The Grand Reopening: Take II

Bars and restaurants all over Brussels have been busy over the past couple of days—maybe weeks—preparing for another attempt at opening the hospitality industry again. For now, only the terraces will be allowed to open, but it’s a start at least, and a very welcome one! Tomorrow, rain or shine, I’m sure the Brusseleirs will be there in great numbers, drinking draught beer from real glasses, eating food from real plates, with real cutlery…

And for this blog, this means the end of our hibernation!

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Zennebar

It was the worst of times, but probably also the best of times, to open Zennebar. The worst of times, since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, which is a hard time for anyone in the hospitality industry. But it was also the best of times to open such a place, because a spacious terrace in an area with hardly any car traffic, is ideal in these times of social distancing. Add to that a fresh selection of Brasserie de la Senne‘s beers on draught, food by Fermenthings, and you’ve created the perfect—and safe—place to spend a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Belgium Beer Week

It is a sad year for beer festivals, since about all of them have been cancelled. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do for beer lovers!
During the very first edition of the Belgium Beer Week—from 24 till 30 August 2020—you’ll get the opportunity to enjoy a large number of small beer events all over the city, in venues you’ll probably already know and love. Check out which tap takeovers, tastings, tours, workshops and other Belgium Beer Week events you can expect in Brussels next week!

Belgium Beer Week
Belgium Beer Week

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The (not so?) Grand Reopening!

The bars and restaurants are open again! 86 days after closing their doors, publicans and restaurant owners can finally invite us back in to take a seat, and serve us beer and food at our table again. There will be some restrictions, of course, but at least we can go out and enjoy a draught beer with (nine of) our friends!
Where will you go first?

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Brussels Beer Babble

Discord logo

Now your fridges and sheds are hopefully filled with beer again, it’s time to discuss that other loss the bar closures left us with: social contact. Those working from home might already have discovered the joy of using teleconferencing tools for non-professional chats with co-workers as well, but where do you find your usual drinking buddies? To facilitate this, we set up a Discord chat server, aptly named Brussels Beer Babble. It has channels for some of the most popular Brussels beer bars, and for all of the Brussels breweries.

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Buying Beer when Bars are Barred

Fridges and shelves at Malt Attacks

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic measures, going to a bar or restaurant to enjoy a fresh draught beer isn’t an option anymore for the next couple of weeks… After drinking all the beers you had in your fridge, where can you get some more?
When the first version of this article appeared about a week ago, there were still plenty of options to go out and stock up, but even though beer shops are legally allowed to stay open*, many have decided to close their doors anyway, and—if they haven’t closed completely—rely on delivery and pickup only…

This article was updated regularly until 31/05/2020. By that time, most brewery shops were open again, bars who could and wanted, started selling beers for takeout.
We’re now counting down to the reopening—in whatever form—of the bars…

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Bélier Bar

UPDATE: Closed permanently…

The bar with its six taps

Nothing about Bélier Bar exactly screams craft beer bar: the modest number of six, unbranded taps could be pouring anything, and the amount of spirits on the shelves behind the bar, would rather give you the impression this is a cocktail bar. They do cocktails indeed, but once you discover the beer list, you’ll immediately see that those are not their only strength!

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Patatak

UPDATE: Opened a second location in Brussels centre.

With the addition of Patatak to the food scene in Saint-Gilles—already a year ago—there are really no excuses left to have a bad beer with your chips. This chip shop even has three beers—by Dupont and De la Senne—on draught! The chips themselves are freshly cut, and fried in beef fat, which has become a rarity in Brussels.

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Family Brews

Family Brews opened just a little over a year ago in the Rue des Harengs, just off the Grand Place. In such a central location, you might expect just another tourist trap, but nothing could be further from the truth! For prices comparable to the ones you’ll pay for an uninteresting industrial beer in nearby bars, here you can enjoy some local brews instead. Don’t get hung up on specific breweries or beers, just let the staff surprise you with something they think you’ll like!

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Otomat

Belgians love eating pizzas at least as much as any nation, but most of the time they go for—not always successful—copies of the Italian originals. Otomat decided to take another direction, and now creates decidedly un-Italian, but nevertheless very tasty pizzas. Besides that, they’ve given beer a central role: Duvel yeast as an ingredient for the dough, and plenty of beers to pair the pizza with, even some local ones!

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