IMG_7606Usually we know or discover a venue first, and then visit it to find out which beers — and possibly food — they’re serving in that venue. In the case of Contrebande however, it was a Facebook post by brewery L’Ermitage about one of their beers being used in a dish, that put us on the trail of this new bar in Ixelles. It’s a lovely new place, and as we expected, the beer list was rather interesting. So interesting in fact, we initially overlooked one little but important detail: Contrebande is a bar without beer taps…

IMG_7639All Brussels breweries are represented on the beer menu of Contrebande. Most of them with just a couple of beers, but all in all, it is a fine selection, supplemented with beers from other Belgian artisanal breweries. For the moment, the beer menu is still a bit amateurish: most beers are only mentioned by name — so without indicating the brewery — and they’re sorted by colour, so you’re left guessing as to which style they could be. But Contrebande only opened a month ago, I’m sure there will be improvements in this area in time. As long as they don’t change their beer choices too much, they’ll be fine!

Even though Contrebande is right next to the busy Chaussée d’Ixelles, it has a great terrace at the back. It’s a bit sheltered, making it a bit chilly in spring, but I imagine it will be perfect on really hot days. If only this wasn’t Belgium!

IMG_7637If you want to eat at Contrebande, make sure to be here around lunch time. There’s a new lunch dish every day, and the menu is posted weekly on Facebook. We were there in the evening however, when the choices are a bit more limited: cheese and meat boards, dried sausages, possibly some lunch leftovers. We knew this, so we had dinner before coming to the bar. After a couple of beers, we did become a bit peckish again after all, but not enough for one of those giant boards. We were curious about the bell pepper tapenade with waffles, but just too late to order the last one… The chicken and vegetable skewers with peanut sauce they still did have, were tasty enough to make us want to return for a lunch service one day.

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  • No beers on draught!
  • A well curated bottle list, with beers from all Brussels breweries


  • Every day a different lunch
  • In the evening cheese and meat boards, and a few extras

Fernand Coqplein 6 Place Fernand Coq
1050 Elsene
+32 2 512 24 66

What have people been drinking here recently?