garner appreciation for arguably the best brewers in the world,” said Steve Villani, President of Global Beer Network, a co-sponsor for the event. “These are the original, authentic craft brewers who started brewing beer generations ago for their village, and today export their brews to countries all over the world. One week of recognition for these pioneers in brewing is a long time coming here in the U.S.”
The strong attendance for the event’s first year was a very promising sign for the future of Belgian beer in America.
“Considering this was the first year of the week, the response was overwhelmingly positive for authentic Belgian-brewed beer,” says Lanny Hoff, Artisanal Imports SVP-Brands Manager. “Next year should be exponentially bigger as more retailers, suppliers and consumers join in to celebrate.”
The NBBW officially kicked off with the 7th annual North American Belgian Beer Fest (July 14-15) #NABBF in Westland, MI. This year’s festival saw nearly 1,000 attendees who sampled over 200 beers from 50+ Belgian breweries – the largest contingent of Belgian breweries in the event’s history.
“While these numbers are impressive,” says Roy Moore, manager of the event, “what truly sets the NABBF apart is the quality of its beers. All beers were exclusively Belgian – those not brewed within the country’s borders were not allowed. Most of the offerings were award-winning and considered “world class.”
Beer from esteemed Belgian producers included B.O.M. Brewery, Brouwerij Bosteels, Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste, Brasserie St-Feuillien, Brasserie Dupont, Brouwerij Boon, Brasserie Cantillon, Gueuzerie Tilquin, De Cam Geuzestekerij, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck and the Belgian Trappist brewers (including some Westvleteren “under the table” for beer hunters.)