Two cities, lots of beer—here are a couple of Belgian cities and some bars that you should really add to your Beer Bucket List. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Café Kulminator in Antwerp for the Best-aged Beers (Vleminckveld 32, 2000 Antwerp): This quirky, cozy, jumbled-up, old brown café in Antwerp is best known for its unrivaled cellar of vintage beers. The bar is initially overwhelming. There’s mismatched beer memorabilia and general stuff everywhere, plus occasionally some cats, but these all add to the quirky charm of the bar, which is run by a husband-and-wife team. Once you’re settled in and scanning the beer list, you’ll soon be boggle-eyed at what’s available because it’s the most intriguing, beguiling, wow-inducing beer list—it’s a unique experience to be able to pick from so many old beer treasures. The only questions will be where do you begin and when do you end.
Three Essential Belgian Bar Experiences You Must Try In Antwerp And Brussels Photo Gallery
Delirium Café in Brussels for the Most Beers (Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Brussels): This mainly seems to be a tourist attraction now, but it’s a tourist attraction with 2,000 different beers. Every time I go, it seems to get bigger and vaster, but no less busy. It’s also become a block party in its backstreet location where you can pick between a range of bars, such as the Hoppy Loft for craft beers, the Monasterium for Trappist and Abbey brews, or just the main massive Tap House. As well as the overwhelmingly big bottle list, the draft selection is exceptional—so good that you probably won’t even want a bottle. You can also buy two-liter glasses of certain beers, including Delirium Tremens, the strong-sweet-spicy golden beer that the bar is named after, but you probably shouldn’t do that…
Moeder Lambic Fontainas in Brussels for the Best Beer Bar (Place Fontainas 8, 1000 Brussels): Situated between the Midi Station and the Grand Place, this is one of the world’s greatest bars—and one of my favorite drinking places. It’s the huge selection of beers that pulls me in. This is mostly a modern selection from the best Belgian brewers, though, of course, they still have the classics. There’ll be a few Lambics, plus plenty of rare beers that you won’t find anywhere else.
Plan to stay for a long time.
LOCAL TIP: A Warning about Belgian Opening Times
Opening times are variable. Only a few places consistently open every day from lunchtime to bedtime. It’s common for bars to close at least one or two days a week. In January a lot of places don’t open at all or have reduced hours. Some places close in the summer. Some don’t open until the evening; some only open in the afternoon; some shut for a few hours between lunch and dinner. It’s always best to check ahead to see when bars are open (but don’t necessarily believe what you read).
This sign will help clear up any confusion about opening times.