This evening (18 June) at 18.00 in Brussels, glasses will be raised to the success of a crowdfunding campaign that saved 82 of the city’s bars from ruin during lockdown.
The Zuur campaign was the initiative of the crowdfunding platform Growfunding. Because many city cafes were in danger of going broke because of the long-lasting lockdown, the Brussels region came forward with money to support the campaign.
Anyone who made a contribution received a reward, and a bottle of Zuur – a beer specially made as a blend of the sour beer geuze from the Cantillon brewery in Anderlecht, and a blond beer from the relatively young Brussels brewery En Stoemelings. Originally in the Marolles but now in the new Greenbiz site in Laeken.
Now, however, the bars are open again, inside and out, and the time has come for contributors to pick up their free beer. According to the organisers, the event – the 82 cafes remain open, after all – will be marked by street parties and fanfares throughout the city.
“Of course, this will all be done with respect for the safety measures in force,” the organisers said.
“Being allowed to reopen the doors and put the terraces outside: it felt like a huge relief, undoubtedly for all café owners,” Jorn Peeters, owner of the iconic cafés Les Brasseurs (close to the Bourse) and Le Coq (Rue Auguste Orts), told Bruzz.
“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Zuur campaign, both for Les Brasseurs and Le Coq and for the other cafés. It is also very nice that we get our supporters over to pick up their Zuur beer, so that it can also be done in person.”
It wasn’t all about beer, though. As well as the main Zuur campaign, 141 organisations offered various rewards. An extra €200,000 was pumped into local artists who were able to promote their work thanks to the campaign, the nearly 10,000 hours of leisure activities organised for Brussels children, and more than 1,000 food parcels for the needy in Brussels.
“At Growfunding we are very happy with the result of the Zuur campaign,” said director Frederik Lamote.
“Not only have we been able to give the Brussels catering industry a boost with the restart, but thanks to the support of the Brussels government, we have also been able to boost the local and social economy. The blazing success of the campaign proves that the Brussels resident has a heart for his favourite pub and the local traders.”