DATA: 15 and 16 December 2018
PLACE: Essen, Belgium
In Belgium, the tradition of beer is very much felt. THE'Essen Christmas Beer Festivalofficially OBER Kerstbierfest, is the traditional Christmas appointment linked to the famous drink. It takes place every year in the small village of Essen, not far from Antwerp and the border with the Netherlands. The event, as indicated by the official name, is organized by OBER (Objectieve Bierproevers Essense Regio).
For many, it is a veritable open-air beer museum. An incredible festival where you can enjoy one of the 178 labels in glasses by 15cl. You drink and, of course, you eat a lot. Among the various stands you can taste sausages, cheeses, beef steaks and soups.
All this, at the height of Christmas, while everywhere you go around the various markets. A jump in the small Belgian town, can be an alternative way, to a visit to Bruges, Antwerp or Brussels, favorite destinations during the Advent period.
In the latest edition, over 3000 thirsty visitors came from all over the world. This year, the number is expected to increase exponentially.
HOW TO GET
Recommended especially if you were in Antwerp during this period, Bruges o Brussels; an alternative way to the classic Christmas markets. From Antwerp Station Antwerpen-Centraal, you reach Essen in just over 30 minutes by train; alternatively, in just over an hour by car or train from Brussels.
Brussels-National, it is the base for those wishing to visit the Essen Christmas Beer Festival directly. The international airport is about 80 km from the town. Anyone wishing to use the means, can arrive by train, in Intercity, making a stopover in Antwerp.
TIMETABLES AND PRICES
The Essen Christmas Beer Festival takes place in the Heuvelhal area, within the town. To drink and eat, you pay in tokens. Online only, on the official page, You can buy a special ticket for 20,00 € which offers 7 tokens, a bottle of water, a festival guide and a glass. Extra chips can be purchased at the entrance boxes at 1,80 € each. Saturday 15 / 12, FREE ENTRY after the 19: 00.
Most of the beers cost 1 token, except for the exclusive beers that can even cost 3 tokens. A portion of sausage and cheese costs 1 token; beef stew with Christmas beer, costs 2 tokens. Only the PUB upstairs provides cash payment.
Entry Saturday 15, from 13: 30 to 23: 00; Sunday 16, from 12: 00 to 19: 00.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Given its proximity, we recommend staying in Antwerp. You will find more proposals. Conveniently located in Antwerp's Antwerp district, the Bij Anja en familie It is located at 900 m from the Antwerp Expo, 3,9 km from the Plantin-Moretus Museum and 3,9 km from the Rubenshuis. The property is about 4 km from Antwerp's Groenplaats square and Meir. The property is 4,1 km from Cathedral of Our Lady and 4,2 km from De Keyserlei. Info and reservations from this link.