Café Rose Red
Taps: 5 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
4.82/5 rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$$
It has been several years since we visited Cafe Rose Red, and I remember it often to this day. After reading a post from Travel and Leisure today about Westvelteren XII, I remembered that I never posted my review of the first place I ever tasted "the best beer in the world."
My husband and I stumbled into the cafe for a quick rest and a beer before continuing on our brief tour of Brugge and then ended up staying and trying many beers with the owner, Kris. He was so passionate and knowledgable about local trappist beers, and then some, that we skipped a touristy tour of a local brewery and sat with him and visited during a quiet period in the cafe.
He brought out many tasty things for us to try building up to the Westveletern XII. We tried a Oude Geuze Boom for the first time and a couple of other trappist selections. Kris made sure everything was served properly and knew about the brewery and brewing process for everything he served us. We learned a ton and really enjoyed meeting him. He served the Westv X and then the XII. The X was amazing. The XII lives up to its reputation. It was the closest thing to what I imagine laudinum might taste like. Flowery, fragrant, dark and mysterious, it was better than many fine wines I have tried. I was immediately addicted and have been searching for a suitable replacement ever since.
Since it has been several years since we were there, it is time to return. The hotel looked lovely...maybe for our 12th anniversary this year!
07-02-2014 22:46:04 | More by twisty1965
4.5/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Great atmosphere with a traditional pub feel then spiced up with hanging red roses. The offer several nice beers on tap and many in the bottle. The service was outstanding. Not only was the guy very friendly and inviting but he poured and presented a beer as well as anyone. He clearly takes great pride in that aspect. The hotel that it's in looks great. I think I know where I'm staying next time (though I might then never leave the building).
01-31-2014 02:05:08 | More by GJ40
4.43/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
I'm not sure this makes the cut based on beer selection alone, but the place itself is beyond lovely.
The quiet interior is decorated stylishly with roses neatly arranged hanging from the ceiling. The outside terrace is buried away from the outside world with simple beer decor and comfortably spaced tables. Really wonderful.
The list focuses on trappist breweries and the bar is an official Orval Ambassador bar. I opted for a St. Feuillien Grand Cru, which I had not seen before, followed by an aged (9 month) Orval.
Lovely experience - a nice change of pace from the traditional Belgian beer bar.
08-31-2013 17:32:02 | More by dirtylou
4.33/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Very chill little spot, just a bit off the beaten path in Brugge. Free wi-fi is nice for overseas visitors stuck on "airplane mode". Using said wi-fi right now to write this review.
My biggest complaint: cash only. Was running low on Euro's yesterday, and had to cut the last visit short as a result. Hit up an ATM, and I'm back in business. The back outdoor terrace/cafe seating is very chill, the service is friendly/knowledgable (although a bit "slow" by American standards). Food menu is limited (which I've found to be typical for most of the highly-rated beer bars in Brugge, with the notable exception being Cambrinus, which food menu is extensive), but beer selection is grand.
Beer menu advertises Westvleteren, for those in search of the "holy grail", but they were "out" during my visit, for whatever that's worth.... Some offerings (Cantillon fou foune @ 32 euro's), while difficult/impossible to find at other stops along my visit to Belgium (including the Cantillon brewery, for example), seemed a bit overpriced IMO.
But the nice selection, chill environment, and free wifi brought me back anyways, and as a result I still recommend a visit to this place to my other BA's traveling abroad.
08-18-2013 13:26:53 | More by psuKinger
4.63/5 rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Was referred here by our waiter at a restaurant in Brussels. Glad we listened to him.
Atmosphere was really cool. Roses hang from the ceiling; a small bar with a few stools; and a handful of tables. Not a single person was inside when we arrived at 21:30. I asked if they were still open and the bartender guided me to a courtyard where tables were occupied. By the time we left an hour later, all the tables inside were full.
Beer list is very organized and extensive. There was a whole page for Trappist beer, and sections for cellared beer, abbey, oud bruin, fruity, and others. Prices range from 2.50 euro for Silly Saison to 55 euro for a de Struise barrel aged something. I settled on a de Struise 2011 Pannepot Quad for only 6 euro. Also had Ypres from de Struise on tap, a barrel aged oud bruin. Both were awesome.
Service was great. Bartender knew what he was talking about and recommended the oud bruin on tap when they were out of one I ordered. He even mentioned that de struise does a tasting somewhere in town from 12-4.
By far, the best bar I've been to in our entire trip to Belgium.
06-06-2013 06:57:55 | More by BeerTampa
4.7/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75 | $$
Read reviews on this site before going to Bruges for the 2013 Bierfestival. Took some friends to Cafe Rose Red on the Friday before the festival, hoping to dodge the "beer crowd." I'd say it worked, bar was not crowded when we arrived but was full when we left. It is off the beaten path on a smaller street so it might not get as much foot traffic, but it's still close to the main square.
The atmosphere is nice and the selection was great as well, including their selection of cellared beers. Our waiter was awesome and helped me decide from a short list of beers I had picked out and was considering. The only food they offer is a cheese, sausage, and olive platter that was very tasty and really a surprising amount of food for the price.
I stuck with De Struise that night as they had a really good selection of those beers. It seemed to be a favorite as both the waiter and bartender were wearing De Struise t-shirts. They had Tsjeeses Reserva PBA on tap and Pannepot Grand Reserva & Black Albert in the cellared selection.
This is easily one of my favorite bars in Bruges and is a good alternative when 't Brugs Beertje gets too crowded.
02-27-2013 18:54:15 | More by BierMeJohn
4.48/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
very good beer bar, good location, near downtown, but not on a busy street, but somewhere a little more quiet but easily accessible and easy to find. The place itself is fine, is quiet, nicely decorated, dim lights, good music and more.
What is really important, beer, has a very good selection, you can find classic Belgian beers, Trappist, abbey, sour ales, but also some new breweries as Viven or Struise. In addition, the beers are very well served, at the correct temperature and in the right glasses.
The staff is very nice and is total quiet chat with them on beer.
For all of them is a highly recommended site, even better than others more famous bars in town because it is less busy by tourists and that allows more personalized treatment.
05-14-2012 13:12:09 | More by AnicetoValdivieso
United Kingdom (England)
4.36/5 rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I heard about this place on a few beer sites and word of mouth, so though I’d give it a go: glad I did. Brugge has in my opinion already got some world class bars, this place can be added to that list. It’s on a semi-back street but easy to find and get to from anywhere in the centre of Brugge.
It was an early evening in December Saturday when we visited, the bar being fairly busy, the clientele being mostly well dressed couples talking quietly while having a beer or two before dining elsewhere (no food here). We sat and I picked up the beer menu on our table, a young lady came over and informed us that St Bernadus Christmas was on-tap, along with Chimay Blonde: I put the menu down again and ordered a glass on each tap brew. The beers arrived in their correct glasses and I perused the beer menu at leisure while sipping my 10% Christmas beer, so, so moreish, but also too strong this early in the evening to stay drinking. They major on Trappist beers with others also available, didn’t count the total numbers but there were enough bottles to keep a normal beer geek happy for a day or two. So the beer list has grown in the last year: the last reviewer posted, back in November 2010 about the selection being extended. A couple of chalk boards advertised special brews, I noted that La Trappe Oak Aged Quadruples (Lots, 3,4,5 and 6) were priced at Euro 28 for a cork and caged 37.5cl bottle, ouch! Rudi in De Bierboom had given me a Lot 6 and Lot 7 for free earlier in the day, so no need for me to break the bank.
The bar room was lovely, single red roses hang from the ceiling and everywhere was clean and obviously well looked after, polished wood everywhere you looked. A group of British ladies came in while we were there, they had been in the day before and had returned festooned with parcels from shopping: they couldn’t remember what they’d been drinking, but wanted the same one again, the staff knew and all was well.
My must visit while in Brugge bar list just keeps growing; this is a worthy addition and with some of the better known bars (like De Garre and ‘t Bruges Beertje) becoming just too popular and over busy at times this is a good alternative while in the city centre.
12-15-2011 12:49:31 | More by BlackHaddock
4.66/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
My girlfriend and I spent three days in Bruges in October and we stayed at Hotel Cordoeanier. We were greeted warmly by Kris, the hotel owner, who mentioned while checking us in that we could come down to the bar for a drink. As it turns out, that bar was Café Rose Red. Not only did we go down for a drink that night, we stopped by to have a drink every day we were there.
It's a charming bar; hardwood floors and chairs and timber ceilings with roses arranged along the rafters; dim lights hanging above cozy tables. Kris works the bar and will happily offer recommendations and opinions and general information on everything on the menu or off.
The selection is great, every trappist beer is available minus seasonal offerings and Westvleteren. There are two taps that Kris rotates frequently--when I was there he had Chimay Wit and Westmalle Tripel. Kris spoke about how he's soon to be widely expanding his bottle list beyond trappists to more fully cover Belgian beer styles. He definitely mentioned Struise by name as well as lambics and geuzes so I would highly suspect these to be available sooner than later. And of course every beer was served in the appropriate glassware at the right temperature.
Truly my only complaint is the lack of food. Small appetizers like cheese and crackers would do, but as it is there's no food offered. However, there are many good options nearby (Cambrinus and the Markt are literally a five minute walk away) so it shouldn't be a problem for hungry visitors.
While one could find an even better selection in Bruges, I highly recommend adding Café Rose Red to one's list of must-visit places for the great ambiance, excellent service, and wonderful selection. Better yet, stay in the very nice Hotel Cordoeanier so you can enjoy the bar after a long day of sightseeing!
11-22-2010 03:48:04 | More by phlops
Café Rose Red in Brugge, Belgium
96 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.