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Brussels and Antwerp -- A place to sample many different beers?

c
cteavin Jul 13, 2012 10:18 PM

Hi,

I'm going to be in Brussels and Antwerp from next week and with thousands of beers to chose from, I need an option to sample the lot. There are many places in Europe to sample wines by the glass or to do tastings. Is there such a service in Belgium? If so, can someone tell me where?

Cheers,

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  1. chefj RE: cteavin Jul 15, 2012 02:04 PM

    https://www.google.com/search?q=beer+...
    Also
    http://beeradvocate.com/
    http://www.ratebeer.com/
    Both these sites have listing for the best beer bars in many places as well as info and decriptions

    1. chefj RE: cteavin Jul 15, 2012 02:05 PM

      Also try posting on the beer board.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/35

      3 Replies
      1. re: chefj
        c
        cteavin RE: chefj Jul 15, 2012 06:27 PM

        Thanks for the reply. I will try the beer board.

        I'm definitely looking more for a place where I can sample a dozen beers rather than one or two craft beers.

        1. re: cteavin
          chefj RE: cteavin Jul 15, 2012 06:57 PM

          Most bars in Belgium, that are not tied to one brewery, carry many beers. They do not offer paddles or small pour tastings since the preference is for bottled not tap, most will have a good selection.

          1. re: chefj
            s
            strawberryfrog RE: chefj Jul 22, 2012 12:03 PM

            Exactly right, most beers by far in Belgium are in the bottle, as most undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. So, you'll see draft in a few places (and Delirium has the most taps I've ever seen in Belgium (bottom floor (basement) in Delirium is bottles, ground floor is taps, and top floor is apparently non-Belgian beers). But most places serve in bottles because the of the fermentation process.

      2. o
        od_sf RE: cteavin Jul 20, 2012 02:15 PM

        Here is a list of good beer pubs in Brussels. No idea about Antwerpen though.

        Delirium Café
        Impasse De La Fidélité 4 A
        Brussels, 1000

        Chez Moeder Lambic
        Place Fontainas 8
        Brussels, 1000

        Toone
        6 Impasse Schuddevelde
        Brussels, 1000
        Belgium

        A La Mort Subite
        rue Montagne-aux-Herbes Potagères 7
        B-1000 Brussels
        http://alamortsubite.com/ENG/drinks.html

        Au Brasseur
        Rue des Chapeliers 9
        Brussels, 1000

        Au Bon Vieux Temps
        Impasse St.Nicholas 4,off Rue Marché Aux Herbes 12
        Brussels, 1000

        L' Ultime Atome
        14 Rue St. Boniface
        Brussels (Ixelles), 1050
        Belgium

        4 Replies
        1. re: od_sf
          c
          cteavin RE: od_sf Jul 20, 2012 09:44 PM

          Thank you! Thank you all.

          1. re: cteavin
            b
            burelo RE: cteavin Jul 21, 2012 11:35 AM

            The Cantillon Brewery is also worth a visit.
            Gheudestraat 56 1070 Anderlecht

            1. re: burelo
              r
              rschwim RE: burelo Jul 22, 2012 11:40 AM

              In Antwerp you'll want to go to Kulminator
              Vleminckveld 32 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
              03 232 45 38

              1. re: burelo
                o
                od_sf RE: burelo Aug 1, 2012 04:09 PM

                I most definitely second the Cantillon Brewery recommendation. You'll be able to taste the very best lambics there that are either nearly impossible to find in the US, or very very pricey, for only 3 euros per bottle.

          2. s
            strawberryfrog RE: cteavin Jul 22, 2012 12:00 PM

            I'm an American living in Brussels for 3.5 years now. I definitely agree with all of the Brussels recommendations listed by od_sf. Those are the places with the biggest selections, I can also add Bier Circus, near Madou metro stop. They have very helpful staff who are happy to help you pick a beer if you tell them what you fancy (bonus that they have a menu of dishes cooked with beers, if you're hungry). Delerium is best on a Sunday or weekday afternoon or evening as it tends to get very "frat-tastic" on Friday and Saturday nights and the bartenders are just too busy to give you any advice.
            Most small cafes and restaurants (Ultimate Atome excepted) only offer a couple of different beers (usually Maes or Jupiler, both of which are like the Miller of Belgium, or maybe Grimbergen or Leffe, which are good, if from big brewers).

            For Antwerp, I agree with Kulminator, though it was closed on a recent Saturday when friends and I took a bar trek in Antwerp. Here are some other places we visited (bonus of a jenever bar if you need a break from beer):

            't Oud Arsenaal: Maria Pijpelincxstraat 4. 2000 Antwerpen.
            - http://tinyurl.com/bunp7ge
            Small, dark and cosy

            Het pakhuis : Vlaamse Kaai 76, 2000 Antwerpen. (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&a...):
            This is a brewery pub, a 30 minute walk from the center
            http://www.huisbrouwerijpakhuis.be

            Stamineeke : Vlasmarkt 23, Antwerp
            - https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...
            Stamineeke is the one true specialist beer café. It's a two-storey affair, in another 17th century house in the Antwerp style.. This bar has Westvleteren a hard to find sixth trappist beer

            Not beer, but jenever (Belgian gin drink): De Vagant: Reyndersstraat 25, Antwerp
            http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&a...): • This is (alledgely) one of the best jenever bars in the world

            De grote witte arend: Reyndersstraat 18, 2000 Antwerpen
            http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&a...):
            Good atmostphere, courtyard, they have their own chapel – make of that what you will
            http://www.degrootewittearend.be/

            Pater's Vaetje: Blauwmoezelstraat 1, 2000 Antwerpen.
            https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&am...
            A rather pretty drinking venue right next to the cathedral.• http://www.patersvaetje.be/bieren

            Kulminator : was closed when we tried to visit on a Saturday night in June
            Vleminckveld 32, 2000 Antwerpen
            http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&a...) :
            This is the local beer institution of Antwerp and has approximately 700 beers on offer.

            You can't go wrong ordering almost any beer in Belgium, they're all FANTASTIC!

            Bon voyage!

            1. m
              murphlaw152 RE: cteavin Sep 2, 2012 06:59 PM

              Delirium Cafe is an absolute must. Their beer list is the size of a book. Cool place also.

              Also, the Cantillon Brewery was kind of gross...no offense or anything, it was very interesting to see and very old (I think it's the oldest brewery in Belgium?), but the beer is too sour to enjoy. I went to De Halve Maan Brewery in Bruges and was very happy with that experience. Bruges is a short train ride from Brussels and I just did a day trip.

              4 Replies
              1. re: murphlaw152
                o
                od_sf RE: murphlaw152 Sep 3, 2012 06:49 PM

                To each their own. Cantillon is considered the very best example of the lambic style, and it is not uncommon for their beers to fetch insane prices in the US. It might be too sour *for you* but that would simply mean that you have not developed an appreciation for lambics and gueuze.

                1. re: od_sf
                  m
                  murphlaw152 RE: od_sf Sep 4, 2012 11:13 PM

                  No, that's not what it means at all. They make a point to tell people that they make their beers in a very traditional way and that it is too sour for most people. They were right. It was too sour for me. That isn't how most lambics taste, from what I've discovered. Cantillon is not the "best" example, but it is the oldest and most traditional example.

                  1. re: murphlaw152
                    o
                    od_sf RE: murphlaw152 Sep 5, 2012 03:25 PM

                    I'm sorry but you are wrong; Cantillon IS widely regarded as the best example of the lambic style. Check for example beeradvocate.com (http://beeradvocate.com/lists/popular) - there are 6 lambics in the top100 and 4 of those 6 are from Cantillon. Being from Belgium I can also assure you that their reputation in Belgium far surpasses that of Oud Beersel, Drie Fonteinen, De Ranke, Boon, Lindemans, and Belle-Vue. Yes I'm sure that they stated it would be too sour for most people who are not used to the taste of real lambics. Most Americans, for example, think that lambics are supposed to taste like Lindemans, because they have the best distribution in the US. But Lindemans sweetens their Lambics (Cuvee Rene being the exception), effectively ruining the taste. That is not how lambics are supposed to taste. Cantillon's lambics are not more sour than any of the other quality producers such as Oud Beersel or Drie Fonteinen, by the way.

                    Sorry, but you not licking Cantillon's lambics does not mean that they are not the best example of the style, but rather says something about your level of expertise in the style.

                    1. re: od_sf
                      o
                      od_sf RE: od_sf Sep 5, 2012 03:54 PM

                      Also check out ratebeer.com's listing for best lambics. 8 of the top 10 are from Cantillon.

                      http://www.ratebeer.com/Ratings/TopBe...

                      And it looks like the wine & beer expert tasting panel of the New York Times also disagrees with you, giving Cantillon the top ranking for both Gueuze and fruit lambics:

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/03/din...

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