The Zythos Beer Festival (Zythos Bierfestival) is one of the major events for Belgian beer-lovers. It was first organized in 2004 as a small gathering for beer enthusiasts in Sint-Niklaas, a city in the East Flanders. In 2012, the festival moved to the city of Leuven, which now has the reputation of being the beer capital of Flanders. Every year, the festival is organized by Zythos, a Belgian association of beer-tasters that brings together up to one hundred breweries to participate. Zythos, by the way, is the ancient Greek word for beer.
Producers and thousands of beer-lovers gather in the Brabanthal exhibition hall with stalls showcasing over 500 types of beer. Visitors can buy an entry ticket with a tasting glass and tokens to sample beer. About 16,000 attendees visit the festival annually. The Brabanthal Hall is located in 15 minutes ride from downtown Leuven. During the festival, quite a few local breweries offer special tours and Leuven restaurants have special menus for the weekend.
Zythos gives awards to three tastiest beers at the festival that are selected by visitors. It's like an Oscar in the beer world. Each year, the festival has a different theme and color.