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Brussels to Convert Former Stock Exchange to 'Belgian Beer Temple'

Belgian Brussels Beer Temple

After a 15-month study, Brussels authorities have authorized a "Temple to Belgian Beer", known as the Belgian Beer Project (BBP), which will be housed in the grand, and currently vacant Bourse building, former home of the country's stock exchange. 

The temple, which will feature a museum, tasting rooms, a roof terrace, bar and restaurant will showcase both the large and old Belgian breweries and smaller, newer craft brewers.

Six architects were chosen from a field of 35 applicants to design the building, slated for completion by 2019, according to Fabrizio Bucella, official spokesman for the BBP. The goal is to make the temple the number one attraction in Belgium, with an estimated 400,000 visitors per year.

Though there were concerns that only macrobreweries would be featured, the BBP has since made it known that craft won't be ignored.

"It won't be a museum in the traditional sense, but a non-stuffy and a hands-on experience that even people with no great interest in beers can enjoy", Bucella said. "It is intended to be a showcase for the best of Belgian beers so all brewers, from the largest to the smallest, will be included. That is the idea".

The project is estimated to cost some $33 million and will be both privately and publicly funded, with the City of Brussels, Brussels Capital Region, the Belgian federal government, the EU and members of the beer industry contributing 20 percent each.