Lille is hosting around a hundred beer-related events this week for the fifth edition of the “Bière à Lille (Bal)” festival. A dozen Belgian breweries will take part in the closing weekend at the Grand Palais, which is preparing to welcome some 15,000 visitors.
Many restaurants, cafes and beer cellars have organised meetings with brewers, tasting sessions, and meals where food and beer pairings are offered. The highlight of the event remains the fair organised on weekends. The grand finale takes place this weekend, September 24 and 25 at the Grand Palais.
More than a hundred breweries will take part, of which about one-third are from Hauts-de-France region (northern France), one-third from the rest of France and the remaining participants from abroad. Though not the focus of the festival, Belgium's rich brewing heritage still takes a position of prominence, with an “island” devoted to the breweries of the Belgian capital.
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The scenography, articulated around the historic French brewing territories, will allow visitors to go on a beer journey from Flanders to Alsace, passing through Hainaut, the Ardennes and Lorraine.
Last year the event attracted 10,000 visitors with 70 events and 100 breweries.