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Beer in Brussels

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Worcester, United...
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Beer in Brussels

Hi all,

So where are the absolute best places to go to ? I'll be in Brussels for the New Year (4 nights) and would like to sample some very fine beer. Staying at the Radisson Royal SAS Hotel, any starting and finishing points near there ? I've heard it's close to Delirium Cafe !! I'm looking forward to trying Lambic and Kwak for the first time, where to go for either of those ?

Prices. How much is a beer costing over there at the moment and size of glasses used, is it pints and half pints ?

Thanks.

p/s...If anyone wants to hook up for a few beers that'll be cool.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Beer in Brussels

Your hotel is a lot closer to La Mort Subite than to Delirium (which is known for a menu of 2000 beers, most of which are not Belgian). Come out of the Radisson, turn right, follow the road uphill to the right and then straight ahead where it forks, as if you were going to the Galeries St. Hubert, Mort Subite is on the left.

Right by the Manneken Pis is a beer café called Poechenellekelder, it's one of the few places left (together with Mort Subite) that sells Faro which is a type of Lambic, of course there are others.

You can also get Kwak, in its traditional serving glass, at the Estaminet Toone, in Petite rue des Bouchers, which is a tiny atmospheric little place attached to a puppet theatre.

Measures on the continent are metric so no it isn't pints and half pints, but (centi/)litres. Cans, for instance, are 33cl and 50cl, bottles 25 cl, 33 cl, 37,5 cl (lambics), 75 cl etc. A small glass of beer known as a "pintje" (litterally, small pint) is 1/4l (25cl), while a "demi" in Belgium is 1/2l (might sound obvious but in France it's 1/4l!).

Price depends on the type of beer, the measure and the location (you will pay more in the Grand' Place but can be worth it for the view from the terrace). You can see some prices on the website of the restaurant In 't Spinnekopke, http://www.spinnekopke.be/basefr.html (click on the character with the beer barrel), it shows Lambic at €3 a glass or €10 for a litre, and Pauwel (brand) Kwak for €4.40.

If you don't mind leaving the city centre, there's an excellent place called Beermania about 10 minutes' walk from Trône metro station or close to the Parnasse stop on the 95 bus: www.beermania.be.

Worcester, United...
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2. Re: Beer in Brussels

Hi,

Well i will most definately visit La Mort Subite and Poechenellekelder, both sound very interesting places. As does Delirium despite it's obvious attraction. Estaminet Toone for Kwak is also on the list. I'll try and make it to Beermania although if it's too far out and basically only sell bottles maybe somewhere nearer the centre will do, but it looks a great place. I must bring back some bottles of Lambic beer home.

Couple of other things...What are the opening hours in Brussels, will New Year be a lot different ? And the Radisson Royal SAS Hotel, is it a nice hotel in a decent location ? Travelling via Eurostar but from what i've read on here it seems very straight forward to get to from Eurostar terminal.

Thanks for the advice and info.

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Beer in Brussels

The website may concentrate on sales but Beermania is a bar and not just a shop. However, you will find plenty of beer in the centre.

I'm not sure what you mean by opening hours, if you mean of cafés and bars, every one is different - there are no restricted hours here.

On NYE it is difficult to get into most restaurants without booking and bars may be crowded. Wednesday 1 January is a public holiday here as everywhere else, so shops etc. are closed, however you will always be able to eat in your hotel and around the Grand' Place area (e.g. "pitta street", the rue du Marché au Fromage, sort-of opposite the Amigo hotel).

I don't have any occasion to use Brussels hotels so can't comment on what Radisson is like to stay in, but it looks nice enough and you can read reviews in the "Brussels hotels" list on the left. Location is fine, near Gare centrale: to reach from Gare du Midi where Eurostar stops you need to take a local train one stop (included in your ticket to Brussels), e.g. the ones that go to the airport.

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: Beer in Brussels

I am staying in the Leopold Hotel which I believe is near the Troone metro station. Does this mean Beermania is within easy reach?

Worcester, United...
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5. Re: Beer in Brussels

I hadn't realised Beermania was/is also a bar so must be worth a visit. Opening hours = Licensing hours...i.e, what time do the bars close in Brussels.

Nothing planned for New Years Eve yet but hopefully i'll find a decent bar, nothing too crowded and just get very drunk. And for New Years Day walk the hang-over off if the weather is nice or, alternatively, get some bottles of beer from Beermania a couple of days earlier and and drink them on NYD instead.

Brussels, Belgium
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6. Re: Beer in Brussels

Yes Moonraker, you are no more than 5-10 minutes' walk from Beermania! Exit through Léopold café into rue Marie de Bourgogne and almost immediately (after restaurant Poivre et Sel) turn left, follow rue de Parnasse to the end and turn right (rue d'Idalie); at the traffic lights cross rue de Trône and turn left, next turning on the right is ch. de Wavre, turn right: where street bends to the right you will find Beermania at no. 174. Iranian owner Nasser was supposedly the originator of the metre of beer, supersized version of the Kwak glass.

Newcastle, England
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7. Re: Beer in Brussels

A must is La Bécasse - Rue de Tabora, 11. It is easily missed as it is down an alley. Serves gueuze by monk looking people in pottery jugs, also does food, good food platters.

A bit of a gimmick but bizzare never the less is the Le Cercueil - Rue des Harengs 10-12, sit around a coffin in what looks like a very dark funeral parlour. All a bit scary. Especially one of the bottles labelled P*ss behind the bar.

Have fun and watch out for the alcohol percentage by volumes. They can creep up on you - hic.

Athens, Greece
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8. Re: Beer in Brussels

"You can also get Kwak, in its traditional serving glass, at the Estaminet Toone, in Petite rue des Bouchers, which is a tiny atmospheric little place attached to a puppet theatre."

Wow, I've actually been there! Great beer in different glasses and awesome decor. Especially the painting of a priest with the head of a pig, of course I could've just imagined it or was too drunk.

I haven't drank in a lot of places when there but the general prices were about 5-8 euros per pint. I think.

London
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9. Re: Beer in Brussels

You may want to venture a wee bit further into the suburbs to Chez Moeder Lambic on Savoiestraat in St-Gilles (trams nos 55 and 81 pass near there):

ratebeer.com/Place/…1718.htm

St-Gilles is quite a nice little suburb once you get past the gloominess and desolation round Brussel-Midi station - they have a decent market on Sundays and there is also Cafe Verschueren on Parvis St-Gilles which is a lovely old 1930s cafe with bits of Art Deco and an old-fashioned wooden football results board at the back, which has a small but acceptable range of beers - great place to people-watch on market day.

Delirium Cafe on Impasse de la Fidelite in the Ilot Sacre in the centre of town is a must with 400 Belgian beers - if only its Ghent cousin was as good.

Then there's Bier Circus on Rue de L'Enseignement, not far from Madou metro. They have a good range of lambics. As does the Zageman on Rue de Laeken.

You'd best go armed with the Good Beer Guide to Belgium which lists all the good Brussels bars.

brussels
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10. Re: Beer in Brussels

I do not like beermania at all as a cafe it is pretty crap and almost all the beer you get there you can get elsewhere.

I would recommend the skeiven arkitekt in rue blaes. and aux laboureurs near the GD midi it does the lambic doux as well but cheaper. The Corbeau off rue neuve is pretty lively at the weekend.

have fun if you are looking for a particular beer let me know i have spent some time building up a database of in excess of 1000 belgian beers sampled.

BTW where in worcs are you from. I hail from sunny Malvern