The Modeste Beer Festival pays tribute to Modeste Van den Bogaert, who led the De Koninck brewery for over 50 years after his father's untimely death. Modeste also means modest, which is why only small Belgian brewers are invited to the festival, allowing them to showcase the best homegrown beers. For those looking for a quieter time, you won't just find beer at the Modest festival, there are also several cheese stalls with beer pairing with the Van Tricht cheese shop and various other activities during the festival.
Organised by the Antwerp beer College, the festival receives over 4,000 visitors each year and is hosted inside the De Koninck brewery festival hall. Entrance into the brewery is free with individual tastings being priced per stall.
The province of Antwerp itself has a lot to offer beer loves, with 14 breweries residing in the region. Local beers are regularly developed or rediscovered here and there are several prominent speciality beer cafes, and many internationally acclaimed beer festivals that take place. One of the oldest breweries in Belgium - Het Anker in Mechelen - is home to the world-famous Gouden Carolus Classis, moreover, there are several other beer gems brewed here including the famous “Bolleke Koninck” in the city of Antwerp and the deliciously foamy Duvel beer from Breendonk.
As well as spending plenty of time at the festival, sampling the fantastic range of beers on offer, you can take a tour of some of the best breweries around Antwerp. The Brouwerij Het Anker is the city brewery of Mechelen and is one of the oldest in Belgium. Since 2010 the brewery has also been distilling its own whisky, called the Gouden Carolus Single Malt, using the malt mash of Gouden Carolus Tripel, and visitors can see the ripening warehouses where the whisky is patiently maturing.
If you can't make it during the beer festival, why not visit the spectacular Antwerp Christmas Market instead?