Situated in West Flanders is a town called Poperinge, well known across Belgium for its hops and lance. In fact, the town is called “The Hop Capital”, because the area furnishes most of Belgium’s hop production and is home to the National Hop Museum. The Museum is located in the Municipal Scales - which is a fine example of industrial archaeology. It is here that hops were formerly controlled, weighed and stocked prior to being delivered to breweries.
In order to celebrate its importance as a hop growing centre, the town of Poperinge organises an original Beer and Hop Festival that highlights Poperinge’s two major assets: hops and beer. The Festival, running for over 50 years, is held every three years. The event’s highlight is a parade where 65 groups, 1400 extras and 12 floats take part. The Hop Parade highlights the history of the hop industry and provides an overview of the diverse activities held in the field throughout the four seasons.
To tie in with the parade, Poperinge Hop Museum is open all day with non-stop guided tours that introduce visitors to Hop History and Culture. Historic documents, photographs, scale models and audio-visual displays illustrate the story of hop growing, both past and present.
The three-day-long Hop and Beer Festival includes a beer festival, exhibitions, music, shows, the Hop Queen election and visitors will also have the opportunity to visit a hop company and see a huge picking machine at work.