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Brouwerij Het Anker

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

16 Ratings
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 6.73%
Active Beers: 21
Beer Ratings: 5,274
Beer Avg: 3.77
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Store ]

Guido Gezellelaan 49
Mechelen, 2800
Belgium
phone: +32 (0)15 20 38 80

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dirtylou
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%

We stopped through Mechelen on our way out of Brussels to tour the brewery and take a quick peak at the town. It's really an easy drive - only about 15 minutes from the airport.

The brewery, which dates back to the 15th century, emerges out of the quiet and uber-quaint streets of old Mechelen.

The tour was primarily in Dutch with abbreviated english translations afterwards upon request. Fairly standard tour, but it was cool to see their retired spontaneous fermentation equipment on the roof. They've also begun distilling their own whiskey and seeing (and smelling) the barrels was a nice touch. The tour ends with a few samples - the classic and the tripel.

There's a small store and a cafe featuring their beers as well. The Het Anker "campus" was a cool thing to see - definitely worth checking out.

dirtylou, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of wl0307
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

(Review from notes)
I visited this brewery and the adjacent cafe during my three-month fieldwork in Belgium last year. Hardly a natural choice for a one-day trip from Leuven, I went there only because a female teacher I met in Leuven had a lively row with her colleague from Ghent about which city is grander and has more culture to offer... Well I might as well visit both, I assured them. The brewery-tour turned out a plus, a huge plus, to the nice Gothic Cathedral apart from otherwise a pretty much run-down place as Mechelen looked like upon my visit esp. on a typically gloomy spring day...

The brewery's cafe, where I was supposed to meet the guide for a guided tour, was almost empty when I was there, around 11am. The food menu looked decent, full of mouth-watering beer-cuisines, but I didn't have time to try any. Having tried on tap a small Blusser (a "pils", which I take as a normal lager in retropect) and a small Ambrio (amber beer lacking depth but quite flavoursome), a group of people arrived along with the brewery guide, a middle-aged beery man. He explained to me that even I was to be the only one in the group not speaking Dutch/Flemish, as the group of people were all from across the border, the Netherlands, he would make sure to explain everything important to me in English and answer all my questions. Fair enough.

The guided tour turned out fantastic, esp. given kind help from the guide and translation by some ultra-friendly Dutch young people in the group. The old brewery's interior was a bit rough and dusty, esp. for a working brewery, but the open-top square cooling tun on the roof of the building, a living witness to its past glory, was a real hit, which made their Goulden Carolus classic so different from other strong brown ales in the past, but not in use anymore as forbidden by law since 198?-- and I wonder if the beer today still bears any resemblance to the once famous brew until being disallowed to attract wild micro-organism overnight in the open air, and maybe to the rich culture of the glorious days when good King Charles was educated in Mechelen... Good view over the city of Mechelen from the roof, though, with the Cathedral easily spotted in sight.

After the tour I had two drinks on tap (Classic and Tripel) standing at the bar, alongside the nice bloke guide, who gave me more info. about brewing history in Mechelen, so as to make up for all the things "lost in (lack-of) translation". He was also a voluntary city tour guide, so very knowledgeable about almost everything in the area. What appealed to me most was his easy-going attitude, showing respect for all beer-cultures not just restricted to great Belgian beers, as when I talked about British ales his reaction was not the slightest similar to so many Belgian-snobs I met who didn't even care to try or attempt to understand anything about other beer cultures "so inferior to their beer universe" ("is that 4%abv watery stuff you call beer?", I was once confronted as such). This man is open-minded and passionate about all things about beers, and the lively conversation made my visit to this brewery all the more pleasant and worthwhile. For one, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to Het Anker on my next visit to Belgium, for a good conversation, good rounds of nice fresh brews, and certainly to try their seemingly delicious beer cuisines...

wl0307, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%

This is an interesting place because it has a hotel on premise and a really nice cafe. I did a tour of the place and I never know they made a single malt whisky. I did not get to try it but I know what I will be looking for. Just a heads up, lots of stairs. A really nice old tasting room across from the cafe and a newer and more modern bar and restaurant. I did not see the hotel, you can see the owners' home right on the brewery grounds. I had some nice pork and, surprise, fries. Tasty and really nice service, but I can't mad at anyone that brings me a Gouden Carolus triple.

OWSLEY069, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +16%

WynnO, Friday at 01:44 PM
Photo of Crosling
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

I not only sampled beer in the sampling cafe but I also was lucky enough to arrange a personal guided tour of the brewery for myself. This is the oldest working brewery in Belgium. They claim that the brewery has been in operation since at least 1369 and they showed me the document that proves it. Throughout the tour I was shown ancient bottling and kegging equipment, old sampling cafes, meeting rooms and the beautiful copper brewhouse that was built after WW2. The tour lasted about an hour and I was shown everything in the brewery, well, except the bottling line, which oddly enough, never seems to be shown on any brewery tour in Belgium . I was then taking on the roof of the brewery where I was shown the old cooling tun which was replaced by a papaflow in the early 1990's. The brewery used to be the tallest building in Mechelen so their was a phenomenal view of the bequinage and the rest of the inner city from the roof. It truly is a beautiful brewery.

I was then taken into the cafe where I was spoiled with traditional Flemish cuisine and degustation of three of the Gouden Carolus products. The meal was truly divine. I was served a plateful of Fried mashed potatoes accompanied by a dish of very tender aged meet cooked in Gouden Carolus Classic and topped with a delicious sauce. I should have written down the name of the dish but I was busy talking and drinking beer. The three beers I was tasted on were the Ambrio, Classic and Triple. They were in great shape and tasted excellent. Everything was complimentary, ofcourse! :)

In my opinion, Het Anker is one of the best breweries in Belgium and touring the brewery was a dream come true. I hope to be back someday.

Crosling, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

RusImpStoLuv, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of texashammer
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%

My father and I stayed at this brewery's hotel and ate at their restaurant.

The hotel was better accomodations than we expected and very warm in winter. Restaurant was very busy on a Friday night, obviously locals from the town of Mechelen -- always a good sign. However, many were drinking wine with their meals. Strange? Known for their good food. We were pleased to drink good, very fresh draft beer with food that paired well with it. The beer itself (I drank Gouden Carolus Tripel, my father drank the Classic) was not really remarkable but good quality and very fresh.

We shared an appetizer of fresh and sundried tomatoes, fresh mozzerella, salad with very good brown bread. It was larger than we expected, with good fresh ingredients -- very good. We both had dishes involving koekoek: a local variety of chicken. His was in a savory sauce involving mushrooms and bacon; mine was prepared with more wonderfully fresh vegetables, lightly cooked, like broccoli, carrot, endive, green beans, and sprouts, with a rich (cheesy?) sauce made from the Tripel. Frites were a disappointment.

Service was very professional and courteous. We felt that the food was some of the best to be had. Beer was good and fresh. Worth a trip.

texashammer, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of wbthink
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%

This Het Anker cafe "brew-pub" is located off the Mechelen markt area, along the canal. It is an old building with high ceilings, and wood decor. One feature is the anchor inside the bar. The actual brewery is next door. I sampled three draft biers:
Bruynen Anker, a 6% bruin, that is amber in color, with caramel flavors, and a sweet finish. Tripel Carolus, a spicey, dry, 9% Golden Tripel with a hugh head. And finally, Gulden Carolus, a dark amber strong ale at 7.5%, with lots of malty, licorice flavors, and a big sweet finish. An interesting spot to break for draft Anker products in very good condition.

wbthink, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of beerpirates
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%

Beautiful old cafe, actually the whole brewery is pretty impressive. Classic stuff. The brewery’s whole range is available which certainly is impressive, though on my visit the beers were served disturbingly cold. I can’t think of a single other serious beer place in Belgium which has done that. Weird.
Food was really good , orderd flemish " stoofvlees " with golden carolus classic , realy nice , with a nice salad and home made fries , my wife had a steak with mushrooms and a salad , also realy good !
The new brasserie is very nice , very well done ,looking forward to my next visit , all there beers are availeble for take away , wich is good , they also have several nice brewery tours with guide .
This is one , i've not the oldest brewery in Belgium that is stil active !

beerpirates, May 04, 2011
Photo of TWStandley
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

TWStandley, Aug 27, 2014
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Brouwerij Het Anker in Mechelen, Belgium
94 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.