Belgian Beer Tour
Image by SilkTork under Creative Commons License.

Belgium, Brussels Guide (A): Belgian Beer Tour

Belgium is world-renowned for its beers and Brussels is the best city to sample the huge variety of flavors. We'll show you the best places to buy them and to drink them. We'll even show you a family brewery where the liquid gold is produced right in front of your eyes! This tour is meant for both the uninitiated and fans of beer. So if you are looking for a souvenir or want to know the secret of Belgian beer brewing, this tour is for you.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Walk Route

Guide Name: Belgian Beer Tour
Guide Location: Belgium » Brussels
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 6.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: L'Ultime Atome   Beer Mania   Le Bier Circus   À la Mort Subite   Delirium Café   Délices et Caprices   Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas   Cantillon Brasserie/Brouwerij  
Author: Rowald Pruyn
Author Bio: I just love to hit the pavement, roaming around a big city I've just laid eyes on for the first time. Brussels is not the biggest capital I have seen. It ís, however, one of the most surprising ones and my headquarters for the last four years. I'm a 29 years old travel writer, Dutch by origin, and I will be your guide for this excursion.
1
L'Ultime Atome

1) L'Ultime Atome

An excellent place to begin this Belgian beer tour, or end for that matter. L’Ultime Atome is one of the hip places in Ixelles, and has more than ninety beers on the menu. Its staff is not the friendliest in town and for a bite to eat, we advise you to go to one of the surrounding restaurants. Le Vieux Bruxelles is one of our favorites, with its typical Brussels cuisine. We especially recommend the mussels with frites. Be sure to return to the beautiful interior and terrace of L'Ultime Atome. After all it's a great hangout spot to enjoy a fine beer and check out the locals.
Image by TPMpix under Creative Commons License.
2
Beer Mania

2) Beer Mania

Ever heard of a beer store that brews its own beer? Beer Mania does, with its Mea Culpa brand and unusual accompanying glasswork. It has been a trusted address to go to for those hard-to-find tasty trappist or abbey beers since the beginning of the eighties. Owner Nasser stocks more than 400 of them and has a large collection of glassware on sale as well. Because of its convenient opening hours (shop open 11:00 - 20:00/bar open 11:00 – 21:00, except on Sundays) you can put together a great collection of beers, after other stores closed down. Prices are generally good, but the gift packages and the rare beers can be pricey. On the other side, some of them you won’t find anywhere else easily.
Image by Andrew Nash under Creative Commons License.
3
Le Bier Circus

3) Le Bier Circus

Belgian beers are not just great to drink, but go extremely well with food, especially when that food is prepare with beer! Living proof of this is restaurant Le Bier Circus, where you get served a fine assortment of beers and dishes prepared with beer. If you like to get away from the busy Grand Place, and are curious about the Belgian cuisine, head on over to this friendly establishment. Beer prices are rather steep, but the meals are quite affordable. The interior of this restaurant is certainly not as vintage as other restaurants in the city center, but offers a welcome change after a day of beer shopping.
4
À la Mort Subite

4) À la Mort Subite

Although 'sudden death' doesn't sound quite as elegant as 'à la mort subite', this is one of the most authentic beer bars in the old center. Its unusual name refers to the famous gueuze beer, which is available on tap in several varieties. The origin of the name dates back to the early 1920s, when regular customers, who worked at the nearby National Bank, used to kill time playing dice games when business was slow. The loser of the game was called “le mort”, and when one of the players was urgently needed in the office, the game was ended by playing sudden death, both with the game and their drinks.

At that time, the bar was still called ‘La Cour Royale’, but its owner decided to rename it to ‘À la mort subite’ and did the same for the gueuze beer he served. Don’t expect a huge selection of beers: this bar is all about beer history.
Image by La Citta Vita under Creative Commons License.
5
Delirium Café

5) Delirium Café

We couldn’t do a Belgian beer tour without mentioning Delirium Café. After all, it has more than 2.000 different beers on sale. Hundreds of Belgian beers, of course, but you can also sample local brew from Russia, Germany, or the Philippines. Because of its location, well situated within the maze of small streets around the Grand Place, this is a popular hangout spot for tourists. Beware, because the ancient basement gets crowded easily and it can get quite smoky. Every Thursday night there are jam sessions, so if you are looking for some live music with your beer, this is the place to go. So: if you don’t mind the crowds, certainly give this beer Walhalla a try.
Image by FlyingCrimsonPig under Creative Commons License.
6
Délices et Caprices

6) Délices et Caprices

Délices et Caprices doesn’t stock the most beers in town, but rather has a well-chosen selection of rare ones. Just a stone’s throw away from the crowds of the Delirium Café, the store is lot more aimed towards the beer connoisseur.

Its friendly owner calls Délices et Caprices a wine shop for beer, where you can sit down to sip on one of the rare brews you will probably never taste after. There are only a couple of chairs and tables available and the prices are not as competitive as some other larger beer stores. Go here if you are in need of a more personal touch and the occasional rare find.
7
Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas

7) Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas

This specialist beer bar, wedged in between an Asian sex shop and a laundromat, takes pride in being a paradise for beer lovers, with more than 40 beers on tap, which you can drink either in 25 cl or 100 cl. Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas wants to show its visitors there is more to Belgian beer than Leffe and Hoegaarden. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice while browsing the menu, because the selection can be quite overwhelming. The interior is more modern than you normally see in Brussels, but there is a nice terrace where you can enjoy the setting sun. We highly recommend to visit the original Chez Moeder Lambic, which you can find behind the city hall in St. Gilles at Rue de Savoie 68.
Image by Bernt Rostad under Creative Commons License.
8
Cantillon Brasserie/Brouwerij

8) Cantillon Brasserie/Brouwerij

If you want to know more about what makes the Belgian way of beer brewing special, be sure pay a visit to the small Cantillon brewery (Mo – Fr 09:00 – 17:00, Sa 10:00 – 17:00) in Anderlecht. This living museum is still in full operation and from the lovely smell of natural ingredients you can immediately tell lambic and faro are being made on a daily basis in this historical building. The tours are self-guided and its interior is quite messy. Stay away if you can’t stand cobwebs.

This family brewery is not in the best part of town and is just a bit further away from the old center than most sights in this tour. Don’t hesitate to take a taxi if you do not feel comfortable roaming through the neighborhood. It won’t cost you much and ensures you find it fast. Being let loose inside an authentic brewery with its staff available for questions, is more than worth the trip. The 5 euros entry fee includes a taste of the local brew.
Image by Matthew Black under Creative Commons License.

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