We had a good time there. We emerged from the tunnel into bright sunlight and that's the way it stayed until it got dark. I almost entirely stuck to gueuze and enjoyed particularly two of the pubs recommended by John Clarke. Poechenellekelder was a late visit and was bustling and cheerful, with great staff and a well chosen list. Pricey and smoky though. We both loved Fleur en Papier Dore where we had our first drink. A protected interior of astonishing variety, once the haunt of the impressionist school and the originator of Tintin, we were lucky enough to have the owner come over to explain its history. Absolutely delightful and no smoking too. A find and to me, Girardin Gueuze was my beer of the day, though I did enjoy all the ones I tried, with De Cam, Cantillon and Oud Beersel just being pipped by the Girardin.
We also called into the new Oude Moeder Lambic which is very impressive,friendly and modern, though I think that they could do something better in presenting their beer list, as it isn't really clear what beers are on handpump - six of them - and what ones by, I assume, CO2. You'd also have to have waist size under 36" to sit comfortably at the tables. Even skinny Belgians were looking rather squashed. Thanks for that one Laurent, but you and I would have to sit at the bar!
Great pubs, a great place and lovely weather. The obligatory leisurely moules and frites lunch plus E buying the obligatory chocolates, completed a good day. We walked back to the badly signposted station, but were thwarted in our intention to have a last beer in Le Laboureur, a beery outpost in this very North African area of the city, but it looks not only closed, but permanently so. We found a nondescript bar and a Duvel completed the day. I'd almost forgotten what I lovely beer this is, but it really is top class.
Brussels is a great day out with smashing pubs, it is easily and enjoyably walkable, has great food and lots of shops to gaze into. It isn't cheap with a gueuze usually about €5.50 - €6, but then again, these are sipping not swigging beers.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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