Artisan beer's growing popularity has also led to a remarkable growth of breweries in Belgium. Belgium, which is already known as a beer country, now has 247 breweries, 70 % more than 5 years ago.
Consumer wants "authentic, artisan products"
The number of breweries in Belgium has grown from 145 to 247 in 5 years' time, according to numbers from FPS Economy, with mainly smaller, artisan breweries as the newest additions.
That may still be well below the numbers from 1900, when Belgium had more than 3,000 breweries, but it seems the bottom has been reached. There were only a 100 in 2000, but nowadays, that number has grown over 2.5 times.
Beer connoisseur Ben Vinken says there is an easy explanation for the growth: "Lager consumption has been under pressure for several years, while specialty beer consumption is on the rise. Marketing no longer dictates what the consumer wishes to drink. We are looking for authentic products, for artisan brewery skills, for other flavours."