Beer Travel – Brussels Part 1

Eureka, and happy New Year. I wish you all a prosper 2013. I would like to start with some experiences of my latest visit to Brussels, Belgium. The days after Christmas are always a good opportunity for me to visit an European city and luckily for me Brussels is only a 60 min flight away… (sorry guys). I have been in Brussels two times already and it was time for another one. The first part will cover some general information about Brussels, the second one some beer related information and the third one will be about a specific brewery based in Brussels. More about this particular brewery later on. The pictures in all the Brussels posts are courtesy of my brother

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Fig 1: Houses at the Grand Place with the Belgian brewers guild (the one with the horse on the top)

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Fig 2: Buildings of the European Commission complexes

Brussels as the capital of Belgium and chair of the European Commission (executive of the European Union) is not only worth a visit if you are interested in architecture (Fig 1 and 2) but also for beer or comics. Luckily for me I am evenly interested in beer and comics… The old city of Brussels is very beautiful and is definitely worth a visit (Fig 1).

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Fig 3: Atomium located in the North of Brussels

In 1958 Brussels hosted the world exhibition and built the well-known Atomium (Fig 3) which symbolizes an elementary cell of iron. Other town landmarks for Brussels are the fountain with the little boy releasing himself called Manneken Pis (Fig 4) or the Royal Palace (Fig 5).

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Fig 4: Manneken Pis

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Fig 5: Royal Palace in Brussels

I could go on and on… Brussels is such an interesting and vivid city. A lot of people speak English so no worries. In fact this is true for most of the European cities I visited so far. However, if you speak French it is much easier to speak to people in Belgium. The food was very good as well and the Belgian beers, well, are just incredible. But there are some mainstream beers (Lagers) in Belgium as well. So not every Belgian beer is great!

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Fig 6: Belgian Beer

I was very surprised how easy it is to get some very good beers in Brussels. The very first beer I had was from Rodenbach. Even a lot of souvenir shops sell a broad selection of Belgian beers (Fig 7) at a very low price: St. Bernardus Abt 12 in a 0.33 L bottle for 2.50 euros (roughly 3.3 USD)… or even Cantillon’s RosΓ© de Gambrinus for 5.5 euros (7.3 USD). And all the restaurants I visited had a broad selection of Belgian beers in their menu. To top it all, I bought myself a tax-free beer gift box at the airport. I do not remember another airport where they sell beer in the tax-free shops. Very cool!

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Fig 7: Belgian beer selection in a souvenir shop

I guess most of my readers are interested in beer related information about Brussels and the mysterious brewery we visited. The next post will be solely about beer bars, beer shops, beer museums…

Oh, if you ever go to Brussels pack an umbrella… Rain is very common here in Europe.

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7 thoughts on “Beer Travel – Brussels Part 1

  1. This needs a jealous button, not just a “Like” button! The travelling capabilities you have from there are simply amazing. Your jaw would hit the floor if you knew how it compared to accessibility from here.

    On my life “to-do” list is to make my trip to Brussels a 2-for-1.. #1 being the obvious, a beer tour that is the envy of the world. #2 to run the Brussels marathon, voted one of the most scenic marathon’s in the world. The marathon would probably need to happen at the start of the trip though, ha.

    • Running a marathon in Brussels must be quite exciting. I wonder what they give you to drink during the run… πŸ™‚ Maybe a nice Gueuze?

      Travelling in Europe is quite easy due to the relatively short distances. I don’t know how many great cities one could reach within a 1 h flight… Sure this is great and comes quite handy if you want to travel around Europe. Once you are here it is quite easy to get to the next city within a few hours. Not to mention what you pay for your flights: I payed around 65 USD for my bidirectional flight to Brussels… πŸ˜‰
      Cheers, Samuel

      • I am excited to run the marathon in Brussels…. whenever that is going to happen. Probably not until the kids get a bit older (and unfortunately, me too..). They actually do give a bottle of limited edition ?? Something ?? as part of the registration pack. I can’t remember what it is… but I recall it was interesting (of course).

        I’m familiar with the intra-Europe travel from personal experience.. it’s mind boggling how accessible everything is both in price AND availability. Your head would EXPLODE if you saw how expensive air travel is from here AND how narrow the options are. 65 wouldn’t even cover the fuel surcharge or taxes on any flight from my local airport.

        • Hi Sam,

          We haven’t talked in a long while πŸ™‚

          It’s finally real! I’m going to Brussels to run the marathon on October 4th 2015!! (sooner than I thought)

          I’m going to be doing a lot of research and have a lot of questions to make the most of my short trip. I’m arriving on Friday October 2 and leave on Thursday October 8th.

          I’m going to re-read your blog post, but I’d love to hear any extra tips/advice you have. Coming from Fredericton, it’s hard to find many people who have experience visiting Brussels + love beer too.

          • Hi Darryl,
            sorry for the late reply. Gradually work my way through the flood of emails.My biggest recommendations are for sure Cantillon & Moeder Lambic . Don’t go to the beer museum at the market place (brewers guilde). Total rip-off and not really interesting for brewers in my opinion. And most importantly, enjoy Brussels!

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