Belgian's beer got a nod from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) citing that "making and appreciating beer is part of the living heritage of a range of communities throughout the country." There are almost 1,500 kinds of beers crafted by Belgium since the 80's.
In the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference Centre in Ethiopia, Belgium's value for their drink was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The drink holds a central part in festivities, advocacies, social, and culinary life of the people. In a press release, UNESCO shared that Trappist groups involved in beer making are giving proceeds from the profit to charity. By 2011, there are 11 certified Abbey beers in the country.
Moreover, Belgian beer is considered as an ingredient for the cooking of products like beer-washed cheese, Dubbel, wheat beer with fish or simply be served to compliment with the taste of the food. It is noted that in 1998, brewing company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, started a worldwide chain of restaurants, called Belgian Beer Cafe that serves dishes with beer.
There are at least 10 beer festivals celebrated by Belgium each year. The country also publishes Beer Passion Magazine that keeps people informed with beer trends and updates.
The Belgian Brewers' Association represents breweries of the country. While the Knighthood of the Mashstaff honors people who have made an outstanding contribution to brewing.
Other countries' cultural expressions honored at conference are: China,The Twenty-Four Solar Terms, knowledge of time and practices developed in China through observation of the sun's annual motion; Spain, Valencia Fallas festivity; Egypt, Tahteeb, stick game; Georgia, Living culture of three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet; and, many more.
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