Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan

Not Rated.
Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve MaanBrouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
BEER AVG
3.89/5
Based on:
9 Beers
1,572 Ratings
Place Score: 89
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.97
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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wl0307
2.55/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

Photo of skberke
2.74/5  rDev -31%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2

We visited in September 2009. We tried to have lunch before the tour, but failed--we sat down on the outdoor patio, looked at menu, picked out food, and waited. We tried valiantly to make eye contact with the waitress, to no avail. After 15-20 minutes we went inside, my husband really wanted a beer but I needed food desperately. I asked at the bar if I should order food at the bar or at a table, and was told to sit down and a waitress would be along. My husband ordered his beer, and I went across the street to get a sandwich. We then took the tour, which was pleasant but not particularly informative (well, if you knew nothing about brewing beer, you'd probably learn something). We got to go up on the roof for some great views of the city, which was cool. The tour comes with a complimentary glass of Brugse Zot, which is an enjoyable beer but not outstanding. I would not go here just for the beer or food, but if you are looking to kill some time and want to take a tour then it's fine.

Photo of Tebuken
2.85/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

My wife and i were there in september 2010.It is a nice place where you can eat and drink their beers.We first have waited for a while before the brewery tour starting took place.Sadly ,we could not hear the explanations in our idiom(spanish),the guider was a woman that talked too fast(she might be tired of saying always the same things to the different touristic tours).She showed us the old brewery,there were enormous beer tanks over the roof ,we could go upstairs and had a view of the city.The information i could understand was general,nothing very interesting to me.
After the tour,we have drunk some Brugse Zot beers,we just drank the blonde one, it has an average taste, a bit cloudy but enjoyable.Not a place to visit twice.

Photo of morebeergood
2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Took the 2:00 pm tour of the brewery on 3/26/07 with my wife. That was a lot of fun. Lasts about one hour. Our tour guide was very informative, and you get to walk all around the brewery, go on the roof of the building to get a great view of the city, then get a beer afterwards to end the tour. The tour part of De Halve Mann was fun and well worth it.
We went into the dinner area so I could have some lunch after the tour. Kinda looked like an average brewpub in the US, nothing special but not bad. Waited for an eternity for the waitress to take my order. I got the beer and cheese soup. Tasted like chicken noodle with four cubes of cheese plopped in the bottom. Not good. Too bad, because other people's food around me looked decent. Oh well.
Come for the tour, for sure, but skip the food.

Photo of jgasparine
2.95/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Went here for a tour (which was great). We were served a Zot Blonde at the end of the tour, which was nice. We enjoyed the beer enough that we wanted to stay for lunch.

Atmosphere-
Outside in the courtyard, the atmosphere is fantastic- you feel like you're back in the old-world. But inside the atmosphere is quite sterile. Not much character in there. So it seems most appropriate to give it an above-average rating on Atmosphere overall.

Quality-
The beer is decent. And the place was generally kept clean... but the tables weren't. They were littered with crumbs from other patrons. Never got to observe the quality of other facets of their operation; so a slightly above-average rating is fitting, I suppose.

Service-
We asked the bartender about lunch, and she suggested that we take any open table and that a server would be right over. We found a table and waited for 25 minutes, and nobody ever came over to help us. So we got up and left. Absolutely awful service.

Selection-
A good selection of their house beers could be found on the menu. Nothing more. Not bad, although we never got past the first beer given with the tour.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Visited: 8-23-10

Finding De Halve Maan was a great part of the fun. For this, I set my bearings, put away my map, and followed the smell of malt. Through red brick alleyways upon stone cobbled pavement we traversed as all the while that wonderful aroma grew more pungent. At long last we came upon a rather funny scene.

Before us stood a wide courtyard behind which rose an attractive brick brewery more akin to a late 19th century American or British brewery than to those I have typically witnessed in Belgium. Its entry way and windows, however, were ornately dressed to the point of approaching Disney Land. I began to worry that we had stumbled into a tourist trap.

In the far corner of the courtyard, near the entryway, a narrow bar topped with the familiar Bruges Zot tap handles rested upon the cobbles. On the left and the right were well set tables covered in neat white table clothes. The sun shown over our heads for the first time since our arrival in Belgium, a country whose climate bests Seattle's as the world's most miserable.

Then something odd started happening, the waiters and waitresses started scurrying about, rapidly moving tables to create a lane down the center of the courtyard. Out of nowhere a small blue tractor hauling a cart drove right down the aisle, nearly hitting several dining guests and stopped below a large window. The window swung open. A shoot slid down. Heaps of hot, moist spent malt began pouring into the cart on their way to a local dairy farmer no doubt. The smell was enticing to say the least and it was time for a beer. More importantly, however, we confirmed that we had not tripped into a tourist trap at all. This was real live working brewery, and if that meant that the customer's lunch had to be disturbed for few moments to continue the work of the brewery, so be it.

We drank the Bruges Zot, the Bok, and the Dubel. I recall drinking a wit as well but I did not takes notes on it so perhaps I'm wrong. Our lunch was quite good. I enjoyed a healthy heaping of Vlaamse Stovery with fries and salad. It wasn't the best I had in Belgium but it was adequate. My companions ate a bouillabaisse of sorts and a wonderful salad. The food was above average and a value by Bruges standards. The beers were as they always are from this brewery - clean, pleasing, appropriate to their styles, but not exceptional.

The one problem we encountered was service. The servers were stressed and rude and that was only on the rare occasion that they were present. We waited and waited to order our beers, waited for twenty minutes or more to get them, waited again to order, waited for what seemed like forever to get our lunch and to order another round, etc... They were busy and it would have been forgivable had the staff been apologetic but instead they pointed their noses in the air and acted as if the long delays were somehow of our own making.

Overall: What would have been an above average meal at a great price and some decent beers in a absolutely top notch setting was turned sour by absolutely dismal service. Don't go unless you have a lot of time on your hands or are able to go when it is slow.

Photo of SmashPants
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Photo of frank4sail
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

Photo of i13tony
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

I stopped by the Half Moon at about 11:30 AM. I wasn't really interested in the tour, but I had enjoyed several Zots while in Brugge, so I was hoping to pick up a few t-shirts, large bottles, and maybe a few other goodies they had for sale. Well, after 10 minutes of watching the staff drink coffee, ignore me, drink more coffee, put on and then remove a necktie, and then acknowledge and wait on the people that came in after me, I left empty-handed. Sad. The place was barely half full. I can't imagine the service during a full on rush. Love the Zot though, especially when drinking it elsewhere!

Photo of JohnW
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Photo of catwoman
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of tyboxr
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25

Fun way to blow some time off. Sweet old brewery to say the least. The tour is a well oiled machine. You are pushed on through. The beer is tasty as well. The highlight was a picture of the next young man in the family to get the brewery. He has a look on his face that is priceless...like "awww yeaaahhh".
Luck bastard!

Photo of LarryKemp
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of bernardus
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3

We went to de Halve Maan on our day in Bruges, 14JUL09. The brewery is very easy to find, off a main square, and the place seems to be very popular. You walk through an alley to find the brewery's outdoor patio area that was very crowded when we arrived around lunchtime on a weekday afternoon. Tickets for the brewery tour are located inside the main cafe area indoors at the bar. We made it just in time for the 2PM tour.

The tour took us through various portions of the brewery, which occupies a couple buildings, and is the only remaining brewery in the Bruges city center. They explain the brewing process, as well as take you to the roof of the building which offers great views of the entire city. The tour dropped us off at the cafe, where we were treated to a Brugse Zot Blonde on tap. They explained that the beer at the brewery was unfiltered and how it differs from the beer that is commercially sold in bottles which is filtered.

The place seemed to get more packed as we were drinking our beer so we left after I picked up a glass, otherwise I would have stayed and tried the Straffe Hendrik, but luckily they had that on tap at the cafe across the street (which I prefer over the Zot).

Definitely worth seeking out if you're in Bruges, might be better to avoid the midday crowd though. Still, we enjoyed the tour.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
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!

Photo of drewbage
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
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!

Photo of Twal
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of TaylorLarson
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Very informative and well put together. It was a fun tour that felt just long enough to get the grasp of the brewery without going into elaborate detail about the specific beers. It was nice to see the historic side of the company in the pictures and displays.

Photo of WillCarrera
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Visited the brewery on December 19, 2011. The brewery is located in a pleasant square near the center of Bruges. Took a group tour, tours are every hour in English, French, or Dutch (possibly in other languages too but I'm not sure). The tour covers the brewery's brewing process, some basics about the ingredients of beer and a lot of the history of the brewery, which has been family-owned for generations, as well as a visit to the brewery's roof, which has a nice view over the town. At the end of the tour you get a glass of their Brugse Zot beer, which was pretty tasty. My only criticism would be that the service in the restaurant was pretty slow, it was raining and cold and we stopped in to have a coffee before the tour started but couldn't get a waiter's attention for somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes. Otherwise it's a fun experience, our tour guide was very friendly and warm and the tour and beer were a great experience.

Photo of iubball
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Came here to go on the brewery tour. Guidebooks state that tours are only 2X per day in the off season. Let me be the first to tell you that this is not true, as tours were hourly. Tour was one of the best that I have been on. I have been on about 10 different tours, and this was in the top three. You actually go through the entire (small) brewery, including next to storage for barley and hops. Great exhibit of different Belgian glassware, and of worldwide brewers promotional materials. Rooftop view is excellent, and saves you from walking 200+ more steps up the town tower.

Atmosphere of the bar itself was a little generic. It could have been any bar in America. Didn't feel like I was in Brugge, compared to the other buildings there. Restaurant seemed a little too 'clean', as in the tables seemed brand new, not a lot of pictures, etc. Part of a bar's atmosphere is knowing that others have enjoyed it for many years.

They did seem to serve food, but not one person in the bar was eating when I was there. Maybe they get more of a night crowd?

Final verdict, for 5 Euro, the brewery tour is a good buy. It includes one free beer (2.50 Euro value), and while some other Belgians are better, it is still a pretty good Belgian beer

Photo of moderndrunkard
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.73/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This review is for both the tour and tasting room. The way I see it is that if you are reading any reviews on this site and you are in Brugge? you'll visit this location. The tour is fun despite being geared towards non-beer geeks. Cool to see this old brewery in action. In the US they would never let you climb around these stairs and working boilers. I stood 2 feet from them emptying a boiler. Nice view of the city from the roof of the brewery. Tasting room is nice yet a bit more modern in decor. The price of the tour gets you a glass of Zot. It's good; Not sure why this is on the list of top 125 places to have a beer, but if in Brugge.. of course go here

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan in Brugge, Belgium
89 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.