Kulminator

Kulminator, Antwerp: Hours, Address, Kulminator Reviews: 4/5

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
278 reviews
Excellent
182
Very good
37
Average
15
Poor
7
Terrible
37

livgrig
London, UK219 contributions
Couples
This really is a one of a kind bar. To get in, ring the bell or knock on the door and you‘ll be greeted by one of the two elderly proprietors. They’ll make sure you have cash (it’s cash only but 2 mins from an ATM) and invite you in. The whole place is wonderfully eclectic, full of games you can play and beer memorabilia. There are genuinely hundreds of options, but we opted for a couple of the ones on draught which the owner walked us through. It’s a quiet atmosphere - don’t expect loads of chat from the owners or other people in there who are quietly and contentedly doing their own thing - but I’d massively recommend as something totally different.
Written November 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vincent f
Antwerp, Belgium2 contributions
Couples
Entering Kulminator is entering another world, a place where time stood still and beer is king.
I was born in Antwerp and knew about the place but never went. I thought it was just another specialized beer café like we have several in Antwerp. But oh my, what a experience! The place looked closed and it is only when we were right in front that we saw warm yellow light inside and a bunch of men on a large table, a scene that could have been taken from a Tarantino western but that you wouldn’t expect in trending town. The door was locked and when I knocked on the window , one of the men gestured me to ring the bell. A kind lady came to open the door and let us in. We found a place to sit between that big table and the owners territory which consisted of two large tables full of books & magazines and surrounded by an almost organically growing wall of beer crates, boxes and more magazines. On one of them, an older man, with glasses AND a reading glass studying a book, he seems a bit grumpy which is understandable, after all he tolerates total strangers in his living room. She is very kind, helpful and both seemed run away of a J.R.R. Tolkien book.
We don’t know where to start when we look in the menu which seems to have no end and she suggest us a selection of the tap beers. 11 glasses of +- 100ml each with beers going from 3.5° till 24°, I never heard about such strong beer, and neither could I imagine the tastes of some. Not all were of our taste, but a journey it was! We saw people, beer pilgrims from all over the world, who didn’t know each other yet, starting very technical conversations about taste, origin, ingredients of brews and taste each other beers without reserve. We rapidly found ourselves in conversation with a kind Malaysian business man who explained us how to drink a Westvleteren (they have at least ten full crates of them right beside the entrance door). Science recently found prove of Einstein’s theory about the relativity of time and space. They could have found it in Kulminator. Be gentle with the owners, they don't seem to care about making money so don't expect a commercial setting, just be happy that they exist and open their world for you.
Written March 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bkarmstrong1
Washington DC, DC32 contributions
Friends
The aged Belgian beer selection is amazing! This is THE place to go for aged trappist beers. I tried a 1997 Stille Nacht, 2005 Chimay Blue and Hoegaarden Grand Cru from 1995. Don't order food, as it is not necessary. Run, don't walk, to this pub if you happen to be in Antwerpen. More pictures and comments in blog post:
www.bkarmstrong.blogspot.com/2012/11/favorite-beer-roundup-and-kulminator-pub.html
Written November 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew D
London, UK8 contributions
Friends
We had had a lovely trip in Antwerp thus far visiting many pubs where the staff could not have been friendlier. We visited this place on recommendations and one of our party accidentally sat in a seat that was reserved for the landlord - it was not clear that this was his seat. He came out roaring obscenities and screaming 'OUT, OUT, OUT'. We were more than happy to move but, like some deranged lunatic behaving like he'd be more at home in Ward 8 at Broadmoor, the landlord insisted we go and without provocation threatened to alert the police. We got an apology from the landlord's wife for his unhinged behaviour but his behaviour was completely unacceptable and temporarily tarnished what was a very enjoyable day that we were all having.
Written July 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris M
London31 contributions
Friends
A few of us visited over the weekend and before we could order a drink the barman started yelling and shouting. This was the middle of the afternoon. He may have thought we were someone else or had a bad experience with tourists, this was never made clear. We had just entered the premises and were looking to order a drink. We were made more than welcome in all other places we visited while in Antwerp.

With so many decent places to stop for a nice beer in Antwerp this place is to be avoided at all costs. Will not allow the bizarre behaviour of one landlord to spoil my city break.
Written July 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PatScott77
Cardiff, UK1 contribution
Friends
On the surface this looks like it should be one of the best bars in Europe, an absolutley incredible selection of beers in an eccentric surrounding. However I never got my hands on a drink, a misunderstanding over a reserved seat led to the landlord screaming at us, no polite request to move, no polite request to leave, just shouting. Being fair, his wife was very apologetic and almost embarrased, however I'd save yourself the hassle of finding this place and enjoy a drink in one of the many, many other fantastic bars in Antwerp where we experienced nothing but first class and friendly service.
Written July 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emily M
2 contributions
Couples
The door was locked so we ran the bell for someone to let us in, to be confronted by the owner (Einstein lookalike) who very rudely told us we weren’t allowed to come in, with no justification, and then shut the door in our face

Written March 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BradJill
Hong Kong, China148,402 contributions
Couples
If one were to make a beer tour of Europe, this would be a featured call in Antwerp. A visit to Kulminator is an experience, a different world when it comes to seeking great beer, as so many other have rightly described it.

Interestingly, this place is quite cluttered and stuffy.... but in an atmospheric way. There are beer posters, coasters, bottles and other items piled up on the few tables and on the bar up front. You quickly get the feel that you've stepped into time warp or curiosity shop for beer.

Soon after arriving, your experience begins. A friendly lady brings you a binder with mind boggling number of beers available (800+?). Beers are listed by brand and year, making it easier to find what you are looking for. By the way, it is best to do a bit of homework before arriving, have an idea of what you want to try. Otherwise, you may find yourselves spending hours browsing through available drinks.

We tried the difficult to find Westvleteren, which is a superb dark beer. Other favourites like Malheur, Gouden Carolus more commonly found varieties like Leffe, Orval, Chimay are available in multiple varieties and years. As is the case with many other Belgian beers.

Note: The owner does lock the door to the bar once he seems satisfied with the number of patrons in the bar. This happened around an hour after we arrived. You can still exit out the front door but can't open the door to come inside. If you are a beer aficionado and don't want to risk missing chance to visit Kulminator, it is best to arrive early before they become too full (and potentially locked).

In the end, we found Kulminator to be genuinely unique and overall great experience. Sure the service could be better (locking door on people - ouch!) but that is just part of the Kulminator culture. As suggested above, do yourself a favour and arrive early if this is a place you really want to visit while in Antwerp.
Written April 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Neil K
Liverpool, UK611,730 contributions
We have been here on several occasion's and we are still left open mouthed at the great beer's and old beer's that this establishment have to offer ,for the" in the know "drinker.
Get in as the bar is just opening and you will get a nice seat or be happy to just stand in the bar or if the weather is good ,sit out back in the beer garden.
Vast selection of beer's on tap (9) & bottle's (600+), make's finding a beer to your taste easy,as all aspect's of the brewing world are covered.
The bar is a mass of clutter ,with every type of beer bric a brac you could imagine.
The owner's are really nice and helped my twin brother and i with our choice of beer,nothing to hard to drink,we settled for WESTMALLE,fantastic beer but with all the choice should really have had something a bit more rare and hard to find out here in Antwerp.
This is without a dought one of the most unusual bar's we have ever been and can easily be proclaimed one of the top ten bar's in the world,if not the best.
Easy to locate,jump the tram ,(4 or 7 ) down to ANTWERPEN MECHELSEPLIEN and walk through to VIEMINCKVELD and you cannot miss this bar.
Opening hour's are;
Closed Sunday.
Monday ,8pm till midnight.
Tuesday till Saturday,4pm till midnight.
Form your own opinion on this very special bar,well worth the trip out here.

Written January 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BeerifficDOTcom
Columbia, CT12 contributions
Friends
The Kulminator is not a place you go to order some chips and mashed peas or a hamburger and a Bud Lite.

It is a beer bar and nothing else.

It has new fresh beers, old beers, and ancient beers. You can find beers that were bottled a few weeks ago, as well as beers put in a bottle 30 years ago. Where will you find a Chimay Speciale 1993, a Westmalle white ring (only for consumption in the Abbey), a Westvleteren green label (also only for the Abbey), and a Hoergaarden Grand Cru from 1985?

It is without a doubt one of, if not the, best beer bars in the world. The owners may be a tad eccentric, they have a right to be; but aren't we all?

And yes, older beers taste different. Stop whining and either learn to appreciate it, or p*ss off and find a place selling Jupiler.
Written October 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kulminator is open:
  • Tue - Sat 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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