Belgian Beer Spots Visited...
Oud Beersel, 232 Laarheidestraat
(closed on the day
we visited, but on a previous vist, the Lambic selection was
Drie Fonteinen, 3 Herman
Teirlinckplein (This place
brews Lambic, blends Lambic, and cooks with Lambic -- ask for a tour of
Beer Street (out of business).
Beer Circus, 89 Rue de
Cantillon Brewery, Gheudestraat 56
museum, and tasting room).
Falstaff,17 Rue Henri Maus (beautiful
art deco bar
with wonderful beer and great food).
Imaige de Nostre Dame,
Impasse de Cadeaux (very cozy, tiny bar very near the Grand Place).
La Becasse, off no.
11 Rue de Tabora
(very attractive cafe with Timmerman's Lambic in stone pitchers).
Laboureur, 3 Place
de la Constitution
(very personable pub just outside of downtown -- great prices).
Mort Subite, 7 Rue
Herbes Potageres (famous art deco pub with great interior and Lambics
are way too sweet).
5 Rue du Chene
(bar with lots of puppets across from Mannekin Pis statue).
Place du Jardin
aux Fleurs (best food made with beer in the city).
White Rose, Grand
food and good beer selection with a perfect view of the Grand Place).
(spotless tavern of the Straffe Hendrik brewery -- mild beers).
Brugs Beertje, 5
beer pub in the heart of the old town).
pub in a 16th century cellar).
Dyver, 5 Dyver
with upscale prices).
Wollestraat (tiny lobby
bar of a small hotel).
De Kring, main
(pleasant cafe with all the Boon Lambics available).
Frank Boon Lambic
half mile down the hill, along the river from the old town square.
Oud Vlaenderen, 14
(a clean, polished pub with decent food and fresh Hommelbier).
devoted to cooking with beer -- it's always closed when Owen visits).
Cafe Vrede, St.
cafe and gift shop across from the St. Sixtus Abbey where Westvletern
Le Bier Circus
Although it is a fair walk from the
Grand Place, Le
Bier Circus is a "must-see" spot in Brussels. The beer menu goes on and
on with some very rare selections. Opening hours are: Monday noon to 3
pm, Tuesday--Friday noon to 3 pm and 5 pm to midnight, and Saturday 6
to midnight. You could be here for hours just trying to sample all the
small, regional Lambics they have to offer. Go with a group and share
of different beers. This is THE BEER BAR of Brussels.
89 Rue de l'Enseignement, Brussels
Cantillon Brewery and
No beer lover should visit Brussels
without a pilgrimage
to Cantillon Lambic brewery. The brewery is also a museum with
tours. This picture is of Owen next to the old mash tun. There is also
a tasting room at the end of the tour where you can sample and purchase
the absolute best Lambic and Gueuze beers made in Belgium. The
beers are intensely sour and complex with marvelous aromas and flavors.
Lambics are all fermented with the wild yeasts of the region around
but many breweries are starting to sweeten these beers. We hope
continues to make their beers in the time-honored fashion. In the next
picture you can see the wild yeasts pouring out of the oak keg where
incredible beer is fermenting. Amazing!
Mannekin Pis and the
This photo is of Lynn and Kerri in front
of the Belgian
national symbol. It's a little boy urinating into a fountain, and it's
called Mannekin Pis. This statue is a natural treasure and popular
destination (although all the tourists can be heard saying, "I thought
it would be bigger than this"). Directly opposite is a fun pub with a
beer selection (Poechenellekelder). This pub also boasts some
puppet displays and exhibits. Mannekin Pis is a very short walk from
The White Rose Restaurant
Here's Owen, Kerri, Pasha, and Lynn
ringing in the New
Year at the White Rose. We were so lucky to make reservations that got
us a table in the front of the restaurant with a remarkable view of the
Grand Place. With beers like Chimay Grand Reserve to pop at the stroke
of midnight, who needs Champagne! The food here is outstanding as well.
(La Rose Blanche)
Grand Place, Brussels
Eventhough "The Little Spider"
restaurant is about a
fifteen minute walk from the Grand Place through a dark and seemingly
neighborhood, it is defintely worth it! This place has the best
a la beer" (food cooked with Belgian beer) that one could ever hope
and the beer selection is impressive as well. The wait staff is very
at recommending beers to go well with your food.
Definitely one of the top ten beer bars
in all of Belgium,
the Brugs Beertje is a cozy place with tons of beers to try and the
glass for each. It is down a tiny alley right off the main tourist path
in Bruges. Opening hours are a little tricky, so try to call ahead if
can. NOTE: be sure not to visit Bruges on a Wednesday, as most
the bars are closed on this day.
De Kring Cafe
This quaint cafe is located right off
the old town square
in Lembeek. The owner of De Kring (shown to the right) is very friendly
and loves to talk about beer. This bar is a favorite with the locals of
this small suburb of Brussels. Spontaneously fermented Lambic beers
got their name from a corruption of the town name "Lembeek." The river
Zenne runs through Lembeek right down to the Frank Boon brewery. All of
Boon's beers are available at De Kring.
Frank Boon Brewery
Just down the hill from the De Kring pub
is the Frank
Boon Brewery where some of Belgium's best known Lambics are produced.
(blended Lambic), Kriek (made with cherries), Framboise (made with
and Faro (sweetened with candy sugar) are all regular brews. Boon
Lambics have a medium sourness. Frank rarely gives tours, but
mind if you have a quick walk around the outside of the brewery.
The two Beersel pubs named in the list
to the left make
the short drive from Brussels well worth it. The Oud Beersel has some
wonderful Lambics and a monument across the street dedicated to several
of the Lambic breweries that are no longer in business. Brewing ghosts
from the past such as Winderickx, Linkelbeek, De Kroon, Demayter, and
are listed on this monument to great beer styles that are sadly giving
way to bland pilsners.
This is the famous brewer staue right
off the tiny town
square of Watou. The statue is adorned with hop vines that are full and
green in the warmer months. The main pub/restaurant to try in Watou is
the Hommelhof, which claims to have a great beer selection and superb
made with beer. I can't tell you for sure, because on all three
I've tried to visit the Hommelhof, it has been closed. Hommelhof means
"hop house," and there are some very scenic hop fields in the area.
St. Sixtus Abbey
A short drive from Poperinge and Watou
is this tiny
abbey that produces some of the finest ales in Belgium. There is a
drive-through area where people can purchase the Westvleteren beers
by the monks. All the beer is sold in this way. The Cafe Vrede across
street has all three of the phenomenal Westvleteren beers for sale at
bar and in the gift shop. The monk's smelly (but tasty) cheese is also
available. For much more information on Westvleteren, see Owen's
article elsewhere on this site.