UPDATE: Seems to be closed. A note said for renovations, but they hadn’t been open on the advertised hours for months before…
The former post office in the Central Station is finally in use again! Not for any postal needs of course — who still sends letters these days? — but for a bite and and a beer. Brasserie 28 will — eventually — not only serve 30 different draught beers and even more on bottle to consume in the bar, but everything is — or very soon will be — available to take away. Having a “train beer” when travelling from Central Station suddenly became interesting!
About a year ago, Bruzz already reported about a new bar to be opened in the old post office, and now that moment has come, although it didn’t become Central Park as originally announced. The “Postes – Posterijen” sign still visible in the mock-ups didn’t quite make it either, unfortunately, but some of the other interior design elements of the former post office are still visible. Brasserie 28 uses the old post office entrances in the station, in addition to an entrance from the street.
The name of the company that opened this bar — Caulier — is a bit confusing. In the late 19th century and a good part of the 20th, there used to be an actual brewery with the name Caulier in the Brussels region, in Laeken. Through a confusing history of takeovers, bankruptcies and brand ownership. this led to two different companies now using the name Caulier: the Walloon brewery Brasserie Caulier, making Paix Dieu and Bon Secours in Péruwelz, and the gypsy brewery Caulier Sugar Free, selling all those different varieties of 28, actually brewed at De Proefbrouwerij. As you would expect, the new bar is operated by the latter, as is their first Brasserie 28 in Rome.
Brasserie 28 only opened their doors for the first time three days before we visited, and it still needed some finishing touches: so far, ‘only’ 17 taps were in use, and the growler filling station was not yet installed. This means at the moment, not all draught beers are available to take away. However, all Caulier beers — making up a large part of the draught selection — are available on bottle anyway, both in 33 and 75 cl sizes. The non Caulier draught beers included De la Senne‘s Taras Boulba, Dupont‘s Bons Voeux, and Boon‘s Oude Geuze. After the official opening of the bar later in February, we should expect a couple of tap takeovers by foreign craft breweries: Scotland and Poland were among the countries mentioned.
The bottle list still needs some spiffing up as well, but some basics — more De la Senne beers, trappists, De Ranke — were already there. A very positive thing on the menu was that for every beer, the brewery is mentioned first. In an era when too many breweries just name their beers after the beer style, this is something every bar should do!
A lot of attention on the menu goes to the takeaway prices of just about anything — for food as well — so it seems Brasserie 28 specifically targets the rushed train travelers who just want to get something to eat or drink on the train heading home. The price difference can be huge: instead of the usual 10% or 20% discount, the takeaway prices for beer are more likely to be just one third of the bar prices!
A ‘brasserie’ — the restaurant categorie, not a brewery — serves food as well, of course, so we had to try the kitchen of Brasserie 28 as well. The menu mainly lists a lot of tapas, although a couple of dishes actually are a full meal just by themselves. The pride themselves on using organic ingredients, and considering that, the prices are quite reasonable. We had some bruschetta, meat balls — with a delicious chard pesto, not even mentioned on the menu — some roasted potatoes, and a “baby burger” each. Brussels Ketjep sauces are available if you need them, but we really didn’t: everything was flavourful, as you would expect with organic food, and there was plenty of it, so we couldn’t even bring ourselves to ordering the ‘biramisu’, a tiramisu made with 28 Imperial Stout, one of the best Caulier beers we’ve tasted so far.
We’re quite happy a beer bar finally opened in the long-abandoned post office, and we’re hoping it will entice other bars in the neighbourhood to up their game a little. Bars named after a brewery — or gypsy brewer — will not continuously attract beer lovers by just offering their standard range. Plenty of interesting guest beers, and changing those often, just might.
Bring on those tap takeovers!
- 30 beers (expected) on draught
- About a 100 beers (expected) on bottle
- Growler fills of all beers on draught (soon)
- Organic snacks and small dishes like bruscetta
- Organic burgers & steak
Keizerinlaan 3 Boulevard de l'Impératrice
+32 2 511 05 31
What have people been drinking here recently?
- Tom Vandicke is drinking a 28 Imperial Stout at Brasserie 28
- Adam Fisher is drinking a 28 White Oak IPA at Brasserie 28
- Luis Corral is drinking a Re Hop at Brasserie 28
- Christophe Asselman is drinking a Re Hop at Brasserie 28
- fritz francken is drinking a Maciste at Brasserie 28
- David Blum is drinking a 28 Tripel at Brasserie 28
- Roy Vawter is drinking a 28 Tripel at Brasserie 28
- Roy Vawter is drinking a Re Hop at Brasserie 28
- Roy Vawter is drinking a Zona Cesarini at Brasserie 28
- Draco Drinks is drinking a Zona Cesarini at Brasserie 28