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In news that will delight Belgians, and come as no surprise to many that enjoy a top quality tipple, Belgian beer culture has been awarded World Heritage status by the UN's education, science and culture agency, UNESCO.
Commenting on the decision to add Belgian beer culture to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, UNESCO said: “Making and appreciating beer is part of the living heritage of a range of communities throughout Belgium. It plays a role in daily life, as well as festive occasions.”
“It is the unparalleled diversity of the art of brewing and the intensity of the beer culture, as a part of our daily lives and at festivals in our country, that make this beer culture a part of the identity and the cultural heritage of the entire country,” the ministers for culture for the German, Dutch and Flemish speaking communities in Belgium said in a joint statement.
Beer has been brewed in Belgium for centuries, notably by monks in the Middle Ages. As ample demonstration of how seriously the Belgians take it, a two-mile underground beer pipeline was recently installed in Bruges to ensure the city's last remaining central brewery could continue brewing from within the city walls.