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GIST after the lockdown: Day 1

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Video: Jenlain Delcourt talks about the first day of re-opening GIST in Brussels after the COVID-19 lockdown, crowdfunding, and the shock to beer culture in Belgium.

Craft beer drinkers cautiously and incautiously ventured out this week as their favourite bars for a pint slowly started opening as the Belgian government eased the lockdown for them.

Tough times are ahead as they seek to recover. A good chunk of Belgian bars have already gone under during the three months.

Some had opened at midnight on Sunday, just to say they were among the first. Others, like GIST in Brussels, opened on 8 June, welcoming friends in a quiet way.

Jenlain Delcourt and Jody Lecieux opened GIST in December 2017 at Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés, one of the beautiful small squares in Brussels.

I have spend many a pleasant time on the terrace watching the tourists hugging the Jacques Brel statue in the traffic circle and having their picture taken. 

GIST – The Beer Idiots enjoyed sitting in the square with friends in July 2018.

So it was great to finally get back to the GIST after three months of drinking at home.

We just hope that the opening up continues. Bars like Moeder Lambic (both of them), BrewDog and Bier Circus opened on 8 June. Dynamo opened on 9 June. Python is due to open on 10 June and Dynamo is opening on 12 June. As the group at Moeder Lambic says on their Facebook page bars and brewers are all in the same kayak. They will feature Belgian craft brewers on Thursdays, starting with l’Ermitage on 11 June and ‘T Verzet on 18 June.

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