Belgian Beer Cafe

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Belgian Beer Cafe
Type Private
Industry Restaurant/Beer Cafe
Founded 1998 (1998)
Headquarters Leuven, Belgium
Number of locations 60+

Belgian Beer Café is a chain of concept cafes/restaurants specializing in Belgian-inspired food and Belgian beers. The company was founded in Brussels in 1998 by InBev and now is part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev Group. Currently Belgian Beer Cafés can be found in 50 cities spread out over 19 countries.


The Belgian Beer Café concept comes out of the Belgian heritage of great beer, and the tradition of pairing Belgian beers with Belgian cuisine and serving them in an atmosphere that resembles a typical Belgian cafe.

The idea to (re)create the traditional cafe as an embassy of Belgian Beer, bar and food culture was born in 1997. The first Belgian Beer Café opened its doors one year later in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Many other European countries followed rapidly. The first Café outside Europe opened in 1999 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Belgian Beer Cafés come in two slightly different concepts: rural and cosmopolitan. The rural version imitates the typical Belgian brasserie, which is rather spacious with a large amount of seating and a good view of the comings and goings. The cosmopolitan-orientated Cafés are furnished in a more efficient way, less roomy and are targeted to a different audience. The Cafés were designed by Creneau International, inspired by the look of Belgian Cafés during the interbellum and incorporating many elements of Belgian Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta.[1]

At first, the beer menu was limited to only original InBev brands but over the years the number of participating breweries has grown. Now you can taste all different types of Belgian beers, from Pilsner to Trappist beer.

Avril Maxwell, bartender of the Belgian Beer Café in Christchurch, New Zealand won the 2009 Stella Artois World Draught Master contest.[2]

At the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, a complete Belgian Beer Café was constructed in the Belgian EU pavilion.[3] Seven million people visited the pavilion to find out more about the Belgian fries, chocolates and diamonds.[4] About 110,000 of them visited the Café to try Belgian beers and cuisine.

The Belgian Beer Cafés were also represented in 2011 at the Cleveland Wine Festival.[5] During the festival, a Belgian Beer Café served Stella Artois (premium lager), Hoegaarden (white wheat beer) and Leffe (abbey beer).

International expansion[edit]

In 2011 Belgian Beer Cafés can be found in 51 cities spread out over 20 countries and 4 continents (Europe, Asia, North America and Australia). Most of them are located in city centres, but the Cafés can also be found in hotels and at international airports.


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