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Beer Festivals 2023 – the Beer Idiots list


The Belgium beer festival and special events calendar is gearing up to the full complement we are used to, back in the days before COVID-19. While some festivals seem to have lapsed, some new ones have joined the calendar (for example La Sambre’s saison fest and Beer Experience). Others have changed dates (Brugges for example) and some have changed venue (Zythos).

Then there is the Beer Idiots’ Belgium Beer Week, in its fourth edition this year in Belgium and around the world.

The following is a round-up of some of the festivals and events we think you might like, here and elsewhere. If we have missed any, do not hesitate to contact us at info@idiots.beer.

So join us in a feast of festivals as we put ourselves though another incredible year of meeting people, all for you, dear beer drinker. 

February 24-26: Week-End Bières Spéciales à Sohier

Sohier puts on the 29th edition of this festival featuring about 100 beers, making it one of the oldest beer festivals in Belgium. It is a bit out of the way in Wallonia so plan your trip accordingly. Facebook.

March 10-12: Hoppe International Craft Beer Fest


This early season festival features cans and bottles of Belgian and international beers and encourages bottle sharing at the GC De MARc/kT in the center of Merksplas.​

March 11: Lichtaarts Bierfestival

About 100 beers are on the menu at this local fest in Lichtaart.

March 18-19: The Beer Experience

Last year, we went to the inaugural edition of The Beer Experience at the old colliery buildings in Heusden-Zolder (Limburg).  The festival combines craft beer with music, talks, and food surrounded by the historical equipment of the former coal mine. Tickets are already on sale and we are heading that way!

April 8: 16de Kastels Bierfestival


Set in Kasterlee, this festival is organised by Kastelse Biervereniging, a group of homebrewers who have produced four beers so far.

April 21-22: Fest’ IPA


This celebration of IPA styles features about 50 beers and is held at Namur’s Brasserie de la Houppe.

April 21: Internationaal Geuze & Kriek Festival (Nacht Van De Grote Dorst)

Also known as Internationaal Geuze & Kriek Festival, this fabulous festival celebrating geuze and kriek is held every two years at a fabulous bar in Dilbeek. It is one of the great showcases of geuzes and lambics. Keep track on Facebook. The US edition will be held in August 2023. 

April 22-23: Zythos Bierfestival 2023, Kortrijk

With more than 500 beers on offer, the Zythos Beer Festival is the largest showcase in the world for the made-in-Belgium brand. Held by the Zythos association of beer clubs, this year’s festival has shifted to Kortrijk from Leuven for its 18th edition. It is always the place to discover Belgium’s newest breweries and taste what’s on offer from the familar ones. Tickets are already on sale.

April 28-29: Twisting the Fate IV

He may have left us in 2022, but the spirit of Armand Debelder lives on at Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen in the people and in the brews. Twisting the Fate is always and incredible event at the brewery and in the sunshine (most years). You get to taste limited edition lambics that have been aged on different types of wood. That is you can normally only drink them at the brewery at Lot (Beersel). A side event is being organised at the Felix De Boeck museum. 

April 29-30: Tilquin British Beer Festival 2023+Fruit Extravaganza

Pierre Tilquin puts on a fine festival for two days in Rebecq (Bierghes), Belgium. It is usually held every two years, so don’t miss this one! It is an excellent coda to a month that includes Zythos and Leuven Innovation. About 15 British breweries are usually featured. Keep checking the Facebook page for this year’s beer list, and tickets (which run out fast).

April 29-30: Koerselse Biermarkt

The Koerselse Biermarkt is held in Beringen, Belgium and offers 100 beers to taste and entertainment, including live bands and an annual football tournament.

May 4-6: La Cité De La Bière






Held at the Musée de la Vie Wallonne this festival features local brewers in the area and a few international ones. 

May 4-7: Aarschotse Bier Wandeling


Held in Aarschot this festival involves taking a pub walk around the town. You choose your own route and go on a beer discovery. You can taste more than 45 different beers spread over the participating bars. You can return your full card to any participating catering establishment to participate in a draw for a prize.

May 5-7: Poseidon Beerfest 2023

This first festival is hosted by Poseidon Beers at Puurs-Sint-Amands. This beer festival is organised by Poseidon Beers, voted ‘Best beer trade of the year’. Tickets only at the box office, 5 euros/person.

May 7: Great Breweries Marathon


You can walk or run the marathon or 25 km course, which features a run past Duvel Moortgat, Bosteels Brewery and Palm & De Hoorn breweries. Yes beer is served during and after. And you collect a beer package to take home. A Duvel awaits you at the finish.

May 20-21: Leuven Innovation Beerfestival

Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal hosts this exclusive festival every April. It is truly a festival of discovery as the Janssens invite only the brewers they love and who are cutting edge. Keep track of their Facebook page to find out when and where.

May 25-28: Summer Beerlovers’ Festival


This festival in Liège features 20 brewers showcasing 150 craft beers. We don’t know much about this festival, but this year plan to find out! Check their Facebook page for regular updates.

May 28: Festival de Gueuze

Held in Aalst, this is the second edition of the festival. We missed the first so are keen to try it out this year. It is hosted by Kultuurcafé De Gaadvis.

June: Swafff!

This festival is a Brussels’ favourite run by Grégoire Rifaut of Dynamo – Bar de Soif and Sébastien Albanese of Le Barboteur. 

June 3: Maldegems Bierfestival

This one day festival is held in Maldegems by the Waterbek social club.

June 10-11: Brugs BierFestival

 This festival used to kick off the season in February, but this year has shifted to June. It features some 80+ brewers in the incredible city of Bruges. It is run by the  run by Brugse Autonome Bierproevers beer club.

June: Saison & Farmhouse beers festival


Jean-Christophe Larsimont of Brasserie de la Sambre put on this festival for the first time in 2022 (18-19 June) and it was an astounding success. We have added it to our list of must-go festivals for the focus on saisons and farmhouse ales from Belgium and around the world. It was a fun event at Brasserie de la Sambre’s location in Spy. We have some pics from last year here.

 This two-day expo featuring 50+ exhibitors in Antwerp kicked off for the first time last year. We expect it will grow bigger this year. It is hosted by Becomev, which also runs the Brussels Beer Challenge. Last year it was held 17-18 June.

July: Dok Brewing Festival


This lovely festival at Dok Brewing in Ghent is a chance to taste some innovative beers from Belgium’s finest craft brewers and some international ones. It’s Dok and friends and we love them all. No date has been set yet.

July: Namur Capitale de la Bière et du Terroir Festival, Namur

Namur Capitale de la Bière et du Terroir Festival features a mix of  traditional family-run brewers, bigger brands that produce lots of suds, and craft brewers. Co-organised by Emilien Watelet and Sébastien Legrain, it’s Wallona’s largest beer festival, in a part of Belgium that does not feature a lot in the geek calendar.

August 19: Gents Bierfestival

This is mainly a bottle and can festival, however a few craft brewers also show up to pour some great beers. It’s a nice outside event put on by the city’s passionate beer club. 

August 21-27: Belgium Beer Week


Yep, the Beer Idiots have to put on a festival, and this celebrates Belgian beer here in Belgium and across the world. Events are put on by the participants themselves, of which their are hundreds in Belgium, the UK, Austria, Germany, Poland, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea….the list goes on. Those wanting to participant can sign up now here. Check our Facebook page for updates.

August 26: Bier Van Olier


This one-day festival is held in Sijsele, Belgium from 13-21h.

August 26-27: BierWeekend


The Lambikstoempers beer club host this two day festival so you can expect lots of geuzes and lambics. This fest is usually held in Alsemberg (Beersel).

August: North Sea Beer Festival


We are not sure if this festival is being held anymore (we could not find a way to contact the organisers). However a festival on a beach in Oostende is a fantastic way to end a summer. Keep checking the link above to find out whether it revives after being cancelled in 2020.

September 1-3: Belgian Beer Weekend


Held at the Grand Place in Brussels by the Belgian Brewers association, this event features parades, bands and pomp among the 50 or so breweries serving beers to about 61,000 visitors over the weekend. Last year it was held in the first weekend of September. 

September: BXL BeerFest

Kevin Desmet, co-organiser of the BXL BeerFest, speaks about brewers and friends and bringing everyone together at Tour & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium. The beer festival, which was held last year at the end of August, attracted about 60 brewers. Desmet is now reconsidering when to schedule the 2023 edition. It’s a crowded month for festivals. Check Facebook for info.

September 9-10: Wanderlust


This Brussels festival, held by the Brussels Beer Project, will be held again at the Vismarkt, Marché aux Poissons. It’s the 10th anniversary of the festival so BBP is promising an even more epic event.

September 30: Dag van de Lambiek 2023

Not much word on this but the site lists the event as 30 September, though the page has not been updated. This is an event held at In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst bar/cafe in Lennik, Eizeringen. 

September: Zwanze Day

Cantillon holds Zwanze Day to release a special geuze at the same time at selected bars in Belgium and around the world. In the video Jean Van Roy, Cantillon’s owner and brewer, speaks about the reason he started Zwanze day. This is not a festival in the traditional sense of course, but we thought we would include it as there is such a large following for the event.

September: Bière a Lille (BAL)

We list this here as it is such an incredible festival and showcase of French and international beer. They even have a special section for Belgian brewers. Video: Nicolas Lescieux of  l’Échappée Bière, one of the organisers of the Bière a Lille (BAL), talks about the growth of craft beer in France and takes us on a walk among some of the brewers.

October 14: Bierhappening


This festival is held in Vijvers, Zottegem by the local beer club. So far they have just listed the date in their calendar.

October: Modeste Beer Festival


Held with in Antwerp around the first weekend in October (last year it was October 1–2) by Antwerps Bier College at iconic city brewer De Koninck, this festival features beers from about 25 small Belgian breweries. No date has been set yet but you can keep track at the unofficial Facebook page.

October: Mechelen Beer Festival


An interesting festival held in the town’s historic square.

October: Brassigaume

Grégory Verhelst of Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles hosts the lovely festival Brassigaume in Marbehan sometime in mid to late October. It’s well worth the trip.

October 20-22: Hoppy Days – Liège Beer Festival


A hundred Belgian and foreign beers.
Held at Streekproducten Centrum in Halle by De Lambikstoempers (to which I belong) it features bottles from every brewer and blender of geuze and lambic in Belgium, served up by club members. You will also find a lot of the brewers holding court over the two days. The Beer Idiots are usualy among the last to leave its so good.


This festival is held in Poperinge, the centre for many of the remaining hop farmers in Belgium. This lovely little festival is held in the square near the Hop Museum and combines traditions with some of the best known and iconic Belgian brewers in the area (hint: including the nearby Trappist brewer). 

November 10-11: Billie’s Craft Beer Fest

Tickets go fast at Stéfan Cauwenbergs’ world-famous Billie’s Craft Beer Fest  at Waagnatie Expo & Events, in Antwerp, Belgium from 29-30 November, 2019. It is one price and what you can taste. Certainly, it is not to be missed.

November 25: 8e Winters Bierfestival


Winters Bierfestival is organised by Waregemse Biervrienden, a group of friends that have been brewing together in Waregem, where the festival is held.

December 16-17: Kerstbierfestival, Essen

Kerstbierfestival ends the year with some heavy beers and drinking in Essen. Tickets run out fast as the space is limited and it is one of the great beer events in Belgium. Some 200+ Christmas beers are featured. Tickets go on sale 1 August at 10 am.

2024 Festivals

Some festivals are only held every two years, so we list them here.

May 4-5 2024: Toer de Geuze


These are the days when the geuze and lambic brewers and blenders open their doors to the public. Expect bus loads of people from all over the world touring these breweries, some of which only open to the public for the event.

October 4-5 2024: Ood Bruin Fest

What is Flanders red ale? We were at the `t Verzet’s inaugural Ood Bruin Fest in Kortrijk to taste the many varieties of the style, which has evolved in many branches (and sometimes even oak leaves) from the early days when Rodenbach developed the style (also known as Flemish red-brown). The festival attracted 23 other brewers from Belgium and around the world to show their variations on the style. Check out  our photo gallery of the festival taken on  8 October 2022. Tickets are now on sale at the site. Facebook.

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I am a Canadian beer idiot living in Brussels with Karine and our son Elliott. I am here for the beer, good talk and good writing.
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