Brussels, 9 August 2021
For the second consecutive year, Spirits Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles will take place in Brussels, from 21 to 24 October. As the pandemic continues and organising large-scale events remains a challenge, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles has once again chosen to host the event ‘at home’.
Despite the many difficulties caused by the Covid crisis, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles continues to offer producers an effective marketing tool, endorsed by the public. Cancelled festivals, exhibitions and marketing events have undermined the development and new releases of spirits, although situations vary considerably depending on producers’ sales channels.
By hosting a competition this year, against all odds, the organisers are doing everything in their power to deliver a positive message and to promote the rich cultural diversity of spirits to a broad-ranging audience. Producers have more than ever demonstrated their faith in Spirits Selection, as evidenced by the significant number of entries, just three weeks from the closing date.
Sales of spirits
Our contacts throughout the spirits world have confirmed that the more top-end spirits distributed by specialist stores but also spirits retailing in super/hypermarkets are experiencing strong growth due to a surge in at-home consumption. Conversely, the situation is more challenging for spirits primarily consumed in bars and restaurants. Spring and summer 2020 proved to be particularly difficult for producers across-the-board, with sales bouncing back strongly towards the end of the year. Several producers we spoke to recently are currently concerned about the lack of dry materials and tension at glass manufacturers, and are having difficulty supplying their clients. The situation is, however, expected to be resolved by the end of the year.
Belgium’s wide range of spirits
Belgium produces multiple styles of spirits, ranging from the traditional jenever to an incredible choice of gins, along with whiskies, fruit brandies, liqueurs, vodka and vermouths, among others. International judges who convene in Brussels at the end of October will get the chance to visit some of the country’s distilleries and meet producers at an exhibition and cocktail buffet. The organisers are pulling out all the stops to put together a programme that allows judges to discover Belgian heritage.
About the competition
Spirits Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is an international touring competition where over 1,600 spirits are entered by producers to be judged by a panel of experts. Our experienced judges come from around the world to taste competing spirits with a single-minded purpose, and that is to select spirits of irreproachable quality with no biases stemming from the label or a category’s prestige. The competition is one of the leading events of its kind worldwide.
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