14 April 2016

Brussels Beer Project and Café Walvis

From the centre of Brussels or Place Saint-Géry, find Rue Antoine Dansaert and head north west to find Brussels Beer Project and Café Walvis just before reaching the canal and the Molenbeek neighbourhood beyond.
Place Saint-Géry
Although less than half a mile from Place Saint-Géry and Place de la Bourse, you will notice the change in style from smart bars and exclusive fashion shops towards unimpressive fast food outlets as you head towards Molenbeek.

Café Walvis

On Thursday 17 March 2016, we stopped for lunch and a beer at Café Walvis after noticing the colourful Brussels Beer Project posters in the windows. 
Inside the cafe / bar has an airy feel from windows on both sides. There are tables by the windows and bar stools provide seating at the angled central bar counter. Some good indie music was playing on the sound system including Herman Dune. This may reflect the fact that regular DJ and live music events are held here.
I chose Vedett Extra White, brewed by Duvel Moortgat, from a choice of six draught beers that also included La Chouffe and De Koninck.
A waitress took our lunch order for soup of the day and a portion of cheese which would be served wrapped in striped paper. The vegetable soup (of the day) was served in large bowls with bread and butter and was good value.
With the advantage of a situation near Porte de Flandre tram (#51) stop and opposite Brussels Beer Project, Café Walvis is well worth a visit.

Brussels Beer Project


It was now after 2pm and across the street at 188 Rue Antoine Dansaert, Brussels Beer Project had opened.

The limited opening hours are shown in the window.
A multi level stainless steel bar is the first thing you notice on entry. The beer fonts are located behind the bar counter. Further inside the building is the tasting room and brewery.
Between the bar and the tasting room a boldly decorated area states 'We are who we are' and provides background material on the Project.
 The list of draught and bottled beers is projected onto a wall at the end of the bar.
To start, I ordered two 12.5 cl glasses of Grosse Bertha and I like it Bitter costing 1.6 & 1.9 euros respectively and we found a table in the tasting room. Glasses on the table had malted barley grains and hop pellets.
Grosse Bertha, a 7% ABV Belgian Hefeweizen was my favourite beer here and I would later buy two bottles to take home (at a bargain price).
My slightly lower score on Untappd for I like it Bitter, a 8.1% ABV Double IPA probably reflects that I don't like it very bitter (70 IBU)!
It was great to be drinking good beers at the source and to have a chance to see the brewery itself. There was a lively atmosphere as we had turned up during a visit to the brewery by a group from Goose Island Beer Company of Chicago on a 'Migration Week' tour of Europe.
The founders of Brussels Beer Project, who raised finance by crowdfunding, Olivier de Brauwere and Sébastien Morvan as well as the head brewer, Yves Leboeuf, were all on hand to answer questions.
Simon and I kept out of everyone's way and enjoyed our beers from a table at the far end of the spacious and stylish tasting room which also has storage for crates of bottled beer and room for parking bikes!
For our next beers, Simon and I shared bottles of Smells like Hops Spirit, a hoppy session beer, and Princess Jasmine, and Oriental Witbier, but found these 'Limited Edition' beers less impressive than the draught beers we had enjoyed previously. The unusual styles and titles reflect one of the project's taglines 'Leave the Abbey, Join the Playground!'.
Head Brewer - Yves Leboeuf
Before leaving, I was able to have a quick chat with Yves and give him a copy of Ullage, the West Berkshire CAMRA magazine which I edit.
Now it was time to leave and catch a tram to Brussels Midi station in time for our Eurostar train to London St Pancras International.

Brussels Beer Project - Brewery and Taproom
Rue Antoine Dansaert, 188
1000 Brussels
Website: www.beerproject.be

Taproom Open

NB Check details above in case of changes after publication (April 2016).

Café Walvis
Rue Antoine Dansaert, 209
1000 Brussels
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cafewalvis 

Brussels Map
Brussels Beer Project is the orange marker in the top left of the map above. 
Map link for an interactive map with notes and photos that can be displayed by clicking on the markers:  www.google.com/maps

No comments:

Post a Comment