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Kulminator

Not Rated.
KulminatorKulminator
BA SCORE
100
world-class

99 Reviews
Reviews: 99
Visits: 121
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: 600
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

Vleminckveld 32
Antwerpen, 2000
Belgium
phone: +32 3 232 45 38

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Known for their vast selection of cellared beers.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 99 | Visits: 121
Reviews by dauss:
Photo of dauss
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

So this was the best beer bar in Antwerpen according to BA, and it did not dissapoint. I was there on a monday, it was 7pm and the doors were closed. I was really heart broken, but I found out later that the doors opened at 8pm, and I was there. The owners, Dirk and Leen were there, just sitting behind the bar.

It wasn't quite what I had expected when I walked in. On the left was the bar, and on the right were no more than 5 big tables which would all sit at least 5. The back of the Kulminator had a couple small tables and chairs, but it was raining. After walking around the back some more, there were dozens of kegs just lying around. Nearing the end of the concrete "porch" there was a good 8 foot drop off. Hundreds of cases are lined along the right side of the wall, and they were covered in a tarp. I'm not quite sure if the cases were full or empty, but it was quite unaccessible.

The interior is beer. All beer everywhere. Cases of cases of beer stacked nearly to the ceiling. Behind the bar was hundreds of different beers and glassware was everywhere. It was an unbelievable sight. I had heard of their 20,000 beer cellar, and I had asked to see it, and was denied. Only a small glimpse can be seen through a window on the path to the restroom. A small tag under the window says what I assume is that they keep the cellar at 11C-13C at all times. It was a very cozy little place.

So the menu came, it was a few dozen pages and included the food menu. The food isn't like a restaurant or bar back in the US, but just a small selection of cheeses and meats. I had wondered if they had a platter of a variety of cheese, but they didn't. In the end I had ordered a spicy sausage, and a "traditional" belgian meat dish, or so did Leen say. The sausage was presented on a mini cutting board with a knife. The other meat dish was cubed, and looked something like "headcheese". Bits of pork thrown into a bowl and set in gelatin, with a sprinking of fresh herbs on top. Utensils, just some toothpicks.

The menu was vast. A claimed 941 different beers were there(if you count different vintages of the same beer as different), including 8 on tap that rotated. They had some very fine offerings. While I was there I had a 1996 Saison de Silly, 2000 Oude Gueuze Boon Mariage Parfait, and a 2002 Abbaye de Rocs. Unbelievable were the prices. Some things were a steal, considering on how old they are. They seem to tout Chimay, and have vintages spanning back to the mid 80's. All the Trappist beers were here, as were a lot of abdijbier. this was incredible. All the beers I had were cellar temp except for the Abbaye de Rocs, and the ones that were corked came in a basket to help decant off the yeast.

The service was good, but you had to call them over if your beer ran out. They weren't that attentive, just sitting behind the bar, but there was only 8 people in the entire place. It was unreal, so be sitting so close to an incredible beer cellar. It was very quiet, Dirk and Leen just sat there without saying a word, while the only background noise is a cuckoo clock and classical music.

Would I ever come back? Absolutely. If I ever visit Belgium again, I guarantee I will. (3,205 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Ryanthebear
4.76/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

The general vibe of this place might best be described as a small-ish hole in the wall beer hoarder's den that happens to have the most mind-blowing selection of Belgian beer you will ever lay eyes on. Among the beer paraphernalia, random stacks of books, dried plants, and scattered tables, the elderly couple who own the place serve up beer selections you probably didn't know you could ever experience. I found the atmosphere charming, so I gave it a great score for vibe. The selection is a two-inch-thick tome of fresh and cellared beer. The only downside is that there are, as far as I can tell, only two people working there. So, if it is crowded, you might wait awhile for a beer.

I enjoyed a side-by-side comparison of a 2005 Chimay and 2015 Chimay. I couldn't help but grin as the dusty 2005 bottle was nonchalantly brought out to me as if it wasn't the second or third craziest thing I had ever seen. It was definitely an interesting experience and well worth the 10 euros spent on the two beers combined. I would have loved to have been able to see the beer cellar there. It must be an incredible place. (1,123 characters)

Photo of mklisz
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of phingdong
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of herrburgess
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Sixpoint
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of AntonFred
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Hayley_86
4.39/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.6/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

February 21, 2008
Minimal draught selection. Traded Dyrk a local American beer for vintage draught beer. Very impressive cellar selection. Best beer tried was a 2001 vintage bottle of Westvleteren XII (Perfection). (214 characters)

Photo of muratgurer
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of PolarBear3
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of CSO
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of cbnz
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Very small place. Two dozen seats maybe. Difficult to find a spot. Service is slow. Off the beaten path from downtown Antwerp.

Having said that, it's one of the most awesome places I have visited, and I'll wager it's as good as any place on the planet. This is an old world adventure, and I advise setting aside two hours to soak it in---three would be better. Relax, browse the menu of unbelievable selections (several hundred), and consider the privilege of existence---drinking a 5, 10, or 15 year old beverage in one of the ancient cities of Europe.

I so hope to return to this place someday. (599 characters)

Photo of rpacheco666
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BMMillsy
4.39/5  rDev -4.6%

Stopped in my first night in Antwerp and this was not what I was expecting. I was thinking this would be like Falling Rock in Denver. Think the exact opposite of that. Tiny little place with shit piled everywhere, even on what would otherwise be seating for customers. Empty bottles all over the place, some semi-outside seating, a bit dirty. Charming I guess you would say. Cats running around all over. Beer list is huge, with a window into the cooler/cellar which was fun. Had a 2005 Stille Nacht Special Reserva so can’t complain. Service was fine with an older lady taking care of us. Prices were decent for smaller bottles, but jacked up for big ones. Overall seems like a must stop for any beer geek in Antwerp. (720 characters)

Photo of kingjohnh
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Was here a few years back, but absolutely so unique. Not impressive on the outside and a bit out of the way in Antwerp, but when you get in they hit you with a beer listing that is hard to comprehend. I ordered some cellar bottles that were hard to find....I had very old Trappist Ale. So unique....if you love beer you absolutely have to go here (346 characters)

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This is not an average beer bar, this is an experience.
Cluttered, dodgy and dirty. I liked it a lot.

Didn't try the vintage beers but stuck with some aweome beers (like Mikkeller Black) they had on tap.

Service is different. Not bad or anything but different as others have explained here as well.

When in Antwerp you just got to go here just because it is what it is. (372 characters)

Photo of s4s
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DStoked
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Paulkasykes30
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of GJ40
3.68/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

I went here with high expectations but I was pretty disappointed. I started with the bottle list but didn't find anything I had to have that I felt was worth the money. I then moved to the tap list and didn't really recognize anything. So I picked two for a friend and I to split. They were pretty bad. I don't know if it was the beer themselves or their age, condition, etc. I wasn't impressed with the atmosphere but the service was very good. I just don't get what so many people see in this place. (501 characters)

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Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium
100 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.