Brussels

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Brussels

Unread postby bierfest » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:34 pm

Hi all,
Im heading to Brussels on the weekend of the 5th December for a weekend trip. As there are Belgians and other knowledgeable folk on this forum Im looking for suggestions of great pubs & brewpubs to go to in order to try out
1. Craft beer
2. Belgian beer in General.

Open to all suggestions.
Brian
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby niels » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:56 am

I'm not a connoisseur, so I can't give you a lot special info. Here is some general information regarding Brussels and beer:

Books
  • "Around Brussels in 80 Beers" by Joe Stange, Yvan De Baets and Tim Webb
Pubs (Café)
Breweries
There is probably more, but this is what comes to mind in a quick reply during work hours :)

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Re: Brussels

Unread postby Erick » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:23 am

http://www.ratebeer.com/places/city/brussels/0/23/

Here is a nice list to get you started :beer:
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby Elderberry » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:22 pm

"Brewpub" is not really something Belgium does much of and you won't find such a thing in Brussels. There are only 2 breweries in Brussels for now: Brasserie de la Senne and Cantillon. Senne has a tasting room, but I don't think it's open to the public regularly. Cantillon is a working brewery/lambic museum that is a must-visit, whether or not you like the stuff.

For pubs, there are plenty. Moeder Lambic is always a good bet. Moeder Lambic Fontainas is close to the center and you could easily just plant yourself there for an evening or two. I prefer the ambiance of Moeder original, but it's a lot smaller with a smaller selection of beer. It's also a bit more difficult to reach.

Nuetnigenough is another place I often find myself at. Good food, great beer.

Sit down at Delices & Caprices and let Pierre guide you through a tasting session. Just off the Grand Place.

Others: L'Amere a Boire (excellent bar at Place Flagey - cool area getting cooler), Le Murmure, La Buvette (fantastic restaurant near Moeder Original w/amazing beer list). Le Coq. I could go on and on.

The Good Beer Guide to Belgium is also an extremely useful book, though it goes beyond Brussels.
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby bierfest » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:14 pm

Thanks for this guys. I will check out these places!
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby Elderberry » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:29 am

How was your trip? We're waiting for your report!
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby bierfest » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:26 pm

To summarise - My trip was fantastic.

To expand - I didnt get enough time to explore Beer the way I wanted.

The trip was mainly centered around the Christmas markets with my girlfriend. Two other couples came along.
So exploring beer was secondary. :-(

I had planned to visit Chez Moeder Lambin & A la mort Subite - however there simply wasnt enough time in the weekend. I visited quite a lot of small local pubs as we wandered the strees in some of the districts that we wandered into. They were great fun - quite a good selection of beers even in small pubs and well priced too. We also visited the Delerium cafe with the others and enjoyed it. So many beers on tap.

I will confess that drinking so much strong beer really gives you weird dreams - maybe now the name Delerium Tremmens and the pink elephant makes more sense.

So all in all - I enjoyed it but really want to return to Brussels (but also see much more of Belgium itself) with a focus on Beer. Our local homebrew group are thinking of visiting a Beer festival in Belgium - anybody got any recommendations?
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby Nesto » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:18 pm

bierfest wrote:... I will confess that drinking so much strong beer really gives you weird dreams - maybe now the name Delerium Tremmens and the pink elephant makes more sense...


I just had Delerium a few days ago... know what you mean :drink:
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby niels » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:10 pm

bierfest wrote:Our local homebrew group are thinking of visiting a Beer festival in Belgium - anybody got any recommendations?

Zythos bierfestival is the most well-known. Last time I've visited it it was way too crowded, bit they moved to another location the year after.

In the same weekend there is a small beer festival at a local beer "dealer" in my town (close to the Zythos location) with about 100 beers (50/50 on tap). All Belgian beers.

This weekend is the first edition of a small organised by the Dijleschuimers. Elderberry and I will be attending it, so we can report back later.

Another beer festival is the one organised by the Limburgse Biervrienden. I've not attended it yet, but Elderberry did. As far as I can tell he enjoyed it ;)

In 2015 will be another Tour de Geuze. It's a biannual event where all geuze breweries and "stekerijen" open their doors. It can be crowded at some places (like 3 Fonteinen), but it is a nice experience.

Just let me know in advance when you will be visiting Belgium so we can arrange for a drink!

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Re: Brussels

Unread postby hughjampton » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:10 pm

Hi Niels, I shall be visiting the Zythos Beer Festival next year. I've booked a flight and hotel. I do a lot of Beer Festivals here in the UK and I've done a few in Belgium but not the Zythos. I'm looking forward to it. Maybe one day we could all meet up at a Beer Festival.
When the chill sciroco blows, and winter tells a heavy tale
When pies, and daws, and rooks and crows do sit and curse the frost and snows
Then give me ale.
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby bierfest » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:22 am

Thanks for the festival info. Going to try now to convince the others to confirm they are going. Will let you know in lots of time when we are visiting and we can arrange a beer or two.
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby Elderberry » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:18 am

Zythos is good. It's much closer (to Brussels and to me) than it use to be and the Brabanthal is big enough if you're crowd-phobic and need to escape. It's organized by brewery and the brewers are often there, so it's fun if you want to chat (though if it's busy, they can get a bit stressed).

The Hasselt Beer Weekend (the other one Niels mentioned) is one of my favorites. It's really laid back and the beers are always well-chosen. It's not as commercial as Zythos, so you don't go booth-to-booth to the different breweries. The beers are chosen by the organizers, so even though there are fewer than at a festival like Zythos, you have a better chance at finding something of quality.
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby Elderberry » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:30 am

Oh, I should also mention, every 2 years is the Toer de Geuze (http://www.horal.be/en/toer-de-geuze). The lambic brewers and blenders in the Pajottenland area just outside of Brussels open their doors to visitors. It's pretty fun, despite the inevitable heartburn and, um, other beer-yeast related intestinal reactions. I've asked for a quote for a bus and driver for the day.
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby hughjampton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:39 am

The Hasselt Beer Festival looks good. I thought Hasselt was all about gin.

I haven't developed a taste for sour beers and I don't get the oportunity to drink them. I think a Toer de Geuze would be wasted on me.

I do about eight Beer festivals a year in the UK including my local CAMRA Festival. My favorite is small and friendly and has only 25 beers but those beers are always very well selected so 25 is enough.

I also like the Great British Beer Festival in London which takes place in August. It's a big event with about 900 beers, mostly British but they also have beers from all over Europe and America. They always have well known bands playing good live music. The food is very good and I can particularly recommend the pork pies.

mmmmm.... That thought has made me hungry. A pork pie with mustard, pickles and a pint of bitter. Heaven.
When the chill sciroco blows, and winter tells a heavy tale
When pies, and daws, and rooks and crows do sit and curse the frost and snows
Then give me ale.
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Re: Brussels

Unread postby niels » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:22 am

hughjampton wrote:The Hasselt Beer Festival looks good. I thought Hasselt was all about gin.

I didn't know that "jenever " is known as "gin" in English. We learn something new every day :)

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