In Belgium you can’t get around Duvel, and even we drank our fair share of this extremely foamy beer before moving on to either very local or foreign beers from microbreweries… But when we heard that Duvel was now available on draught in Brussels as well, we decided to revisit the original Belgian golden strong ale once again, and we headed to Manneken Pis, or more specifically, Manneken Pis Cafe, as it was recently renamed when it became the newest Duvel Moortgat showcase.
The outside of Manneken Pis Cafe still looks more or less the same as when it still was Taverne Manneken Pis, even with the same, rather tacky neon lighting. The inside however, received a makeover, and even looks a bit ‘crafty’ now: Duvel bottle chandeliers, wall-mounted fridges with bottle shaped cut-outs, and — what seems to be a requirement for all new craft beer bars — an artsy diagram explaining the brewing process of beer.
The staff and the music on the other hand, still seem to stem from the Taverne days…
Moving on to what really matters: the beer! Fourteen pumps dispense a wide range of Duvel Moortgat beers — different Chouffes, Vedetts and Maredsous, Tank 7, Liefmans, De Koninck… — and there is one separate tap for the main attraction: Duvel on draught. Draught beers — excluding the Duvel — are available in flights (3x 16 cl) as well.
One of the regular pumps is a CraftWorks pump, something we seem to find ever more often in Brussels. Like in Bia Mara Place de Londres, the CraftWorks beer was ‘t IJ‘s Zatte, so it seems the same CraftWorks beer is distributed to all participating venues.
The bottle list features more Duvel Moortgat beers, most of them Belgian. The only foreigner on the list is Boulevard‘s The Calling IPA. Even though some ‘t IJ bottles are included in the decoration of the bar, none are currently on the menu…
No snacks on the menu either, but in a fridge we noticed some cervelas and pieces of Van Tricht cheese, and you do get some nibbles with each order.
We have mixed feelings about Duvel Moortgat. On the one hand, it is a huge beer company, buying brewery after brewery, meanwhile churning out rather boring lagers, abbey beers and Belgian pale ales, and following — although mostly rather late — every beer trend (IPA? Check! Barrel aged? Check!) without being really exciting. On the other hand, their Duvel is still quite a decent beer, and some of the breweries they’ve bought, or have a minority stake in, are — so far — making some really good beers!
To lure us back, and to make the beer offer fit the craft beer vibe this bar is trying to create, Manneken Pis Cafe should serve more Boulevard Brewing beers for starters — bring on Rye on Rye on Rye or one of their Love Child beers! — and surely Firestone Walker, since both breweries are fully owned by Duvel Moortgat anyway. And the breweries it has a stake in, could get a better listing as well: more beers from ‘t IJ, please — where is ’t Ei van de Duivel? — and bring over some Birrificio del Ducato beers.
As for the Duvel on draught? As carbonated and foamy as you would expect, and generally fine, but with our hop-accustomed taste buds, it somehow seemed sweeter than we remembered…
- 15 Duvel Moortgat beers on draught
- A selection of other Duvel Moortgat beers on bottle
- Cervela & cheese
Manneken Pis Cafe
Lievevrouwbroerssstraat 31-33 Rue des Grands Carmes
+32 2 513 73 78
What have people been drinking here recently?
- Ragnfrid is drinking a Cherry Chouffe at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Robert Young is drinking a Houblon Chouffe at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Thomas Henry is drinking a Duvel Tripel Hop Citra at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Dan is drinking a Duvel 6,66% at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Laura Alcober is drinking a Bolleke De Koninck (APA) at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Jessica Eno is drinking a Maredsous Brune / Bruin at Manneken Pis Cafe
- cgarciabernal is drinking a Maredsous Triple / Tripel at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Tom Atack is drinking a Maredsous Brune / Bruin at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Joe Huddlestone is drinking an Ordnar Dark Sour at Manneken Pis Cafe
- Fred Hartendorf is drinking a Maredsous Brune / Bruin at Manneken Pis Cafe