Belgian cities are a joy to explore at night.
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Beer Spots

In December of 1998, Owen Ogletree, Kerri Allen, Pasha Sovourin, and Lynn Gieger visited "the Disneyland of Beer" -- Belgium. We drank great beers in Brussels, Poperinge, Watou, Westvleteren, Beersel, Lembeek, and Bruges. The tiny country of Belgium has more delicious beer styles than anywhere else in the world. We didn't get to try all the beers in the four days we were there, but we did our best! Beer locations and addresses are all listed on the left side of this page, with photographic highlights and more details on the right.

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Belgian Beer Spots Visited...


  • Oud Beersel, 232 Laarheidestraat (closed on the day we visited, but on a previous vist, the Lambic selection was extraordinary.) 
  • Drie Fonteinen, 3 Herman Teirlinckplein (This place brews Lambic, blends Lambic, and cooks with Lambic -- ask for a tour of the cellars). 
  • Beer Street (out of business). 
  • Beer Circus, 89 Rue de l'Enseignement. 
  • Cantillon Brewery, Gheudestraat 56 (Lambic brewery, museum, and tasting room). 
  • Falstaff,17 Rue Henri Maus (beautiful art deco bar with wonderful beer and great food). 
  • Imaige de Nostre Dame, 3 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 Montagnes aux Herbes Potageres (famous art deco pub with great interior and Lambics that are way too sweet). 
  • Poechenellekelder, 5 Rue du Chene (bar with lots of puppets across from Mannekin Pis statue). 
  • Spinnekopke, 1 Place du Jardin aux Fleurs (best food made with beer in the city). 
  • White Rose, Grand Place (fantastic food and good beer selection with a perfect view of the Grand Place). 
  • Brouwerij Taverne, 26 Walplein (spotless tavern of the Straffe Hendrik brewery -- mild beers). 
  • Brugs Beertje, 5 Kemelstraat (incredible beer pub in the heart of the old town). 
  • Curiosa, 22 Vlamingstraat (candle-lit pub in a 16th century cellar). 
  • Dyver, 5 Dyver (upscale restaurant with upscale prices). 
  • Erasmus, 35 Wollestraat (tiny lobby bar of a small hotel). 
  • De Kring, main square, Lembeek (pleasant cafe with all the Boon Lambics available). 
  • Frank Boon Lambic Brewery, one half mile down the hill, along the river from the old town square. 
  • Oud Vlaenderen, 14 Grote Market (a clean, polished pub with decent food and fresh Hommelbier). 
  • Hommelhof, 17 Watouplein (tavern/restaurant devoted to cooking with beer -- it's always closed when Owen visits). 
  • Cafe Vrede, St. Sixtusabdij (delightful cafe and gift shop across from the St. Sixtus Abbey where Westvletern ales are born). 

Le Bier Circus
89 Rue de l'Enseignement, Brussels
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 pm 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 lots of different beers. This is THE BEER BAR of Brussels.

Cantillon Brewery and 
Gueuze Museum
No beer lover should visit Brussels without a pilgrimage to Cantillon Lambic brewery. The brewery is also a museum with self-guided 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 Cantillon beers are intensely sour and complex with marvelous aromas and flavors. Lambics are all fermented with the wild yeasts of the region around Brussels, but many breweries are starting to sweeten these beers. We hope Cantillion 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 this incredible beer is fermenting. Amazing!

Mannekin Pis and the 
Poechenellekelder pub.
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 tourist 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 decent beer selection (Poechenellekelder). This pub also boasts some interesting puppet displays and exhibits. Mannekin Pis is a very short walk from the Grand Place.

The White Rose Restaurant
(La Rose Blanche)
Grand Place, Brussels
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.

Eventhough "The Little Spider" restaurant is about a fifteen minute walk from the Grand Place through a dark and seemingly deserted neighborhood, it is defintely worth it! This place has the best "cuisine a la beer" (food cooked with Belgian beer) that one could ever hope for, and the beer selection is impressive as well. The wait staff is very good at recommending beers to go well with your food.

Brugs Beertje
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 correct 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 you can. NOTE: be sure not to visit Bruges on a Wednesday, as most of 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 probably 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. Gueuze (blended Lambic), Kriek (made with cherries), Framboise (made with raspberries), and Faro (sweetened with candy sugar) are all regular brews.  Boon Lambics have a medium sourness.  Frank rarely gives tours, but doesn't mind if you have a quick walk around the outside of the brewery.

Oud Beersel
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 rare, 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 Dedobbeleei are listed on this monument to great beer styles that are sadly giving way to bland pilsners.

West Flanders
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 food made with beer. I can't tell you for sure, because on all three occasions 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 small drive-through area where people can purchase the Westvleteren beers made by the monks. All the beer is sold in this way. The Cafe Vrede across the street has all three of the phenomenal Westvleteren beers for sale at the 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.

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