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À la Mort Subite

Not Rated.
À la Mort SubiteÀ la Mort Subite
BA SCORE
85
very good

56 Ratings
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: 17
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 7
Brussels, 1000
Belgium
phone: +32 2 513 13 18

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by drewbage:
Photo of drewbage
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The last stop on the Drewbage around the Belgian country side in 3 days tour.

After a brief pop into the Delirium on my last night I decided I had to hit one last place and so I went in search of the famous Mort Subite.

What I found was a "clean" long room of long bench tables with chairs to share with everyone and busy waiters busting to clear through the space and bring you your beers.

Definately unlike any other place I was in. Feeling was a bit like a large ice cream palor with beer and cigarettes covering over the overt Victorian style.

A chance to try a fair range of the sweet Mort Subite "lambics" and well worth it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

The vibe is incredible - they haven't done much to it for a century or so. they feature beer from Mort Subite but if those don't strike your fancy there are 30 or bottled and craft beers on tap. It's a nice place to stop and have a sandwich and a beer.

Photo of RCane1
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

This is a fantastic and really beautiful beer hall that's been in the family for three-generations (since ~1890). It's been at this location since 1910 and it looks as if all the fixtures are original! Even my wife, who doesn't drink, loved it. You don't see places like this in the US. It's densely packed with small tables just large enough to hold four beers and a few plates. Perfect for sitting with a group and enjoying some suds and grub. The staff was great. Brussels is very cosmopolitan and the people are used to non-tourist foreigners and make you feel at right at home (unlike some "other" French-speaking countries...). This place was no exception. It's a few minutes walk from Grand Place and worth a visit. I didn't eat here but the food looked plain but very good. The selection of beers was respectable (a dozen or so taps, plus bottles). I'm not a Geuze fan, but did enjoy my Orval. Definitely would put his on your list if you're remotely close.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.05/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

The beers of Mort Subite may not be renowed as Cantillon or Delirium, but its beer bar just north of the Grand Palace brings you back many decades. The interior of white walls with little carvings and subtle decoration along with the gold colored pilar tops are well preserved. Long wooden tables and chairs dot the dining room, and the old wooden bar is off to the right side upon entering. I saw a staircase towards the back, so perhaps there's a second floor as well.

Mort Subite is known for carrying its beers of Mort Subite. Not to worry, as there are guest beers on the menu too. There are about a dozen taps, carrying several varieties of Mort Subite, plus Ciney, Affligem, Westmalle, and Chimay. The bottle list hits two dozen and offers Judas, Hopus, La Chouffe, Orval, Rochefort, Rodenbach, and Grimbergen. The Mort Subite beers come in their own branded wide mouth chalice and topped with a thick creamy head. My two beers were acceptable, but as I've stated earlier, don't confuse them with world class offerings.

Wait staff is constantly checking on customers and will serve you right at the table.

A la Mort Subite may not have the most impressive stock of beers, but it remains a Brussels classic. That reason alone warrants a visit.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Found myself near enough Mort Subite to stop in for lunch after a morning of Flemish art at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Amazing how looking at Breughel and Rubens can work up a thirst.

I must look American in enough that I was warned that the Mort Subite Gueuze was served warm and that it was sour. The color of an overripe peach, there's a slight film of an off white head on the beer. Yeasty nose that's focused in spite of spontaneous fermentation. Slightly sour and fruity on the tongue. Very good and goes well gouda cheese.

I came here for lunch, in part, because another BA mentioned cheese sandwiches; I ordered the Hollande sandwich: gouda cheese on a traditional bread, just like at A la Becasse. Mustard placed on the table ahead of the sandwich arriving—to my surprise, mustard on bread with gouda cheese is pretty darn good. I may return for more lambic and to order the omelet because it looks very good at the next table.

The bar itself is a wonderful old place that makes the stop worthwhile in and of itself, especially compared to just buying a sandwich at a street shop or frites on the street. In addition to the range of Mort Subite beers, there's a nice selection of abbey and Trappists ales in bottles and draft.

For dessert, I had a Mort Subite Kriek. Barlely pink head is falling quickly on a Cool-Aid red beer. Light sour cherry and yeasty nose belies the stronger fruit flavor in the mouth that's barely counterpointed by the more mellow sour of Mort Subite's base lambic. Tastes a bit like cherry sour candy in liquid form. Body is light but the flavor more than compensates. This would be a great introduction to lambic and fruit beers. It reminds me a little of New Glarus Belgian Red, but not quite as good.

Decided to end the trip with a draft or two at Mort Subite because it's easy to find in the touristy district and I think I've spent enough time at Delirium for one trip. The quieter, period bar without the thumping techno seemed like the right way to go. I had a sample of the Mort Subite Framboise at the 2005 Festival of Beer in Toronto. It rated high then and doesn't disappoint now. Strong fruit flavor without being overly sweet as the sour lambic swells up underneath to meet the challenge. An excellent framboise for beer geek and neophyte alike.

I tried to finish with Orval, but they were out until the next day. On the recommendation of a new tap by the waitress, I'm ending my stay in Belgium as I started: La Trappe Quadruple. I could live here just for La Trappe this fresh. When I get home, the top of my brewing priority is to learn how to brew a clone of this beer.

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited in June 2012:

This was the first place that I went to when we arrived on a rainy day in Brussels, it also helped that it was right down the street from the hotel that we were staying at. Impression upon walking it...loved it. Great feel to the place, warm and inviting, there was a good crowd, which gave the place a nice vibe. The place was stocked with these older wooden tables and chairs that just look as this they have been there for as long as the bar and if they could talk they would have some amazing stories. As others have noted, they had a nice selection of beers, but we focused mainly on their Lambic. I also tried Westmalle Trappist Dubbel. The food was good...I think that we only ate there once, but we went back to drink several times. The service was OK, neither good nor bad, slow at times, but were experienced this a lot in our travels across the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Overall, this is a great place. If I lived in Brussels, this place would be a regular hang out.

Photo of John_the_Confused
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This was my first visit in over a decade. The physical structure is the same. Far more crowded than any of my previous visits. Had a couple of beers and moved on.

It was worth a visit for old times sake but it was a little disappointing. Hopefully next time it will be less crowded.

I would recommend this bar as worth a visit to anyone to go and have a beer and enjoy the atmosphere of a great bar. Whether you stay or not depends on how comfortable you feel in a crowded beer hall full of tourists.

Photo of distantmantra
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Located near the Grand Place, A La Mort Subite is great hangout spot for both tourists and locals alike. The old wood furniture and spectacular architecture are warm and inviting. They have a decent selection of beers, which the wait staff is very happy to recommend based on your personal preferences. As with most of Belgium, trappists and lambics are the focus at Mort Subite, but there were strangely a few British beers on tap as well.

If I were to live in Brussels, I could see this being the kind of place I'd come to hang out with friends while having a few drinks.

Photo of sks120n
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

We visited A La Mort Subite last week a day after visiting Cantillion and while we were still craving Gueze.
It's definitely a restaurant more than a bar but the old wood tables and the beautiful architecture give it a special feel. Lot's of tourists looking at their maps and guidebooks but also a good mix of locals enjoying the day as well.
Our waitress was hurried but didn't mind helping us figure out which meat cubes we wanted to have for a snack. We ordered a Oud Geuze and a Framboise, meat cubes and cheese cubes. The cheese cubes were strong and a good compliment to the Geuze. The meat cubes were made from cow parts and vinegar and had a sort of meat jello feel. Eaten with toothpicks they were definitely interesting and although they had an odd texture we found them quite good.
We had a lot planned for the day so we only stayed for the one drink and snack.
A La Mort Subite was easy to find and easy to pop in to for a delicious Geuze and a memorable snack.

Photo of BucBasil
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

A grand classical hall full of long tables and people enjoying good beer.

Service is typically European - waiting a while though everyone is casually enjoying their stuff. I didn't have the food but it looked pretty basic.

Classy place but a good mix of people - locals, beer lovers, people just coming though...

The hall gives a very classic turn of the century feel to the whole experience.

I had the Mort Subite Gueze on tap which was good.

Most people were here just for the beer. A lot of locals later on. Great little beer hall with a nice atmosphere and architecture.

Photo of PhillipJFry
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Though not my favorite bar in Brussels, this is a must see for anyone spending more than a day in the city. By Belgian standards, the selection of beers is fair at best, but the house special gueze and lambics are simply amazing.

Though famous to BAs through the Jackson grapevine, this bar remains relatively off the beaten path for most tourists (especially for one so close to the city center). The decor is charming, and it offers a great chance to meet some locals. Avoid the tourist traps near the Grand Place and come out to this bar if you are looking to waste some time while touring the city.

Photo of gfreed
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Stopped here on cloudy day. Best seats are in the window; unfortunately they are probably always taken. I sat along the wall and was able to easily take in the ads and other photos that are everywhere. The tables are old and nicked and somewhat rickety; the old wooden floor and the nicotine-yellow ceiling add plenty of atmosphere. Dim lights complete the scene.

Not much in the way of food. I had a Holland, which is essentially a cheese sandwich. Was worth the 5 Euros to soak up the beer. Very little else except cheese on the food menu.

The beer offerings are somewhat limited, with a focus on their own Gueuze and lambics. I tried a Westmalle dubbel on tap and then a MS White lambic. The former was excellent; the latter, okay.

Despite the short beer list, this is worth a visit for the atmosphere. Gueuze lovers will be very happy. I'm not fond of the style and so can't report on the beer.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Visited on 8-18-08
Sampled: Bottled Oude Geuze and Draft Lambic "White Beer" or Mort Subite Blanche

Elaina and I dropped into A la Mort Subite around 11 AM the morning after our arrival in Belgium. It was our first Belgian beer bar experience and it didn't let down. We primarily visited this bar to see what fin de siècle long bars looked like and we weren't disappointed. The atmosphere is top notch. This spacious bar is loaded with beat up old tables, a long bar, mirrored walls, beautiful old photos, gilded pillars, a gorgeous stair case, and everything one would expect to find in a Brussels long bar circa 1910.

For a place infamous for its surly service we were greeted warmly and promptly by the sole barmaid, something that would be repeated on follow up visits.

Beer selection consisted of the entire line of Mort Subite beers, a few trappists, and a handful of other Belgians and imports. The real gems were the Oude Geuze (rarely found outside this bar) and the draft limbic (not found outside this bar as far as I know).

I must recommend A la Mort Subite as a must visit for any beer traveler in Brussels. I enjoyed just being there a tremendous amount. Despite being a bit lacking on the beer list, it more than makes up for it in style.

Photo of buridan
4.19/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

Went with my wife for a brief drink. The beer list was short, but rich with geueze and lambics. had geueze de lie, tasted wonderful, with great sour apple notes. Wife had a Stille Nacht which was strong, but drinkable with interesting spice notes.

cafe interior is interesting, but it is just bench seating and the smoking in bars problem still exist. when will people realize that smoking ruins the taste of beer.

We were in around 2pm and the downstairs was nearly full and the upstairs was still closed. The wait staff was chilly, but efficient, but i think that is their modus operandi.

Photo of LauraAndrew
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This was my first visit to Belgium, first day in Belgium and here I am at Mort Subite... The room oozes grandeur and smacks me in the head with "Hey, you're in Brussels!!!!" We order a Lambic Blanche and a Westmalle Dubbel. Yes, the beer list here isn't as large as others, but we're just here for one round. Lots of great conversation going on around us and it's fun just to sit there and soak in the atmosphere looking at the high ceiling supported by tall pillars and flanked by long wooden tables. We ordered a croquet Monsieur and a mushroom omelet. Nothing spectacular, but satisfying. Service wasn't worse than anywhere else in Brussels. For such a great looking place the bathroom was quite a disappointment, though. If you've had a long travel day and you need a reminder that you've just arrived in Belgium, this is a great place to begin.

Photo of philipquarles
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

Stumbled upon this place a couple of days after moving into my apartment here in Brussels. I had heard about it and had fairly high expectations.

The look of the place is great. Very traditional Bruxelloise beer hall--long and narrow with old wooden furntiture. Yellow walls with mirrors and a few framed pictures.

The atmosphere inside depends entirely on the time of day. Before about five o'clock the place is always dead. About this time it starts to liven up, to the point where it can be difficult to find a seat. It's always pleasant though. There are always tourists present, but at the same time quite a few locals.

The service is decent. Not really terribly eager to get into a conversation, but friendly nonetheless.

The menu is nothing to rave about. Great if you're looking for Mort Subite brews, but pretty limited (and pricey) otherwise.

The food is pretty good, but nothing special.

If friends/family visit Brussels, this is generally a place I'll take them, but if it were just me, probably not a place I'd go to more than once. There are better places to get a lambic or gueze around Brussels.

Photo of ATPete
3.75/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A La Mort Subite, a world famous beer, with a morbid name.

The front of the bar is pretty simple, with A La Mort Subite in red over the brick.

The inside reminds me of a mess hall, very narrow, it stretches far back and sports long wooden benches. The serving bar is pretty big and off to the right hand side. All the menus start with the story and history of Mort Subite.

It was pretty quiet inside, a touristy couple or 2, some locals, not a frat party in this one. Our waitress was very friendly and promptly brought out my traveling buddy's beef Tartar which he claimed was amazing! I was focused on liquids at this point. I stuck to only Mort Subite brews, the gueze, framboise, and kriek were all great and fresh.

If in Brussels it is definitely worth stopping in to this world famous establishment, its a 5 minute walk to Delirium Cafe from here as well.

Photo of ggaughan
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Out of all the possible choices, we decided to find Mort Subite for a drink. My wife and I had been wanting to visit this bar since we saw it featured on a show, Three Sheets, which we watched all the time on Mojo HD back in the U.S. In this show, the host Zane Lampry would visit a city somewhere in the world and go to the local bars and watering holes to drink what the locals drink. His first bar stop was Mort Subite so we figured we should try it as well. We got there at maybe 5pm or so and it was packed. The bar is narrow but very long so we walked to the back and finally settled on a table at the very back of the bar, right outside the bathroom. Although the location near the bathroom was not a lot of fun with people walking by our tight corner every few minutes, we did get to sit right next to the bars cat, which was sleeping on a little bed on top of some game boards. This cat was also in the Three Sheets episode in Brussels so we felt special to sight right near it. After awhile the cat woke up and walked onto my lap and then to Paula’s lap. It was hanging out near me for awhile and rubbing its little face on the side of my cargo pants. In between playing with the cat and doing some people watching, we ordered a few beers including a Mort Subite Gueuze, Mort Subite Faro and a Bush de Noel for me and a Mort Subite White Lambic and a Kriek for Paula. We also got a nice little cheese plate to go along with our beers and to hold us over before our dinner plans at 8pm. Although the beer selection at Mort Subite it not nearly as extensive as some of the other bars in Brussels, it has a very classy quality to it and social aspect that you don’t get in all bars as a lot of the tables are very close together and they make for close conversations and making new friends. Overall there were about 17 beers in bottle and another 16 on draft and the prices were a little high for some of the trappist and other beers but the Mort Subite prices seemed reasonable. Mort Subite is definitely worth a visit while in Brussels and it is very close to some of the other bars that are worth a visit as well.

Photo of dwheeler
2.2/5  rDev -41.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 2

I sort out this place after reading about it in MJ's "Great beers of Belgium". It is worth seeing the amazing interior. This is not the place to go if you are looking for a big selection of beers; the beers offered are all decent though.

That said. The service was worse than terrible; despite the place being pretty much empty we waited 30 minutes for a second beer. Angry, my partner and I paid our tab and stormed out. The server thought it was more important to chat ideally to other bar staff than actually do her job i.e. serve customers. In the time we were there 3 other bewildered looking customers left within 15 minutes of entering. As paying customers we deserve better, so, go and have a look around, then do yourself a favor - leave!

Photo of morebeergood
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

A La Morte Subite was our first stop on our tour of Belgium. We had drinks here on the night of 3/23/07. We managed to get in here at the right time, as it filled up pretty quickly after we arrived. We got as nice spot in the middle of the bar at a left hand table. The atmosphere was very cool, it had a beer hall/restaurant vibe going. Only negative that was noticeable was the smokiness. Our waiter was very attentive, he promptly came over when he saw us running low. I loved his outfit with the bowtie, very European. I had the house kriek, a Hapkin, and a Bush. My wife tried the house faro, a Ciney blonde, and an Orval. Both of us really enjoyed this this place as an introduction to Belgium. Come here for beer and history.

Photo of Estarrio
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

"Sudden Death"; a fine name for a bar and a gueuze!

It was very crowded and smoky inside, despite being a balmy February afternoon. The large room consisted of longer tables, arranged in an informal labyrinth. This style of seating was well suited for our large group. The atmosphere was bright, though somewhat uninspired.

The service was quick, friendly and attentive.

I tried the faro and the gueuze on tap. Both were absolutely amazing and the gueuze was much smoother than in the bottle. The rest of the selection seemed pretty standard.

This is a convenient stop in Brussels that I would suggest to anyone wishing to try the gueuze and/or faro.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The bright neon sign out front makes this place hard to miss, and apparently no one does, as it was packed to the gills at 2:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday. Yellowish pink painted wood walls, tile floor, high ceilings and Corinthian columns make you think combination church and public bath. But it works well. The layout is deep and narrow, with the bar covering the middle third of the right wall. Stairs at the back lead up to the second floor. Plain and well-worn metal and wood tables are complemented by equally well-worn tables and benches. The food menu is very limited (little more than cold open-faced sandwiches). They definitely need more waitstaff, as the waits to order and to receive are much too long.

Twelve taps at the bar, three of which are devoted to beers matching the name of the place. One tap was non-Belgian. I counted 16 bottles on the menu, 12 of which were local. I thought the beers came out too cold, but they were certainly fresh, and were served nicely in the appropriate chalices. Despite the fact that I went here three times in four days (location, location, location), I wouldn't say the place is worth a repeat visit. Once is enough.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

So very different from most of Brussels famous beer bars, this must have been the working classes local, and I like it very much. Not a posh place in any way, so do not dress up to visit this atmostpheric old bar.

It is at the far end of the plush Victorian Shopping Arcade which is behind the 'Grand Place'. Rubbish and building rubble has to be avoided as you cross the road to the entrance.

Years of cheap ciggy's, smoked by the locals has turned the walls, a sticky yellow/brown colour, you know what I mean. Old mirrors and beer posters adorn them in places.

The table and chairs are old and basic, the bar towards the back on the right hand side, is also basic, but has a good selection to choose from, both on tap and in bottles.

Well worth finding, just order a beer and sit people watching, mostly elderly shoppers on my two visits.

This is the new (reviewed bit). The other visits were during the day and midweek. I have been again now, during the evenings, and it is a completely different place when it is dark outside.

Thursday and Fridays nights (Oct 2006) the place was heaving, not a spare seat to be had anywhere, took a while to get served because of that.

On the Thursday night I drank far to much (the whole Mort Subite range is on tap, plus other breweriers beers) and I only had a mountain of cheese to eat. I had a mushroom omlete and draught Westmalle Double on the Friday, both very good. I then lost the plot and can't remember a lot more.

Good mix of customers, I chatted to CAMRA members from the UK, a German bloke and his Belgian wife, a female member of the European Parliment from Austria and a whole gaggle of Austria ladies who came in with her, and that was on the Thursday night, God only knows who I met on the Friday!

Photo of axisjones
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I've had a Mort Subite flute in my glassware collection for a while so I thought it would only be fair to sample the beers it was made for. On to A La Mort Subite!
This was my first stop in Belgium. I was hungry, tired, thirsty and exhausted. I needed a good pit stop. Mort Subite didn't really do the trick, but it was decent.
The atmosphere is one of the best parts of this tap room. It's pretty huge with long benches and high ceilings. It has a metropolitan old world feel to it that is charming.
The main reason you would visit this bar is to try Mort Subite beers, so that is where I focused my attention. I had their entire lineup, which was mostly mediocre.
The food was adequate, nothing at all special and bordering on continental hotel breakfast.
On the plus side, the waitress was nice and attentive.
Maybe for a quick stop in or for the lambic completist this will fit the bill. For all others, journey elsewhere.

Photo of lawrence76
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This was the first place I stumbled into after an exhausting 12 hour trip overnight from boston, and it made me happy.

The building is beautiful, the interior is very warm and inviting. Long wooden benches on the side and smaller tables scattered throughout. It was about 11am when we entered and still somewhat empty.

We were greeted immediately (which almost NEVER happens to me in europe) and served up beers very quickly. The waitress spoke a bit of english and generally got a kick out of my broken french.

The beer selection is average...my first thought was to look for beers that I had never seen at home in the states, and this was easisly accomplished. My companions chose more tried and true beers we were better accquianted with. However they do offer these huge (500ml I think) glasses for the draft beers.

The food was good, and what we later discovered, pretty typical of a bar in belgium....mostly finger food & apps....some nice sandwhiches. Trappist cheese & butter came with a lot of the stuff.

It got more & more crowded as we stayed...the lunch rush was considerable, but I found the one sole waitress working still paid attention to us

Definitely worth a try

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À la Mort Subite in Brussels, Belgium
85 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.