Taps: 8 / Bottles: 600
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by dstc:
4.5/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I think everyone has covered this place rather well but I'll still give my two cents.
Stopped in on a weekday, early afternoon. Place was empty save the owner sitting at a table reading a large stack of newspapers. His wife appeared from behind the bar and handed me the menu. Yep, awesome selection. Tried an '82 Chimay, too old, did not care for it. Had a 10 year old Corsendonk Christmas that was excellent. Way too may items on the list to choose from and wish I had more time. I must figure out a way to visit again and spend the day.
12-11-2009 15:47:49 | More by dstc
More User Reviews:
3.68/5 rDev -20%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | $$$
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.
01-22-2014 23:29:12 | More by GJ40
4.62/5 rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | $$
A-The Kulminator is located near central Antwerp on a lesser traveled street not far from one of the city's smaller squares. The place is a bit like something out of Harry Potter; it is cramped feeling with boxes and books stacked up here and there, plants spilling over everywhere, and a slightly off-kilter feel to the whole thing. The front room is small, and while there is a back patio, it looks small, as well. The vibe seems to work, however...at least it did when we visited on a cool Wednesday afternoon soon after opening. I don't know if I would be too pleased on a hot and crowded day in July.
Q-The bottle list here is simply incredible. I'll repeat what others have already said: the bottle list has to been seen and sampled to be believed. I suppose you might disappointed if you were looking for American craft, but the list of high-quality Belgians is unreal.
Ser-Dirk (Derk?) and his wife were working when we stopped in. While both were friendly and (obviously) knowledgeable, Dirk forgot to get my Aardmonik from the cellar after I had ordered, so I sat there for ten minutes enjoying the strangeness of my surroundings and longing for my beer.
Sel-The bottle list pretty much speaks for itself. It is at least a dozen pages long. Unreal.
V-Prices were in line with other spots in Antwerpen. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but many of the vintage brews on the list that I spot-checked also seemed well-priced given the age and rarity.
O-This place is well worth the visit, and not just for the bottle list, but for the whole experience. There are not many authentic-feeling places like this on earth and since I understand that Dirk may be retiring soon, you better make your visit quickly if you want to experience the Kulminator in full glory.
05-30-2013 02:44:32 | More by spoony
4.6/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
After a day with a medieval castle and a canal tour in Ghent, we headed to Antwerp to spend the night and drink at the Kulminator, a world class bar with free roam cats--perfect. Or, so we thought. Easy walk from our hotel in the historic heart of Antwerp, which was terribly confusing to drive. I would take a train next time. Entering the bar, it may be the highest density of beer I've ever seen. Taking a seat in the back patio, it was hard to decide what to drink. Just so many beers to chose from that it can be paralyzing.
So I started in familiar territory and ordered a La Trappe Quadruple. This 1995 bottle was poured hard at the table without a decant. Small bottle. Head falls flat quickly and there was only the faintest pop on the cap. Dusty, dirty bottle with a label style that I haven't seen before. Musty, oxidized cherry and port like flavors. The normal oiliness and full flavor has dissipated. Lighter bodied, as if the yeast had thinned it out. Alcohol not apparent either. Interesting but I won't let quad bottles at home go this long.
Then, so I could justify being at the Kulminator, I ordered an Evolution of Chimay bottles: 1992. 2002 and 2012. Very fun side by side tasting, including the oldest aged beer that I've ever had at a 20 year old Chimay. The young Chimay is fresh, but the better than adequate beer that I've always thought it to be. It doesn't match up La Trappe for me. The 10 year version is showing some signs of age with clear cherry and port notes from oxidation and the alcohol is apparent in the nose. The 20 year old is very flat though a small head appeared briefly on the hard pour and the oxidation of the 10 year old is in full bloom in the 20. Comparing similarly aged bottles really made the differences from the cellar clear and apparent; it pulled together years of tastings from my own cellar. On a learning level, very worth the trip. It's an extraordinary experience without having to wait for 20 years in my own cellar.
Kulminator in a fine place with an amazing list. However, I will never return during the summer, particularly to avoid the gnats lurking the plants and the uncomfortable lack of air conditioning. The bar is hot and the beer served at room temperature, which affects the aging process. Today is clearly beyond any recommended temperature for aging. I'm not sure where the bottles are coming from but it seems to be just from the shelf; the bottles are clearly room temp on sweltering day. And, no kittens for most of the stop. They made a late appearance and were not very friendly.
Returning to our hotel the Hilton Antwerp, the AC was not keeping up, so we moved to a colder room. While walking, the desk clerk said it was the hottest weekend since 1994. Talk about hitting a bad day at an open air beer bar. With a beer geek dream of a cellar, I see why it's so revered but it's not my favorite bar. I would happily prefer a day at 't Arendsnest in Amsterdam, the former Brickskeller in DC or Rattle-n-Hum in New York. Another day, another time, especially in winter, I would like to give the famous K another try.
More at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/03/kulminator-antwerp-belgium.html
05-19-2013 19:29:02 | More by FightingEntropy
Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium
100 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.