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Beers for a global conquest

From the Euphrates to China, beer has travelled worldwide. Discover its influence, the pioneers’ brewing secrets, and the triumph of Belgian beer –notably Lambic PDO – on the global tasting stage.

Beers for a global conquest

Beer's epic journey trough the ages 

Just like Ulysses, beer has been on a long trip down the centuries. From the banks of the Euphrates to Egypt, before finding fans all around the world, via the Celts and Goths, and from Spain to the Urals. It has also travelled to the two Americas, India, China and Australia.

So beer has been all around the world, much more than wine. In numerous cases, beer has replaced local drinks, including those that are simply refreshing or energising .

The influence of explorers and adventurers 

Beer’s success at conquering the world could not have been achieved without the explorers and adventurers who carried the recipe for producing beer and related secrets. John Martin, for instance, a young Englishman who set foot in Antwerp in 1909, introduced the legendary Guinness to Belgium in 1914. He became a pioneer in importing Irish beers, as well as those from England and Scotland, to Belgium and the European continent. 

Impact of the British Empire and Irish migrants

The British Empire played a crucial role in spreading beer worldwide, particularly thanks to the creation of India Pale Ale or IPA. This beer was “adapted to the long journeys and preservation in the tropics, thanks to the significant addition of hop flowers at the end of the fermentation.” The recipe was rediscovered a few years ago by Anthony Martin and is today offered in several varieties under the Martin’s brand – with India Pale Ale, Pale Ale and White IPA. Irish migrants also exported their famous drink, Guinness, in order to celebrate St. Patrick worldwide. Every day, some 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed, making it the global leader among stouts!

Contributions of the Dutch and Germans 

The Dutch and Germans, fierce competitors on the high seas, have often set up breweries in far-off lands. They have produced beers that are light and refreshing, suitable for the hot climates they discovered. Brands like Miller, Budweiser, Tsingtao, Cuzqueña, and Quilmes are good examples.

Belgian beer is conquering the modern world

Even today, despite the popularity of local and artisanal breweries, Belgian beer continues to find new markets abroad. In 2023, 18 million hectolitres of Belgian beer were exported, the equivalent of 62% of global production annually. China has become a vital partner, thanks to a growing preference for genuine

PDO and exports of Lambic

The PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin, is European certification that guarantees a product is from a specific region and is produced according to strict standards. For Lambic, the PDO protects and authenticates its geographic origin, while underlining the importance of traditional brewing methods from the Brussels Region, and more precisely Pajottenland and the Senne River Valley.


The PDO supports the successful export of Lambic. It reassures consumers all over the world that the beer they are enjoying is truly authentic and complies with the high-quality standards established by Belgium’s brewing tradition. Thanks to this recognition, Lambic has become prominent internationally and attracts beer-lovers worldwide.