Uneventful journey, first time on Eurostar, spacious apartment and all that, but… the point in being in Brussels was to sample the beer – so we wasted no time getting started.
A meandering stroll from our apartment found us in the main square surrounded by stunning gilded buildings – the perfect place for our first beer as we enjoyed the last rays of the day’s sunshine.
I opted for Quack simply because I liked the glass – the beer here is served in fantastic glasses with each brand having its own unique style, I like it.
Next bar was down a dark alleyway (I have no idea what it was called) and had the most amazing stained glass windows and a real cosy atmosphere. Here I opted for a Corsendonk.
From here we moved on to the famous Delirium, a bar famous for its huge selection of beers but oft criticized by beer coinsures because of its popularity with youngsters drinking ‘dull crap’ – in the words of the Brussels good beer guide. My first beer in here was an apple flavoured number, picked simply because it had the lowest ABV on the menu. Andy opted for a scarily green nettle beer.
Following a quick fag break we moved upstairs to the hop loft, roomier and with less young people and where Ben and Paul already had a couple of beers on the go, one a honeyed beer which tasted, to my untrained pallet, like liquid honey.
Ben wanted to introduce us to the kind of beer we might find tomorrow at Cantillon and picked out Lief and Leed. Which I’m afraid Andy, Paul and I have agreed tasted like vinegar. Although Ben assured us is just Tart!
Next I opted for a Hoppin’ Frog Cafe Silk Porter, which is an American beer, but anything to get rid of the taste of vinegar! The Hoppin’ Frog had a lovely coffee aroma and was probably my favourite beer of the evening apart from the Kwak.
By now it was approaching midnight and we were all in need of food, but there was a major shortage of traditional food on offer. We ended up with some delicious chips from a place boasting Frites with a choice of more than 50 sauces. Adventurous we were not, chips and mayonnaise it was!
Ben was still keen for more beer so was wandered back to Delierium to check out the basement, but by now the youngsters were out in force and it was stuffy and rammed, so we left and dived into a bar two doors down where Paul was let loose at the bar and returned with standard larger – by now that was a welcome change from the funky ‘interesting’ tipples we’d been sampling. Then we finished the night with a Orval.