As already assumed by INSIDE.BEER last week, Belgium has been successful in including their centuries old beer culture in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO decided today at its meeting in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) to safeguard Belgium beer culture, which stretches back to brewing beer in medieval monasteries and has been celebrated in paintings by Pieter Brueghel, Adriaen Brouwer and others.
Sven Gatz, former head of the Belgian Brewers Association before becoming Culture Minister for the northern region of Flanders, puts it in his own words: “We love our beer and appreciate the endless diversity within it, something that can’t be equaled anywhere else in the world.”
Critics claim that UNESCO is fostering with its decision the abuse of alcohol and that the commission should have followed its path in respect with the German Purity Law for beer, whose application was dismissed last year. A statement of UNESCO rejects this mindset: “Beer is also used by communities for cooking, producing products like beer-washed cheese, and paired with food.”