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Belgium Beer Journey: Top 3 Lists

March 25, 2010 3 comments

empty glasses of the house beer at Waterhuis aan de bierkant

We thought we would start out our bevy of reporting on our trip to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands with a short set of our “Top 3″ in Belgium and beyond.

There were three members of BeerBlotter.com on this trip, so its impossible to come to a verdict about the ranking of the Top 3 at this point. Perhaps by the close of our two weeks of stories on the journey, we will have formed a consensus. For now we are simply providing what we believe to be the best 3 places to visit in a particular category.

Please note: we did not visit everything, we couldn’t. Though Belgium is only about 90 miles across, there are so many places to visit. Those venues are not bunched in any easily manageable way, especially the breweries of West Flanders. Thus, we will expose our limitations – we can only rank those places that we visited. Later in the week, we will be providing reviews on each establishment visited, so you will be able to get a better idea of what was visited.

Also, we are stating the names of these places in Flemish or French so that you can find them on a map/online easier.

So, here we go:

Top 3 Breweries to Visit:

1) Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Heule, Belgium

2) Brasserie Cantillon, Brussels, Belgium

3) Brouwerij De Molen, Bodegraven, Holland (Ok Ok its not in Belgium – its in the Netherlands. But its so amazing!)

***Brasserie Thiriez in Escambeq, France – very cool too, if you speak French***

Top 3 Beer Bars to Visit in Belgium:

1) Paters Vaetje, Antwerp, Belgium (Amazing atmosphere and great bartender)

2) Poatersgat, Bruges, Belgium

3) Moeder Lambic, Brussels, Belgium (new, incredible)

beers on hand pump in Belgium! Moeder Lambic has 30-some ales on draft

Top 3 Beer Bars to Visit in Holland:

1) Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam, Holland

2) ‘t Arendsnest, Amsterdam, Holland

3) Beer Temple, Amsterdam, Holland (for the variety – and if you miss the USA)

Top 3 Places to Enjoy a Beer in Belgium:

1) ‘t Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant, Ghent, Belgium

2) Picobrouwerij Alvinne’s Loft, Heune, Belgium

3) ‘t Poatersgat, Bruges, Belgium (cmon, its in a medieval cellar)

Top 3 Beer Lists in Belgium:

1) Kulminator, Antwerp, Belgium (vintages really help)

2) Cafe Cambrinus, Bruges, Belgium

3) Bier Circus, Brussels, Belgium

Top 3 Bottleshops

1) Willems, Grobbendonk, Belgium (ridiculous, go here)

2) Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Heune, Belgium (worldwide selection)

3) De Bier Temple, Bruges, Belgium

Top 3 Beer Experiences in Belgium:

1) Drinking Nuclear Penguin & Sink the Bismark with owner Davy Spiessens at Picobrouwerij Alvinne

2) Enjoying Westvleteren 12 at In De Vrede Cafe on the St. Sixtus Abbij

3) Tasting young gueuzes and special lambics at Brasserie Cantillon

***Checking out the cooling cellar at Moeder Lambic was cool too***

Top 3 Places for a Meal in Belgium (Beer Involved Venues)

1) De Gans, Huise, Belgium

2) Bier Circus, Brussels, Belgium

3)Brouwerij De Molen (Holland) & Brauerei zum Fuchschen (Germany) (again neither in Belgium, but damn good)

***We didn’t make it to Den Djiver in Bruges – we dont have 100.00 for a meal***

De Molen is a windmill brewery with a beer store, amazing food and of course, great beer.

Top 3 Belgian Food to Eat

1) Toast Cannibale (raw beef across bread)

2) Witloof Casserole (Belgian Endive with Ham and Cheese)

3) Stoemf (potatoes, sausage, herbs and vegetables all mashed together)

Top 3 Issues with the Current State of Belgium

1) Construction in Ghent! (the entire city is under construction – kind of killing the ambience)

2) non-uniformity of business days

3) unknown/spontaneously selected opening and closing hours (its always a guessing game)

***Note: We were there during off-season, and we knew that, so the hours/days issue is partly our fault***

There is more to come. I’m sure I forgot to rank many things. We will try and wrap it together soon.

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