Due to its unique culture, picturesque Leuven has many unofficial nicknames. It is often called the "Beer Capital of Flanders". Its brewing traditions go back over 400 years. Leuven hosts the grand beer festival Zythos every year. Usually, it is held in late April, when representatives of the best European brewing companies take part in the large-scale festival. One of the main venues for the festival is the Brabanthal exhibition complex with specially equipped tasting rooms and interesting thematic programs.
During the festival, its guests can taste more than 500 types of beer, including premium Belgian beers. Beer tasting is always accompanied by a tasting of the best Belgian delicacies. Participants are invited to try excellent cheese from local farms and deli meats, and some beers are perfectly complemented by... chocolate. The Zythos Beer Festival has become so popular that at least 100,000 tourists visit it every year.
A variety of interesting activities are organized especially for them, including guided tours of local historic breweries. Some of them have been operating for hundreds of years, producing their beer according to unchanged recipes. Beer tours are available to guests of the city even outside the framework of the festival - legendary Leuven factories can be visited at any time of the year. For example, Stella Artois brewery is based in Leuven. Beer of this brand is now well known to residents of many countries of the world. A few years ago, the large factory began to conduct tours for tourists. Now they can watch all stages of the popular beer's production.