52 Weeks: Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant, Ghent, Belgium
We are back tracking to week nine, one of the two weeks we spent in Belgium. If I said I wanted to go back there tomorrow and live for all eternity….that would be an understatement.
9 of 52
9000 Gent, Belgium
09 225 06 80
Rank: #1 of 12 (again including there is one other unknown Belgian place, which will be in the top 5)
Type of Establishment: Your quintessential Belgium beer bar
BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit) —>
Rodenbach Grand Cru
House Beer Gandavum (blonde hoppy ale)
House Beer Mammelokker (dark ale)
House Beer Klokke Roeland (strong ale – 11.5%)
FOOD OPTIONS: No food options. Remember we are in Belgium. They drink all day on an empty stomach and so should you!
STAFF OPINIONS: A small establishment, there were two bartenders, one of which we had the pleasure of interacting with. He, like many, if not all Belgium residents knew his beer….he knew it well. He discussed 3 of the brews on tap that were the house beers and suggested we try them all. (Interesting, rare beers on draft are hard to come by in Belgium, a country that prides themselves on aged bottles). He was pleasant, informative and happy to introduce beers that we had never had into our lives. We are forever indebted.
Ghent was the first stop outside of Antwerp that we made in Belgium. A city with so much history and beauty, Ghent has much to offer in the realms of beer and art. During our stay we encountered medieval churches, bell towers, castles, canals and quaint squares. Although these elements of the city were preserved, Pizza Huts and modern hotels proved that Ghent was a city of the past and of the future. Prior to stopping at the Waterhuis, we ventured into Saint Bavo Cathedral to see the Ghent Altarpiece, otherwise known as the Altarpiece of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck. Completed in the early 15th Century, this masterpiece was very high on my bucket list and is the single most impressive piece of artwork I have ever seen. The picture in this post is from the internet, as you are not allowed to take photos of the piece.
After taking in our art for the day, we head over to Het Waterhuis located along side a canal and therefore appropriately named in more ways than one. A modest space with old, almost rotting wood paneling along the floor, a layer of dust and a cloud of smoke, this bar would not exist in the US and this is why we love it. We find a space in the back with a barrel surrounded by four chairs next to a window looking out onto the water with a castle in the back drop. Dried hops hang from the bar with bottles, many of which we had yet to try, layered with dust and mold that lined the wall.
We sat in awe of the country we just arrived in, in awe of the beer we were drinking. Het Waterhuis was one of many beer experiences to come. It was amazingly worthy of our top spot to date.