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Belgium in Brief: A Storm Brewed

Credit: Brewers of Europe/Belga/Pixabay

There’s been a perfect storm brewing in Belgium for the months leading up to the reopening of bars.

From tomorrow, you’ll see the results, and they might even taste a little different.

According to experts, the combination of fresh kegs and clean taps could result in a totally unique experience for the pintje drinker, which I get into here.

It will be “a once in a lifetime opportunity” for beer lovers, according to Krishan Maudgal, Director of the Belgian Brewers Association.

“You can have a very pure sensation of drinking your favourite beer in a way you have never had it before,” he told The Brussels Times.

Now, of course, as I have pointed that out to you, there could be an argument for the placebo effect. Sitting with your friends, drinking a beer you didn’t pour. Maybe you’re even in the sun?

Then again, does that really matter?

When you go to a terrace this weekend – and I assume many of you will – keep this idea in mind.

Is this the best pintje you’ve ever had? Who knows, but it’s been a long time coming.

Let @johnstonjules know. Or @maithechini, they split the work today.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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1. ‘We are not going to play terrace police’ on Saturday, police say

When the terraces reopen on Saturday, the police will not be carrying out extra checks and issue fines, but will instead rely on the responsibility of business owners and their clients. Read more.

2. Why your first terrace pintje might taste different

Patrons flocking to bars in Belgium this weekend will very possibly be getting the freshest beer – or pintje – they’ve ever had, due to several changes brought on by months of closures.

While the UK may have been facing possible beer shortages, Belgium’s brewers have said they expect no problem meeting demand when bars and restaurants reopen their terraces. So why will it be different?

3. Belgium to start tracking femicide statistics

A census of official femicide statistics will be part of Belgium’s National Plan against Violence, the magazine ‘Imagine Demain le monde’ reported on Friday, citing the office of the Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Sarah Schlitz. Read more.

4. ‘Not a car you can just restart’: Brussels bars will open step by step

While Brussels’ hospitality sector is hoping to find enough space to put up their terraces this weekend, they are mainly just happy to start serving customers again, after over half a year of closure.

Some businesses with small terraces will only be able to have two tables due to the 1.5 metres distance, but the most important part is that the sector can finally work again, according to Marc Van Muylders of Horeca Brussels. Read More.

5. Brussels to regularly screen for discrimination in the rental market

The Brussels government will begin conducting proactive tests for possible discrimination in the rental market, it announced today.

Recent VUB research revealed structural discrimination in the Leuven rental market— findings they say match what’s been documented in cities all across Belgium, including the capital. Read More.

6. Are Chinese agents operating at Liege Airport?

The government is investigating the possibility that agents of the Chinese government are operating out of Liege airport, according to federal justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD). Read More.

7. No more cigarette sales at Tomorrowland but ‘alternatives’ from British American Tobacco

Cigarettes will no longer be sold at the Tomorrowland music festival in Belgium, the festival organisers and British American Tobacco (BAT) confirmed on Friday,

But as an official corporate partner, BAT will still be selling other tobacco products like vapes and electronic cigarettes. Read More.