Although you’ll find people working on their laptops in most bars nowadays, at Le Phare du Kanaal this is an even more common occurrence than elsewhere. This isn’t surprising, considering Le Phare is a co-working space first and foremost. However, none of the offices I ever worked at had such a selection of beers from Brussels breweries to enjoy once the laptop closes…
After a short dip, the temperature is in the high twenties again, so it’s a perfect opportunity to check out another al fresco drinking establishment. Being centre based, we had to travel quite a distance for our previous visits to park buvettes. Luckily for us, the Guinguette Royale is in the Parc de Bruxelles or Warandepark, the largest public park in the centre of Brussels. Our visit to the buvette in the Bois de la Cambre in mind, we didn’t expect our beers to be served in glass, so we grabbed our reusable cups, and headed to the Parc de Bruxelles for a lunch in the cool shade.
A puppet theatre wouldn’t be the first place you’d look for a nice beer, would it? But hidden away at the end of a narrow alley, the estaminet attached to Théâtre Royal de Toone is serving beers from Oud Beersel and Boon on draught, and a few more interesting beers on bottle! Even though we’ve been at Toone a couple of times already, so far, we have never seen a show. But if you’re interested, there are plenty of puppets hanging around — literally — to get an idea of what you can expect ‘on stage’, three nights a week.
UPDATE: Closed permanently…
Until recently, the only way to enjoy a couple of decent beers in Molenbeek, was to go to the De la Senne brewery, it seemed, and even they will be moving elsewhere soon. However, just last month a new bar opened, by the name of Brass’art. Fears of it only serving mint tea proved to be unfounded, and Mohamed Ouachen, the driving force behind this project, served us a couple of nice beers, and an — at least for us — exotic but tasty ‘threesome of flavours’ to accompany it.
There’s quite a bit of history to Het Goudblommeke in Papier, even though it’s ‘only’ a little over 70 years old, and it’s not surprising a lot of effort went into reopening the bar after a bankruptcy a decade ago. But the protected building and bar rooms of this ‘marigold in paper’ have more to offer than just memories of René Magritte and Guido Gezelle: artistic performances of all sorts, but of course good Belgian food and beer as well!
There are plenty of bars in Brussels with a foreign touch — or more than just a touch — but only some are truly international. And by that I mean a bar where you can find beers from all over the world, but very local beers as well, and where you can hear the corresponding languages spoken. At The Black Sheep, the Lanterne from the Ixellois brewery L’Ermitage, pouring alongside the IPA from the American brewery in Berlin Stone, illustrates this perfectly.
Now the last Winter Wonder chalets have finally been taken down, it’s once again possible to see café Merlo from our doorstep, and in a time when long journeys by tram and metro are undesirable — some bloggers have to spend a bit more time studying for exams now — a quick visit to our near-neighbours was almost unavoidable. ‘t Verzet‘s Super NoAH turned out to be the Beer of the Month on bottle, so we crossed the Vismet for a hoppy nightcap.
Café Bizon was one of the very first bars in the centre of Brussels I frequented, even before I lived there. The reasons were simple: great — often live — blues music, cool and quirky interior, multilingual staff, and Guinness on draught. Even then I didn’t like lager, so the stout was a welcome alternative, and so the Guinness was my drink of choice. It’s still there — always served with the Irish shamrock drawn in the foam — but the beer list is actually a lot more interesting than that!