Lille becomes the world’s beer capital this week, hosting a festival in which around 100 breweries – nine of them Belgian – will take part from 13 to 19 September.
Starting on Monday, there will be about 60 events in 40 locations – such as bars, restaurants, cellars – in and around the French city for this year’s Bière à Lille (BAL) festival. The programme includes meals accompanied by beer, meetings with brewers, a beer night and a treasure hunt.
Like other parts of the world, Lille and the Hauts-de-France region have been touched by the craft beer renaissance in recent years.
The city just across the border from Belgium hosted its first Festival Bière in 2017.
Last year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there was no big event, except for an exhibition titled “La Bière experience” at the Grand Palais, which on 18-19 September will be the venue for the culminating events of this year’s festival.
Belgium will be represented by nine breweries: La Source, Brussels Beer Project, Brasserie de la Senne, Brasserie de la Mule, Misery, Nectar Bohème, De Ranke, Caulier and Brasserie du Borinage.
Naturally, the local brews will also be on tap in Lille at this week’s festival.
“The increasing popularity of beer observed for years now at the global and national level is also evident locally since the number of breweries in the Lille metropolitan area has doubled in three years and there are now more than 30,” the organisers noted.
“The BAL will be aimed at showcasing the dynamism of the city’s breweries, whether they are historic ones, like the Moulin d’Ascq and 3 Brasseurs, or newcomers like Kino Beer, Brewbaix or HUB,” they added.
Some 15,000 visitors are expected in two days at the Grand Palais. In addition to the six-euro entry fee, each visitor must have a health pass.