The second piece of ‘bonus content’ exclusive to this blog: some more material that didn’t quite fit in to the new issue of Craft Beer – The 100 Best Breweries in the World. In the new issue is a guide to some of the best bars in Bruges, but there wasn’t quite enough room for this brief guide to some of the best bars in that other Belgian beer lover’s paradise, Brussels. (You can read the first piece of bonus content – an interview with Camden Town Brewery’s Head Brewer Alex Troncoso – right here)
As a city, Brussels has many districts, though many of the bars are thankfully within comfortable walking distance of each other. With more bustle than Bruges, it’s nice to break up your drinking excursions with visits to restaurants and museums, though it’s just as easy to find a bar with a particularly good selection and bunker down for an afternoon. It can be tempting to settle at one location and work your way through the ten or so beers that have caught your eye. Feel free to do so, the other pubs aren’t going anywhere, the staff are friendly, and they have food, so why not just relax?
À la Mort Subite
Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 7, 1000 Brussels
No visit to Brussels, or indeed Belgium, would be complete without a visit to this most iconic and decidedly Belgian of cafes. The bar’s own lambic blends are a must-try: Gueuze, Kriek, Faro, Peche and White Lambic are all available on draught, and best enjoyed with a plate of meat and cheese.
Rue Gheude 56, 1070 Anderlecht
Whilst not strictly a bar in the traditional sense, the fact that some of Belgium’s finest beers can be tasted here makes a visit to Cantillon an essential visit. After taking a tour of the brewery, relax with some fresh Rose de Gambrinus, different aged lambics, or a bottle of something to take home.
Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Brussels
The slightly mocking tone of the monastic décor here gives foreigners a taste of what might constitute Belgian humour. Delirium may not be a Trappist brewer, but many if not all Trappist breweries have their beers represented at their bar here, along with classics from across the country.
Rue du Chêne 5, 1000 Brussels
Near the famous Mannekin Pis statue, Poechenellkelder (or the ‘Poeche’) is a friendly, well-stocked beer bar with a small outdoor space and lively atmosphere. The eccentric décor of puppets, rare beer glasses and, well, stuff, is all quite charming. Helpful staff are on hand to guide you through the extensive menu.
8 Place Fontainas, 1000 Brussels
The original Moeder Lambic bar is in nearby Saint-Gilles, but this newer, city centre bar is the ideal end to a trip around Brussels. The range here is varied, and worthy of note for the occasional kegs of Gueuze Tilquin and offerings from Jandrain Jandrenouille and Brasserie de la Senne. Meat and cheese boards are de riguer food-wise.
You can read more guides to drinking in top beer cities in ‘Craft Beer: 100 Best Breweries in The World’, now available in newsagents and online.