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Beer in Brussels

Apr 4, 2007  Beer Tourist and Craft Beer Lover
3.5 of 5 stars based on 9 votes

Many of the world's best beers are brewed in Belgium and available in Brussels. The local specialty is lambic, a sour beer made through spontaneous fermentation, and often mixed with fruit and sometimes sweetened. Finding great beer is easy in Brussels. This list highlights the bars and bottle shops that stand out from the rest.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Brussels
  • Category: Other
  • Traveler type: Culture, Shopping, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Business travelers, Couples/romantics, Singles, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travelers, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Delirium Cafe
    Delirium, Brussels, Belgium

    Approximately 2000 beers are available in this bar. The atmosphere is loud and smoky, with lots of young people. Lots of beers from the Huyghe brewery, and that makes sense as Delirium Tremens is brewed there; thus the name of the bar. With the Kulminator in Antwerp, the Delirium Cafe is perhaps one of the two best beer bars in the world. Bar tenders are friendly but very busy. Be aggressive to find a binder that serves as a menu and then push your way up to the bar to order.

    Impasse de la Fidélité 4a
    Brussels, Belgium B-1000

    www.deliriumcafe.be

  • 2. Cantillon Brewery
    Cantillon Brewery, Brussels, Belgium

    This brewery opened in 1900 and continues to make traditional lambic beer. First, this is not a good part of Brussels. Come during mid day and leave before dark. It is about a 1/2 hour on foot from the Grande Place. There is nothing to see on the walk here, so a taxi is recommended but not necessary. The staff and owner were very friendly. The brewer acknowledged my presence, though he did not have time to talk. His assistant was happy to answer any questions and all seem to enjoy their work.
    There are cobwebs, mold on the outside of some casks, and a dampness to the building. But be clear that this atmosphere is perfect for lambic beer. A clean building could not produce lambic in a traditional manner. Cantillon is not clean, and it should not be. The products however, are completely safe to drink.

    The tour is self guided and the entire building is open to explore at your own pace. There are hundreds of oak barrels where the lambic is aging, and thousands of bottles holding the beer waiting for sale, covered in dust. But lambic can stay in the bottle for decades, so no worries here.

    The five Euro admission fee includes a sample of the gueuze; the g has a k sound; it is hard to say it correctly; and another beer including the kriek, or cherry, and the framboise, or raspberry.

    Many, but not all Cantillon products are for sale here. In the United States a 750 ml of Cantillon will sell for at least $15 USD, so the prices here are a bargain. Cash only.

    Also understand that the beer at Cantillon is probably like nothing you have ever had. Even for the style of beer it is more sour than most. It is a drastic change from the malty Belgian ales and sweet raspberry beers available throughout Brussels. That said, this brewery is a gem in terms of history of beer and in their brewery methods, and it must not be missed by any beer tourist.

    Rue Gheude 56
    Brussels, Belgium
    1070

  • 3. Le Bier Circus
    http://www.biercircus.be/

    Bier Circus is a restaurant and bar. They have an excellent selection that includes beers I have never seen anywhere, like the Abbaye des Rocs Noel. Full meals are served, and while I did not eat, the food looked good. A wide selection on draught and in bottles. Bier Circus is only a few minutes on foot East of the Cathedral.

    Rue De L enseignement 57
    Brussels, Belgium 1000

  • 4. La Mort Subite
    La Mort Subite, Brussels, Belgium

    Centrally located near the Grande Place, Cathedral, and Delirium Cafe, this old bar has a French feeling. The wooden tables and chairs are worn. Mort Subite beers are the highlight, and this bar offers the rare treat of gueuze and faro on draught. Gueuze is sour, and faro is sweetened lambic. Many other beers are served as well. Light snacks are available.

    7, rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères
    Brussels, Belgium 1000

  • 5. Beer Mania
    http://www.beermania.be/

    A bottle shop with around 400 bottles.

    174-176 Chausée de Wavre
    Brussels, Belgium 1050

  • 6. Chez Moeder Lambic

    An out-of-the-way location and a good selection. Light snacks are available.

    68 rue de Savoie
    Brussels, Belgium

  • 7. Le Poechenellekelder
    Poechenellekelder, Brussels, Belgium

    This bar is accross the street from the Mannekin Pis. This area is crowded with tourists, but the bar does have more beer than others in the area.

    Rue Du Chêne, 5
    Brussels, Belgium 1000

  • 8. Bier Tempel

    An easy to find central location near Mort Subite and the Grande Place. They don't have the selection of Beer Mania, but there is still a lot here. The staff offered no help but when I made my selection, they wrapped and boxed my purchases for travel and were happy to do so. They do have an impressive number of beer glasses for sale.

    Rue Marché Aux Herbes 56 B
    Brussels, Belgium 1000