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!
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!
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.
We’ve sat outside a couple of beer shops enjoying a freshly bought fresh beer before, but there are only few beer shops that actually encourage this. Luckily, Les Fleurs du Malt does—at least in summer—and it has set up a nice little terrace on the square in front of the store. This was an excellent opportunity for us to spend a bit more time on the metro to get to Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, as it turns out, for the first time for this blog.
It makes so much sense to have a beer with your chips, it is just crazy nobody thought to open a craft beer chip shop in Brussels before. Bintje stepped up to the plate, and opened their chip shop in the Chatelain area of Ixelles last December. Not only do they serve two draught beers — currently both from De la Senne — with their organic chips, there are dozens more of excellent bottled and canned beers — both Belgian and foreign — to choose from, certainly a lot more than any other bar in the neighbourhood, as far as we know!
With a name like Les Brassins (The Brews), we had to visit this restaurant in Ixelles. An old sign against the wall facing the entrance promised us lambic by the pitcher, but unfortunately that was all it was: an old sign, amidst many other old beer commercials, not quite representative of the current beer offer… Luckily there were some other beers available — even some from the newest generation of Brussels breweries — and a baker’s dozen of meat dishes to choose from, some fish dishes, salads and pastas.
Dekkera, “la bièrerie du quartier Wiels“, is the first venue in Forest appearing on our blog. The reason for this is simple: in Forest, Dekkera probably is the first and only beer bar — and shop — not serving and selling ‘big beer’, but exclusively local and other Belgian craft beer. Of course, that that is exactly what we like to see!
UPDATE: The shop in Jette has closed, but Fermenthings moved in with La Source, now mainly focussing on workshops and fermented food.
Beer is the — sometimes very beautiful — result of fermentation, but so are coffee, cheese, cider, kombucha, miso, and many other delicacies. At Fermenthings, you’ll not only find many of these products, but also the necessary tools and ingredients to make your own at home. Beer — from Belgium and far abroad — features heavily in the store, and we’re not sorry about that at all! Quite a few of those beers are even chilling in a fridge, so you can have a taste, before stocking up on beer and other fermented products.
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.
UPDATE: Closed permanently…
Les Ecuries van de Tram has been the setting for two beer events already mentioned on this blog: the Barboteur Beersdays and the first edition of SWAFFF! But is was only when we were a bit early for the latter, we noticed that — even though there are no draught beers available — the Ecuries‘ own fridges were quite well stocked already! The presence of De la Senne and Brussels Beer Project beers is not that surprising anymore, Illegaal and Dupont only a bit, but seeing the Dochter van de Korenaar and BrewDog in a bar like this was completely unexpected!