There are many beer stores in Brussels, but only a few make an effort to differentiate themselves from the rest. Beer Mania does so in two different ways: firstly, you can have a cold beer and a meal there, and even quite late. Secondly, they have their own beer, available nowhere else. We had visited Beer Mania already a couple of years ago, but our beer buying interests have since then moved from the mostly Belgian beers on offer there. When they announced a Finnish beer festival however, we saw it as an excellent reason to return.
As much as we love to spend an evening in a restaurant or bar, cracking open a bottle at home or somewhere else with friends can be at least just as nice. Supermarket beers — even though the offer has improved over the last couple of years — just won’t do for those occasions, of course, but luckily there are shops like Malt Attacks. You won’t be able to have a drink there unfortunately — barring special events — but you’ll surely find the ideal beer to enjoy at home!
Beerstorming is most definitely a brewery: al the necessary equipment and ingredients are there. However, their main goal is not to sell beer — although they do serve and sell beer, rest assured — but they’re all “about creativity in brewing, about being a part of an experience, about tastes, memories and stories you can share over a beer.”
It might sound like a lot of marketing speak, but I guess that is inevitable if one isn’t trying to sell just a product, but an experience.
Currently, the following experiences are on the menu:
- The Tasting Experience
- The Brewing Experience
- The Private Brewery Experience
We weren’t quite sure which venue to start our blog with, until we noticed a tweet from a friend, picturing a beer menu with a long list of American beers. As it turned out, she was at Le Barboteur where they were having an American themed week, called “Craft Bless America”. So of course, the next day we went there ourselves.
Le Barboteur essentially is a beer store, where you have the opportunity to taste a couple of beers as well. Against one wall you’ll find the unrefrigerated beers on sale to take home. The rest of the little corner shop is filled with tables for the customers who prefer to have a drink right there, a couple of fridges with bottled beers, and a small bar with five beer pumps. Next to the bar, there is a doorway leading to a cosy backroom, where you’ll also find a tiny but interesting beer book selection for sale.