03 April 2016

Brussels Beer Bars & Cafes

Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent have their own advocates as Belgian beer destinations but one big advantage that Brussels has for visitors from Britain is that it is a Eurostar destination and therefore easily reached by train.
Look out for the Tintin mural inside Brussels Gare du Midi on arrival. The alternative name for the station is Brussel Zuid and it lies south of central Brussels.

Moeder Lambic Fontainas

A good place to stop for a beer if you are heading to central Brussels is the second location for Moeder Lambic at Fontainasplein 8, just beyond Anneessens metro station.
Moeder Lambic Fontainas
Inside the bar is a central passageway with fixed seats and tables on each side. This leads to a long bar and a raised area with extra seating at the back.
The layout of the seating areas is symmetrical with a small wooden chair at the passageway end of each table. The bench seat backs match the polished concrete of the floor but they are made from grey painted plywood. A vertical flat panel on the exposed brick wall end of each table conceals lighting fixtures.
Saison de Dottignies - Brouwerij De Ranke
A waiter will take your beer order and return with the beer in the correct glassware and a small glass dish of roasted barley grains. Each table has a menu listing draught and bottled beers.
There is also a portable blackboard with details of additional beers currently available which the waiter can bring to your table. With up to 46 beers on tap, impressive interior design and good service, this is one of many Brussels beer bars worth a visit.


Poechenellekelder lies only 200 metres away and the pedestrian streets of Rue du Marche au Charbon and Rue des Grands Carmes (via Manneken Pis) lead to this establishment at 5 Rue du Chene, named after its puppets. If you arrive on a quiet day outside the tourist season, a waiter may be able to find you a table in the richly ornamented main room.

The beer menu is split by style and I chose a Blanche Troublette which was expertly poured by the waiter at the table. A small glass dish of complimentary savoury snacks is brought with the beer.
The limited food menu includes an excellent and substantial lasagne with a cheesy topping served on individual ovenproof dishes.
Lasagne at Poechenellekelder
A look around the cosy bar reveals a display of oak barrels and enamel signs next to the stairs to the lower room. Apart from puppets hanging from the ceiling a large puppet is also seated at one of the tables at the top of the stairs.
Poechenellekelder was featured by Jeff Evans as the Inside Beer Pub / Bar of the month in December 2012. This Inside Beer post can still be found in the useful Pub of the Month archive.

Booze 'n' Blues

For a late night drink and a change of scene, Booze 'n' Blues, south of the main Sant Gery area, at the junction of Rue des Riches Claires and Rue de la Grande Isle, also lies about 200 metres from Moeder Lambic Fontainas.
The lovely old Rock-Ola jukebox may be playing vinyl singles or else there will be good music from a sound system. The blackboard behind the bar lists the beers available.
Brasserie de la Senne - Brussels Calling
This is a good bar to find a selection of beers brewed in Brussels by Brasserie de la Senne like Brussels Calling (pale ale) or Zinnebir (6% ABV 'Brussels' People Ale').
Brasserie de la Senne - Xmas Zinnebir
The bar is adorned with old photos, posters and ornaments. If you visit the bar on a Tuesday you may find space to sit at the bar and enjoy prompt service but the midnight closing time may be earlier than at the weekend.

Most of the photos in this post were taken on Tuesday 15 March 2016 when the three bars were visited by Tim Thomas and Simon Grist. 

An interactive map has been created for this Brussels visit - the three bars in this post are shown with green markers on the map below. The map shown below has been made available for sharing www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zcSqbrcXaX-0.k2ohZyVJtR_U&usp=sharing


  1. Oh, I'd love to see that Tintin mural! I haven't been to Brussels yet and have only been to Bruges in Belgian but your post has made me realise that I'd love it as much I love Paris! And Belgians sure know their beer!!

  2. Thanks for comment. There are lots of Tintin murals in Brussels and a Tintin museum! Brussels is definitely good for beer and interesting bars. It was nice to travel with Simon who knows Brussels well after breaking journeys there on numerous trips to Antwerp - involving beer! Now I need to visit Antwerp & Ghent!

    1. More Tintin murals and a museum?? Sold!!! I might just take my mum.

  3. Fantastic Review, can't wait to check these out this weekend and drink some great local beers!