Around 30 breweries and 12 vineyards in Wallonia will open their doors to the public on 17 and 18 June. The initiative, presented in Villers-la-Ville by the Walloon Minister of Tourism and Agriculture, René Collin, on Monday, forms part of the 2017 Wallonia gourmet.
Mr Collin emphasised the “important economic reality” represented by winegrowers and brewers for Wallonia.
If the culture of beer has been anchored for decades in the south of the country, wine has in turn become a “real economic and agricultural sector”, according to the minister, who counts thirty “real professionals” active in viticulture. Walloon wine production almost doubled in five years, reaching 6,750 hectoliters in 2015, most of which is devoted to sparkling wines.
In brewing, the minister highlighted the potential for growth in the malting barley industry, “a variety that still scares farmers a bit today because of yield”. Another raw material for beer, hops, could also be developed better. Two or three soils in Wallonia are favorable to this plant, the minister said.
Beer lovers should know that during the same weekend of 17 and 18 June, a festival of beers aged in oak barrels is held in Anthisnes (province of Liège). A dozen Walloon breweries, most of which do not participate directly in the Open Weekend, will be well represented at the Château de l’Avouerie.
The weekend of the vineyards and breweries of Wallonia is organised by the Walloon Promotion Agency for Quality Agriculture (APAQ-W) and is supported by the Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR).