The Beer World centre is expected to open at the Stock Exchange in a few years. It will promote Belgian beer culture as a whole and not just a particular brewer, those running the project said in a press release on Friday.
There was a petition against the project called “Save our Stock Exchange”, which was signed by 3,500 people. Those behind the petition claimed the project would “transform the Stock Exchange building into a beer temple. The Belgo-Brazilian industrial beer producer AB InBev (Jupiler, Leffe….)” is also involved in the project”.
“This is about promotion, not one beer brand over another, but Belgian beer culture in general. We will take a generic approach”, explained Krishan Maudgal, head of the Belgian Beer World project. “The project is different public partners working together. These partners include a representative number of small, medium and large breweries, currently around 30. Together, they show the enormous diversity of Belgian breweries and represent Belgian beers as a whole. This kind of initiative has never been seen before”.
When the project started in 2013, breweries agreed other companies would be able to join the project in the future. This should reassure those behind the petition, who agree that beer “can be appreciated in moderation and when it is not industrial”.
Belgian Beer World will be located on the second and third floors of the Stock Exchange. The rest of the building will host various public activities in a communal space called “BeursBourse”. This space will have a public gallery, allowing passers-by to freely wander through the heart of the building. That’s very close to what those behind the petition want, as they see the Stock Exchange as a “place of public and popular expression par excellence”.
An opinion poll about the project closed on Friday. The promotors reminded the public they had been very open about the project from the start. They will attend the public meeting on the 11th of October to answer any questions that arise.