The first beer festivals are reemerging again, but in Brussels not really yet. Luckily, like last year, when beer festivals weren’t at all allowed, Belgium Beer Week comes to the rescue, proposing dozens of beer-related activities from 23 till 29 August 2021. Last year, its scope was limited to Brussels and Antwerp, but this second edition also includes activities in Leuven, Bruges, Ghent, Mechelen, Liège, and Namur.
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!
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!
We’ve seen the Holy Smoke meat smoker in the beer festival circuit quite a few times. Most of the time, there was either a long queue of hungry people, or they were sold out, both a good indication of their popularity and quality. In 2017 they opened an actual restaurant near the Porte de Hal, with an even bigger smoker, to provide everyone in the usually fully-booked restaurant with heaps of pork ribs, sausages, brisket, and pulled pork…
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!
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.