At every beer festival you’ll find them: groups of friends playing a card or board game, while sipping on the available beers. That means there’s clearly some overlap between gamers and craft beer lovers, and for them there is Le Bar à Jeux! An excellent selection of beers, combined with a huge library of games to play, makes it easy to spend quite a bit of time there without even noticing. And when the rumbling of the stomach draws attention to the passing of the hours, there is some food available as well to keep you going!
We stumbled upon Chez Mon Ex when Wonder Bru‘s first beer Mate Brew was launched there. With the signs advertising the Luxembourgish Battin beers outside, one wouldn’t immediately expect a craft beer bar here… As it turned out, they do really like the Brussels and other craft breweries there, and quite a few of these beers feature on the menu, both on draught, and in bottles and cans! It still has the look and feel of a neighbourhood bar, because, well, it is!
The latest taproom that opened in the Brussels region, is a bit special. CoHop is not just a brewery, but actually a cooperative of a couple of former gypsy brewers that had been around for a while already, and… CoHop! They all share a 20hl brewing installation and 13 fermenters together—taking turns brewing—and a nice mezzanine taproom with 24 taps, on the historic Arsenal site in Etterbeek.
There was still one brewery with a proper taproom we didn’t write about yet, and that was Brasserie de la Mule, in Schaerbeek. And what a great taproom it is! A long bar to sit at—rarely found in brewery taprooms—and a great walled Biergarten. The use of the German word here is very much intentional, since they really like their German style beers here! And the best way to serve a German wheat beer is of course in a large (0,5 l), curvy Weizenbierglas. Bring on the next heatwave, here is the perfect place to cool down and, uh, ‘hydrate’!
The modern looking bar—but with just a touch of curly nostalgia—is quite a walk away from the other beer bars in Schaarbeek, therefore serving a completely different herd of customers, who can—and should—make this bar their own.
UPDATE: After being closed for a while, it reopened under new management. We haven’t revisited it since, but it seems largely unchanged.
Once again, we found ourselves in the Marolles, right next to the location of the famous flea market, this time at CHAFF. While the band was getting ready to play later on that evening, we picked a table on the first floor to have a couple of local beers—almost every brewery in Brussels was represented with at least one beer—and something to eat. Despite the large choice of rather healthy looking dishes, we decided to go for the burgers.
From the four beer pumps behind the bar pour beers by Brasserie de la Senne, Brasserie Dupont,
Brasserie de Bastogne and Cantillon. You read that correctly: Cantillon beer — their Kriek this time — on draught in a hotel bar!
It can be quite frightening when upon entering Caberdouche, you see big tanks of Stella below your feet in the pits of hell where they belong… Or maybe it is just a floor window offering a glimpse of the the beer cellar of the bar? Luckily, there’s quite a bit more on offer, among which a dedicated Brussels Beer Project tap, and a couple of beers from Tiny Rebel, that not quite so tiny anymore Welsh brewery, that seems to become more available in Brussels every passing day.
UPDATE: Closed permanently…
In an area of Saint-Gilles where you can eat well, but will struggle to find many interesting places to have a drink afterwards, luckily there still is La Belladone. The Eastern European character the bar once had, seems to have faded away for the most part — still some spiced and regular vodkas on the menu though — but the art nouveau decor it has now, suited us just fine. Of course it helps when almost all beers are from smaller, artisanal breweries, as are the snacks.
We were a bit hesitant to write about JeanBon on our blog: there was only one beer in the fridge, and it wasn’t even a great one… However, the delicious baguettes made more than up for this shortcoming. On the store shelves, there was a choice of better beers available — like a Geuze Boon, or Bertinchamps‘ La Prose — some of which would have paired nicely with our lunch in the windowsill. Could you please put some of those beers in the fridge as well, Jean?