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!
Most beer lovers familiar with foreign beers, already know BrewDog, or at least have heard of it. The sometimes controversial Scottish brewery doesn’t only brew beer, it also runs a few dozen bars. Already quite a while ago, BrewDog Brussels opened right next to Central Station, but a recent change is finally turning it into the beer geek mecca it should have been from the start. The hoppy beers BrewDog is known for, are now fresher than ever, the Buffalo wings hotter than ever, and the staff is more passionate than ever. If you haven’t done so recently, now is the time to (re)visit BrewDog Brussels!
It only opened a couple of weeks ago, but GIST seems to be well on its way to be a prime spot in the Brussels beer landscape. Not only are there sixteen normal draught taps to pour just as many different beer styles at any given time, but two beautiful beer engines for cask ales as well. We’ve seen similar beer engines in Brussels to dispense lambic beers, but as far as we know, this would be the only place where they will actually be used to pour British (style) ales! And that in a city that actually has a couple of British pubs…
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.
Don’t judge a bar by it’s appearance, is a lesson we’ve learnt early on when writing this blog. In the case of De Gele Poraa, this is more true than ever! After you make your way past the — largely unused — smoking room, try to make your way between the bar and the first couple of tables, the room opens up, and you have the opportunity to take a minute to look at the beers on the chalkboards. Well, you might need more than just a minute, since for what appears to be just a little neighbourhood bar, the offer is surprisingly large!
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…
When it comes to beer and food, you can’t look past Restobières. Their Belgian dishes, often using beer as an ingredient, combined with beers from mostly smaller breweries — no InBev here — makes the restaurant a must-visit on the list of many beer tourists coming to Brussels. But even though many of the customers here are tourists — I think we were the only locals during our visit — the quality of the food and beers here is much higher than in the Rue des Bouchers!
Schaerbeek is huge, and to get from 1030 Café to the Barboteur is quite a walk. Luckily, about halfway, you’ll find Central Park, right on the edge of the Josaphat Park it is obviously referring to. During your pit-stop there, you’ll be able to choose from ten beers on draught, among which a few familiar locals — like ‘super chilled’ Delta and Zinnebir — a classic like Saison Dupont, but a changing guest beer as as well.