Taps: 5 / Bottles: 180
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
3.29/5 rDev -27.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I understand how bar culture and norms will differentiate between countries. What's acceptable in one place is certainly not in the other. That being said, we were pretty disappointed with De Kelk.
We set off for De Kelk after dinner, probably around 10pm on a Wednesday. I had high expectations going into this place based on previous reviews, however those were instantly destroyed upon walking into a bar that was absolutely full of smoke. It didn't help that the guy bartending (possibly the owner?) was ripping butts the entire time. We sat at the front of the room near the big window, but struggled to read the menu because it was so dark. Bad start.
Once we got our bearings on the beer menu, things turned a bit more positive, as there was an impressive variety of bottles to choose from. The heavy smoke made my Girardin Gueuze a little less enjoyable, but we stuck it out for another round. By then they had opened the doors and the bartender had stopped smoking - I could see how this might be a nice place to have a beer.
Maybe it was an off-night or this is the norm for De Kelk, but either way it (literally) left a bad taste in my mouth.
08-24-2011 16:03:55 | More by gdkersey
4.14/5 rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I visited this place shortly after it opened (at 5pm) on a recent cold Friday evening. To be honest, at first glance it looked a little forbidding as it had not "warmed up yet" and they had not lit the candles etc., that give it much atmosphere. But we were instantly greeted by Peter, the owner and he enthusiatically showed us 25 Christmas beers that he had just got in, and promised another 20 by the following week.
So we settled down, firstly with a Pater Lieven Kerstbier (2008), followed by a Dolle Brewers stout. That was certainly enough to drive the cold winter away. By this time the place had become much more lively. There was an excellent beer menu, and we had our most enjoyable evening of our 4 day Bruges visit.
After talking with the owner, he took me upstairs, where he showed me where they are creating a beer warehouse, that will hopefully open in May 2009. I wish them every success!
The only downside was that the toilets could do with some improving!
11-04-2008 15:28:50 | More by JohnfromDublin
4.2/5 rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Café De Kelk as it features nowadays is a very cosy brown café. Opens at 5pm every day, and closes around 4am at night.
Yes, one of those rare Bruges night cafés, and still offering a nice 200 beers ! Great, isn't it.
Mainly local people having a nightcap there. Rustic interior, old wooden ceiling.
Kind of Art Deco style really.
The place is mainly decorated with Champagne bottles. A truly fantastic collection, placed everywhere.
Nice - extreme big - clock hanging there on the wall. An eye catcher.
De Kelk is a great bar for good beers !
200 beers is the choice today - but this will raise to a stunning 1000 !
For that wonderful prospect Katrien and mysef savoured some tasty Slaapmutske Blond and Floreffe Prima Melior.
Let's hope all things will work out as they should ! Fingers crossed...
05-13-2008 08:56:07 | More by Trappistenbier
4.47/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Here's the bad news, De Kelk doesn't open until 7pm. Here's the good news, De Kelk is a great spot east of the city center to grab a beer without the crowds of tourists. Only a handful of people were at the bar when I walked in during the early Wednesday evening. Champions League football of the TV, which is off to one side of the bar. Over on the side is also a computer with free internet access. A little dark inside, yet also inviting.
The first impression of the beer list; it's not huge, but there's some interesting stuff. 5 beers on-tap, including La Chouffe, Duchesse de Bourgogne, and an uber-rare Boon Lambic Foeder #10. At least 100 bottles, carrying beers from Bockor, Caracole, Oud Beersel, Malheur, Haacht, and some De Struise (including aged Weltmerz from 2010). Glassware matches the beer that is served, and despite two of my four beers being aged, the beers were in very good shape.
A shout out to the owner, who was generous enough to share his last bottle of Weltmerz, and to the Canadian beer enthusiasts who were there to talk him into it. I also learned a few things about the beer that I drank from the owner. Very helpful throughout the night, I might add.
De Kelk is simply a great place for Bruges drinking. The whole experience made De Kelk my favorite spot that I hit in the city, and that's saying something in a city which already has Staminee de Gare and Brugs Beertje.
05-22-2013 18:07:12 | More by DoubleJ
United Kingdom (England)
4.56/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
'Far from the madding crowd' (good name for a book or a film that), this bar is worth the walk, plus it is only two doors away from the excellent Bierboom shop/bar.
The music was great, a bit loud for the size of the place, but if Brian Ferry and 10cc rock your boat, then get yourself down here.
At the moment there is only a front bar and a room containing large fridges with glass fronted doors to one side. The idea is, you go in, say hello and walk on through to the right of the bar, down the corridor and choose your bottle from the fridges (there are other uncooled beers down this room/corridor too). At least that is what we did, not really sure you can do that on a busy night? You then take it back and it is poured into a glass for you. On tap they had both Zott biers, a pilsner and a kriek (I think), the bottled selection changes with the seasons and the owners whim.
I didn't see or ask for a beer menu, we just got taken to the fridges by the owner.
Talking of the owner (Peter), he is only opening at 17.00 at the moment because he is working on the place during the day and doesn't want dust getting into anyones beer.
He has obtained some land next door and is opening a terrace and a larger back bar, hopefully in September 2009, the floor is done, and the actual bar is also in position. I also got taken upstairs where Peter explained how he was going to have another bar above the rear one and a lot more fidges. At the moment he has around 400 beers, but can't cool them all, so only has about 180 on offer at any one time. The master plan is to have 1,000 cooled beers to chose from, that will be sometime in 2010.
I shall be checking the progress with interest and am certainly looking forward to seeing the finished product and drinking some interesting beers from the mega list.
07-04-2009 15:34:01 | More by BlackHaddock
4.6/5 rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Had the pleasure of visiting De Kelk on the owners Birthday. What a night ! Very hospitable people and very knowledgable beer people. The array of Geuzes is very impressive. The atmosphere was very good in a rock influenced way. A must try for Brugge and worth the walk from the town centrum
01-24-2013 12:24:13 | More by eric5bellies
4.64/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
All due respect to the Beertje, this will be our go-to place now in Brugges. We visited Nov 23/24 2008 and got to sample from an extensive list of 44 xmas beers. Great selection including Struise Jesus Reserve which was served from a ridiculous goblet.
At the time the owner had over 350 beers in stock -- now the webpage is listing over 600.
This place is off the tourist path, with a decidedly edgy atmosphere. Think more along Toronado in SF or Brooklyn Barcade lines than anything else in Brugges. A locals bar with passion and a fabulous bottle list.
We like edgy places so the atmosphere score takes that into account. We felt like locals by the time we left, with many fabulous beers under our belts.
When we visited, the bar consisted of the single, relatively small front room that you can see in pictures on the web site. A couple tables up by the front window, and maybe one or two high tops by the champagne bottle racks. Not a huge space. Most of the room is the inviting central bar surrounded by stools. There were renovations going on in a larger back room and notably, the bathrooms were also in the midst of an upgrade.
02-16-2009 14:07:14 | More by 4thoseabout2bock
4.8/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
One of my favorite bars in Bruges. The bartender is very nice and helpful and the selection is impressive. Good music as well. (Literally sitting in this bar as I type this listening to The Doors, Cream, and Creedence Clearwater). If you find yourself in Bruges, this place is a must see.
Commentary from my wife: other than Cambrinus and (little bear Bruges) this is one of the only local beer bars I would come back to in Bruges. It's a ways from the city center and tourists, and reminds me of bars back home in Texas - except with a ton of what my husband says is amazing beer.
07-21-2011 18:07:25 | More by RSaw
De Kelk in Brugge, Belgium
96 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.