Don’t judge a bar by it’s appearance, is a lesson we’ve learnt early on when writing this blog. In the case of De Gele Poraa, this is more true than ever! After you make your way past the — largely unused — smoking room, try to make your way between the bar and the first couple of tables, the room opens up, and you have the opportunity to take a minute to look at the beers on the chalkboards. Well, you might need more than just a minute, since for what appears to be just a little neighbourhood bar, the offer is surprisingly large!
“Victorian pub” it says on the terrace screen outside The Hairy Canary, and that is exactly what it looks like when you enter. The Hairy Canary is the kind op bar where you would expect the bartender to fill your pint glass, slowly pulling cask ale through a beer engine. Unfortunately — or maybe not? — you’ll rarely find English cask ales on this side of the Channel. For those of you still curious about more traditional English ales, they do serve a couple of those in bottles.
UPDATE: Closed permanently…
For years, Monk has been a reference point in the nightlife of Brussels centre, especially for the Dutch speaking community of the city. Live music, great beers and booze, plenty of space and a huge bar counter. In 2012, it all ended, and for a year, the curtains were closed. It did reopen eventually, however, and with new owners and a slightly tweaked concept — adding spaghetti to the mix — the bar managed to lure many of the old customers back, and a lot of new ones as well.
La Porte Noire — or The Black Door, as it is sometimes called by English speakers — has been one of my favourite places for years: a great selection of beers and single malt whiskies, slightly quirky and completely isolated from the outside world. The quirkiness and isolation are mostly due to the fact that this bar is located in the vaulted cellars of a 16th century convent, topped off with some Celticness and fantasy.