Belgium is seeking be recognised by UNESCO for its beer culture and have it listed on the agency’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
The list, which is meant to afford international recognition and protection for cultural heritage from UNESCO member-states, was created in 2006 and already has more than 300 places and traditions on it – including the Great Wall of China and Tanzania’s Stone Town in Zanzibar.
The Belgian brewery association, in its application, noted beer consumption goes beyond drinking alcohol for the side effect of intoxication and is a national rite of passage.
“It plays a role in daily life, as well as festive occasions,” the application states. “Almost 1,500 types of beer are produced in the country including by some Trappist [monk] communities.”
The petition was submitted by the German-speaking portion of the Belgian population on behalf of all three linguistic communities in the country. It was endorsed by French- and Dutch-speaking brewers, as well.