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Not Rated.

100 Reviews
Reviews: 100
Visits: 123
Avg: 4.61
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: 600
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Known for their vast selection of cellared beers.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 100 | Visits: 123
Reviews by taez555:
Photo of taez555
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I made my first visit to the Kulminator on my honeymoon. You know you’ve picked the right girl when she’s willing to spend an entire day of your honeymoon taking a 4-hour round trip train ride to Belgium from Amsterdam just to visit a bar.

First off, I highly recommend getting yourself a map to try and find this place. It’s only about a 15 walk from the train station, but it’s not exactly on any main roads. Once you get your barrings it’s easy to find. You can’t miss the huge green and yellow KULMINATOR sign outside.

The interior is not what I expected. You walk in off the street to this small little place that you’re not quite sure is an old kitchen, bar or overgrown patio. A very worn rustic feel. Faux trees and leaves intermixed with brewerania cover the walls. Cabinets and chairs are so worn you feel like you’re in your grandparents house. As you walk in, on the left, there’s a small cluttered slightly curved bar that seats maybe a half dozen. A group of tables seating about 20 is to the right. Up a small set of stairs is another seating area with 2 tables. This area sits maybe 5-10 people and is next to a glass door looking out onto a small garden. Behind the very cluttered bar is a wall of beer. Past the top floor towards the bathrooms there’s a clear glass window that you can see more of the cellared bottles. Combine all that with the soft classical music in the background, it’s really quite something.

So, how’s the beer selection? Let’s just say this isn’t the most famous beer bar in the world for nothing. The beer menu is a small phone book sized binder. It started at 1 and goes up to 836. Minus the few food items and non-alcoholic offerings it’s well over 700 beers. Every Belgian beer you could imagine and then some. The crazy thing about this place is the amount of vintage beers. There were several pages of just Chimay. Pick a year over the past 20 years, they probably have it. All the beers were very reasonably priced as well. Most beers didn’t go over $4 Euro, the vintage ones $10 or so. Even the oldest magnums were no more than $20 or $40 Euro.

Food? Basically they have some cheese and meat. I ordered the Kulminator speciaal platter. I nice little assortment of smoked gouda, anchovies, olives, biscuits and a heaping pile of Spam style meat. It was decent and helped cut some of the alcohol, but my wife doesn’t eat meat and cheese doesn’t always agree with her. So, It worked for a little while, but it definitely leaves something to be desired.

The service IS Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyck. For the most part Mrs. Van Dyck waited on us. She was very polite even though there was a bit of a language barrier. After a few rounds she warmed up to us more. After seeing we were ordering more obscure beers, she suggested some interesting beers after they ran out of one we tried to order.

Basically the Kulminator was worth the 4 hours on the train. Sure we ended up hitting up someplace else for food after we left, but the rest more than made up for it. I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to go back to Belgium, but I will definitely try and make another trip here one day.

 3,165 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of halo3one
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of jtladner
3.94/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This is an interesting bar that is worth a visit if you are in the area. It's a very small place and when I was there one large table was covered completely in random stacks of books and papers. It's run by an older couple. From what I could tell the woman takes the orders and serves the beer while the man disgruntledly fetches bottles from the cellar. We couldn't actually understand what he was saying to the woman, but he never seemed very happy when she asked him to grab a beer. And from what I've heard, he has a bad knee and so some days he completely refuses to go down in the cellar.

The bottle list is definitely pretty impressive, but it really depends on what you are looking for. They have a ton of vintages for a lot of belgian beers, but not much when it comes to lambics. And I didn't see any Westy on the list when I was there either.

Like I said, worth checking out if you are in the area, but not worth the trip to Antwerp just for this.

 962 characters

Photo of Ryanthebear
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
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 -1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of phingdong
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of herrburgess
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Sixpoint
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of AntonFred
5/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Hayley_86
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
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 +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of PolarBear3
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of CSO
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cbnz
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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 +8.5%

Photo of BMMillsy
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%

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 -2.4%

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
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 -8.9%
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 -2.4%

Photo of DStoked
5/5  rDev +8.5%

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