Please Note: Unfortunately, Mr. Van de Perre is unable to participate in Beer Now due to health issues. We have found an outstanding replacement in Krishan Maudgal, who has 15 years experience in the beer industry in Belgium. Please see the Speakers page for more information.
We are very pleased to have not just one (Bob Pease of the US-based Brewers Association) but two heads of national brewery guilds speaking at Beer Now.
Jean-Louis Van de Perre, Chairman of Belgian Brewers, will be speaking on “Beer Tourism Case Study – Belgium Is Leading the World” on Friday afternoon. We were able to take time from Mr. Van de Perre’s busy schedule to ask him the following questions (responses edited for clarity):
What are your responsibilities as Chairman of the Belgian Brewers?
As representative of the Belgian brewers we defend and are the spokespersons of the Belgian beer category vis a vis the different stakeholders (government, consumer organisations, media, etc ..) We also run socially responsible campaigns (dedicated driver, respect of age of consumption by young people, etc ….). Also, we promote Belgian beer through our campaign “proud of our beers” or the Belgian beer WE at the grand place in Brussels..
You are an international tax consultant for your professional work. How did you get involved in the beer industry?
My family had a brewery in Antwerp till the sixties. My father and grandfather were brewers. I also worked fifteen years for AB Inbev. So I know the world of the small and big brewers.
Belgium’s beer culture was recently named to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. What impact do you think this will have on the local beer industry, if any?
This recognition is a symbolic one. It is a morale recognition and boost for all Belgian brewers who export Belgian beers.
Why is Belgium seen by many as leading the world in beer tourism?
The country has a unique combination of quality, tradition, authenticity, creativity and diversity spread all over the country. Beer makes part of our identity.
How important is beer tourism to Belgium?
Very important. Beer is our landmark national product and attracts people from all over the world. Beer routes are developed like wines routes in France or whisky routes like in Scotland.
What is the new “temple of beer” that will be going into the old Brussels bourse and when is it due to be completed?
This interactive Belgian Beer experience housed at the old Belgian stock exchange is expected to open in the second half of 2019.