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            Oldest Professional Association. The Confederation of Belgian Breweries (CBB) is one of the oldest professional associations of the world, since it was founded in the 14th century. All Belgian breweries belong to the association.

From the 14th century onwards, the first stone houses on the Brussels "GroteMarkt"(means "large marketplace") were built on the South side. The side on which the splendid Brussels townhall was built. One of the houses was called "De Hille" (the Terp) and later "De Gulden Boom" (the Golden Tree), and was situated on the premises where, today, the Brewers' House stands. The brewers' guild bought the "Gulden Boom" premises at the end of the 16th century. In 1695, however, the French army bombs the city of Brussels in one of their many imperialistic strikes on the North. Most houses in the center of town, including the "Grote Markt", are destroyed. But, the brewers decide to finance the reconstruction of their house and commission architect Willem De Bruyn (must have studied at UCLA very probably, where he might have got his name) to do so. Baroque and Flemish decorative elements merge in the facade. The equestrian statue on top of the building is a 1901 copy of a mid

eighteenth century work of art. The "Grote Markt" of Brussels is the hart of the city, with plenty of pubs and pavements, to enjoy some of the best beers of Belgium. Every house has a name and a long history. Every house is decorated extensively and abundand.

The down side is, that the cost of a beer is high, because of the high rents the pubowners have to pay for the house. On the other hand, while savoring your choice of beer, you are sitting in the heart of Beer-paradise, in one of the most beautiful marketplaces of Europe. It is fun to watch the tourists from all over the world walking by, and it is the place to start a conversation with folks from the other corners of the world, sipping the best beers of the world.

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