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Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan

Not Rated.
Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve MaanBrouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
BEER AVG
3.9/5
Based on:
10 Beers
528 Reviews
Place Score: 83
Reviews: 43
Visits: 88
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

Walplein 26
Brugge, 8000
Belgium
phone: +32 50 33 26 97

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Visits: 88
Photo of Estarrio
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The brews here are solid but certainly not the best you will find in Belgium.

The bar and restaurant are relatively new in appearance but still retain quite a bit of charm. The staff is friendly and pleasant.

The real selling point is the tour. The tour includes quite a bit of history and tracing around tight quarters. The view of Brugge from the rooftop alone is worth the price of admission. If you have an interest in brewing, history and a fine view of the city, then this tour is for you.

I couldn't see myself going back to spend a great deal of time in the bar, but the tour was well worth the stop. (617 characters)

Photo of drewbage
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Visited in March 2006.

Got completely, totally, unredeemably lost wandering around Brugge. I dont know why, but there you go. Ran into this place though and decided to give it a whirl.

The interior of the bar cafe is clean and proficient. Ran into a very nice English family there and we chatted while waiting for our tour to begin.

The bar folk seemed befuddled by my request for a beer before the tour started, but they got over it in a hurry. As mentioned previously you have a choice of a Blonde and a Bruin, both clean and non-offensive.

The tour itself is shockingly well worth the money and the climb through the old brewery spaces. If you don't worry about falling and cracking your head at least once you're not doing it right! For the brewer and historian in me this was well worth the stop! (815 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3

I was going to wait until my next visit to this establishment before I reviewed it, but as it has now closed (at least in its old form), I thought I had better do so from memory.

Lovelly courtyard appears as you walk through the gates, the far diagonal corner has a small flight of steps which lead to the actual bar and large seating area.

My glass of Streffe Hendrik was tart and wonderful, I also enjoyed the little brewery trip that I took while there.

I am truely sorry to hear it has closed, I will revisit the site on my next trip to Brugge, to see what has replaced it.

Update from June 2009: Open and very, very busy on the Saturday afternoon we tried to use the place. The courtyard was awash with tourists and the queue for the 15.00 brewery tour was about 50 strong. We couldn't even get into the main bar inside, just too full. My party of 12 didn't stay, we had turned up the wrong day! (904 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2

After visiting the convent down the street we had a thirst for beer and happened upon De Halve Maan. The entrance off Walplein across from a small group of establishments was unassuming but pretty easy to find due to the line of people from a tour group waiting to go inside. Once you walk inside you see a courtyard filled with tour groups, mostly retirement aged and tables. Inside a few tables had patrons but most sat empty.

We settled in to some outside seating and after moments of not having anyone come to take our order went to inquire about having a draft. The lady informed us she would come over shortly and she did. They had two beers, TWO, the bruin and the blonde and neither was overwhelmingly good so we opted not to take the tour. The service was OK, but nothing outstanding. At one point the entire group of retirement aged individuals stood up in unison as if they were going to sing the Halleluah Chorus and went in for the tour. A bit spooky, and yet utterly fascinating.

I cannot say I would every return to De Halve Maan. A nice courtyard and good place to hit the WC and have some non-offensive beers for a fairly good price.

Oh, if at De Halve Maan in the late summer/early fall, sit near the cellar on the right hand side of the courtyard. Each time the tour exits the cool musty air helps to mediate the temperature

Visited on September 14, 2006. (1,386 characters)

Photo of catwoman
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The tour is very worthwhile, and you get a great view of Brugge' rooftops during part of the tour. It is my understanding that they have resumed actually brewing in this brewery. The outdoor patio is lovely for lunch in good weather. However, they don't serve food in that timespan after lunch but before dinner, so if you show up at 4 pm like we did one day you are out of luck. (We returned a few days later for lunch). Service is a bit so-so...our server did not want to serve us on the attractive outdoor patio even though there were empty tables. We insisted and she grudgingly let us sit there.

We enjoyed the Brugges Zot beers, and bought some cool t shirts....especially happy they have women's spaghetti strap tanks in 2 languages! We ordered these big salads and really enjoyed all the fresh vegetables and attractive presentation. There was also a tasty beer soup. Our friends ate lunch there a few days earlier and also were enthusiastic about their food and the beer. (984 characters)

Photo of moderndrunkard
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

"Crowded"
"Boring"
"Full of old people"
and
"Touristy"

Those are the beginning of my notes on De Halve Maan brewery and tour. Once I got those out of my system, I began to settle down a bit.

As the other reviews note, these tours are pretty crowded. There's not much else to do in Bruges. But if you stick close to the tour guide, you'll be doing yourself a great favor. At the top of the building, there's a nice display of malts and other add-ins like coriander and orange peel, and the guide did a great job of describing their uses and effects. Some old hop vines were strung up around some wood beams added a nice touch.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and I talked to her about rauchbiers in Bamberg and Harpoon and Sam Adams. She mentioned how she had attended an american micro fest in Brussels, I think, and got to try some of their beers. She said she especially liked the Sam Cherry Wheat.

As for the beers, they were pretty uninspiring. The blond was bland for a belgian and I didn't take any particular note of the dark.

As an end note, Straffe Hendrik is no longer brewed here. The family sold the recipe to a company in 2002 and they brew it outside of Bruges. The sixth-generation brewing family tried to buy it back, but the company wouldn't sell it, so they invested about 400,000 € into brewing the new Bruges Zot. (1,357 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

I was in Belgium a couple years ago, before I was a BA. So imagine my joy when I was looking through my trip journal when I came across a page I wrote when I was sitting at the brewery drinking! It was early August, in the midst of tourist season, and while the tours were busy, my tour didn't seem all that rushed. I was there alone on this trip, which was kind of fun, so I got to (er, trying to) talking with the tour guide. A very knowledgable older lady, spoke in monotone the whole time, while making wonderfully dry jokes along the way, very Ben Stein-like. I rememebr she took great delight in noting that hops are a cousin of marijuana. Anyway, the tour was great for a tourist, as I was, and I was a bit beer saavy then, going through a Belgian phase, so I asked a lot of questions about the process, but didn't get too much out of her. Anyway, the brewery was beautiful in that historic sense, and ending at a very attractive bar, we were served the blond, which I was pleased with. Had another beer, but didn't make a not of it, and that was it for the beers, which was disappointing. The beers were good though, and the courtyard was a great place to sit down in the shade and sip away, but the service was not so great. Granted, there were some awfully large groups going through, but still. Anyway, Straffe Hendrik is a must see if you're in town for a few days. Only takes a few minutes, and its a nice, easy tour. (1,430 characters)

Photo of wl0307
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5

Been there twice during my three-month stay in Belgium last year. The first time I was there the immediate guided tour was full so I decided to taste the beers before spending more money on this brewery, as the tour was quite costly. I tried both regular beers they had on draught and both proved reasonably flavoursome, but were served way too cold (for me). And the service was slow as well, but it was slowed down mainly due to a large group of German tourists who joyfully occupied the whole place. Grabbed several bottles of their own beers (750ml), only to find out that in a small supermarket on the outskirt of town the same beers were sold just two-thirds the price at the brewery!! Outrageous...

On my second visit (on my friend's request as he just arrived in Belgium, otherwise I would refuse to go back), my friend and I only managed to find seats outside, but it was nice as Brugge was bathed in rare sunshine the whole afternoon. After almost seven minutes no waiter approached and I had to ask the ignorant and idling barman at the outside, temporary bar for a drink. He served me two glasses of their Spring beer on tap (Brugs Lentebier) there and I had to carry the drinks back to the table on my own, whereas later on I saw him serving other customers at their tables. The beer itself was my cup of tea but the service pissed me off for the rest of the day. I for one would never go back again, and would not recommend this place to any beer enthusiasts. For, one can obtain their beers at a lower price outside the brewery (is it not news??), and the place itself is overly tourist-orientated, apart from their lousy service as I witnessed. (1,663 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
3/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

I've gone through this place twice now in 2 years (2 different travel partners), and the first time I went, I was really impressed (I didn't know much about beer). The tour here is a nice tour, but very simple and designed for casual tourists, not beer enthusiasts. What was amazing was watching the tour guide spout off the same spiel first in French, then in Dutch, then in English, while keeping a group of 30 people moving up and around and down about 150 steps... 2 thumbs up! There's lots of old equipment and empty bottles and such to make museum buffs enjoy themselves, plus a decent view of the city from the rooftop.

They don't brew here any more (one tour guide says they use it for occasional, special brews, the equipment looks unused).

Same with their two beers- a blond and a brune. Basic Belgian brews that are thirst quenching and beat the tar out of American macrobrews, but are quite plain when compared to Belgian siblings. When you buy the tour, you get one glass of blond (not a Tripel, as suggested by another reviewer) included in the price, a second beer for a couple of Euros and you have tried their complete line of beers.

Worth stopping by just to say you have done it, but don't expect anything special. (1,242 characters)

Photo of LarryKemp
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

The tour was pretty good. It was not intended for the beer brewer. They offered it in English and French so our tour guide was speaking only in one language. The guide would tell us points of interest but felt rushed because there was a French tour right behind us. Several times I lagged behind to look at something in detail and he suggested I move quicker. The free beer was limited in selection. We could only get Spring beer with the tour and other beers were available but at an additional price. They had a buffet dinner available but we had just finished eating lunch at a local place so did not eat the meal. It looked good though. (640 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This brewery is located near the cathedral in the middle of Brugge and can be seen when taking the boat tour around the canal. A tour of the brewery is available and is quite interesting and includes a tasting of one of their beer at the end. There is a large patio, which can be very enjoyable during the hot summer days. The only serve the beer that they brew (Straffe Hendrix Pale, Brown and the seasonal spring beer) in proper glassware. The waiter was very knowledgeable and courteous. The food is excellent and very cheap for Brugge. Overall, a good place to stop for lunch when visiting Brugge. (601 characters)

Photo of JohnW
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Worth a visit when in Bruge, but they only serve their own beers. The food in the restuarant is good value, and plenty of space to sit down. Cannot comment on the Museum tour, as we did not have the time. Group parties seem to be the norm, though they are arranged at frequent intervals.

If you just want a good value mid-day meal, and a beer it works fine, but this is not a place for serious beer drinking!

Worth a visit, even if you only have one of their own beers, which I enjoyed, and good value food and plenty of space to sit down at mid-day. Only open till 6pm. (577 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

This historic brewery is a must stop while walking the city. I reccomend going early to buy your brewery tour tickets as the tour is limited to 30 people. Also if you plan on doing the tour be prepared for lots of steps (approx 150) and wear sneakers. The tour is commonplace knowledge wise, but a must to see the very old facilities there they used to brew and cellar their beer. Your tour guide will try to explain that it is still a working brewery.. but in reality they contract brew the tripel and the brune. The tour includes one beer after the tour in the "bar area". The bar is well appointed and has a huge fireplace. Beer bottles from all over Belgium and hops decorate the place. The only beers offered are their tripel and brune but at good prices (2-3 euro). Service is well just so so... you will have to seek out another round for yourself. The location is great.. the tour ends on the roof that gives you a great view of the city.. but it is more beer history that beer bar. The menu looked ok.. but we did not eat. (1,031 characters)

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Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan in Brugge, Belgium
83 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.