My wife and I are headed to Bruges and Ghent for 3 days in late April. Where can we get the best tasting beer in these two towns? Thanks.
- De Halve Maan brewery tour.
- Bruges Beer Musuem. Fun short tour, but you can also just go to the tasting room.
- De Garre (Bar that has hundreds of beers)
- 't Galgenhuis (awesome to sit outside)
Most of my beer was consumed in Brussels, but the above is what i could find that i checked in on Untapped.
There are more than 300 beers produced in Belgium. Which kind of beers do you like best? Bitter? Sweet? Brown? lager? Pale?
I prefer lagers and browns. Thanks.
Another vote for the De Halve Maan brewery tour in Bruges. If you want great selection right near the Markt, seriously check out Cambrinus (https://bierbrasseriecambrinus.eu/?lang=en). The beer menu is amazing! Oh, the food is very good too - the Dover Sole ("Filets of Sole") is one of my wife's favorites. I like the Carbonade flamande (beef, onion and beer stew).
Best tasting beer is subjective but your options are almost limitless. There are many bars/cafes in Ghent and Bruges that will have hundreds of beers on offer. My absolute favorite in Bruges is De Garre, an old place tucked away just a few blocks from the main square. If the weather is good, the Brewery Bourgogne des Flandres will have 5-7 of their own beers from tap with a few splendid tables mere inches from a canal. I am also a fan of 't Brugs Beertje, not too far from the square.
As far as Ghent, De Trollenkelder and Dulle Griet each feature over 300 beers in old, characteristic buildings. Dulle Griet will be more touristy while De Trollenkelder usually features more of the 20 something crowd, though any age will feel welcome. You will notice that many beer bars feature 100 or more varieties of beer by way of bottles, however, you have to search very thoroughly to find beer bars that feature dozens of craft beers on tap, which is more common in the US (and Netherlands). Dock Brewing is relatively new in Ghent and will usually have 20 to 30 tap offerings of their beer. Last, Gruut Brewing is an interesting brewery, good service with unique beers. They don’t use hops with their beers, choosing herbs instead of hops for bittering and flavors.
brown ale and definitely not lager is not what Belgium is known for
brown ale and lager is not what Belgium is known for
Partially true. You likely will not find any craft lagers, however, Belgium is very much known for brown ales (see bruin, Dubbel, brune or “8” on the labels). Belgian Browns run the gamut from strong dubbel style beers coming in at 8-10% abv to sour ambers and everything in between.
You seem like a nice gent, so I'm going to do you a favor: I'm going to take you to the mountaintop.
You're going to travel to Ghent. You're going to travel to Ghent and find your way to Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant. It's right across the bridge from that big castle thingy. On your way to Het Waterhuis you will pass a Jenever shop. You may be tempted to stop there, but you have more important drinking to attended to -- MUCH more important.
Enter the Waterhuis. Take in the atmosphere for a moment. Find a seat and settle in. See all those beers up on the chalkboard? They're all very good beers. Any would be a damned fine tipple anywhere else in the world, but you've come to this town and this bar for a very specific reason: you're after the best, and you're almost there.
Ask the bartender for the "menu". When you're handed that leather-bound tome, take a moment to leaf through it. Gaze in admiration at the selection presented to you, then turn to the page that lists the beers "for serious beer lovers only."
You have arrived. You're standing on the precipice. There's three beers listed on that page and good things always come in threes: The Holy Trinity; The Three Wise Men; Moe, Larry and Curly -- but there can be only one GREATEST, and you're about to order it.
Summon the bartender now. It's time. You're ready. Clear your throat, and in a steady, confident voice ask for . . .
Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux.
When the bottle is presented to you, smile knowingly. As the cork is pulled, play it cool. You're a pro. You haven't ordered this beer by mistake or on a whim. You're seconds away from Beer Valhalla.
The pour will be perfect. The glass specially crafted to cradle this beer and this beer alone. As the bartender steps back and smiles at you, presenting you the the alpha and omega of all things brewed, it will be your time to shine. Gently lift that goblet and peer at the golden ale contained within. Inhale the yeasty, grassy aroma. Study the bottle and nod your approval.
It's time to drink now.
Close your eyes, purse your lips, and take that first sip. I won't spoil the experience for you with tasting notes. I can no more describe the magic of Avec les Bons Voeux than I can describe the joy of your first kiss, or the explosive relief of only blowing a .07. These things must be experienced and savored.
You've crossed the threshold. From this point forward, all other beers will be just ok -- perhaps some will even rise to the level of "it's not bad..." -- but none will ever be Avec les Bons Voeux. You've reached the mountaintop. You've tasted the Apex of Ales and when brave men boast of their mightiest deeds, you'll scoff and say, "Let me tell you about this one time in Ghent..." and their awe will be all yours.
You are very welcome, Sir. Good travels to you.
Classic prior post by Mike, however, as per my initial post on this thread, it is very subjective as to what is the best tasting beer. It appears Mike Beebe loves Avec les Bons Voeux more than his family and friends, yet, Avec les Bons Voeux is rated as the 1,907th best beer in the world by Beer Advocate. Personally, my wife and I have both been accused of having an affair with Viven Imperial IPA, yet, our favorite beer in Belgium comes in as the 8,081st best beer in the world. If you follow Mike’s advice to head to Het Waterhuis (I also recommend), please try both and circle back to this post (and Beer Advocate) and comment, as I have high hopes my Viven IIPA cracks the Top 8,000 in 2020.
(PS: Do not follow Mike’s advice to pass right on by the adjacent Jenevier bar (Pol), it is a fun little place.)
Thanks to all for your helpful information.